When traveling with family, it helps to have a luggage cart to make the travel experience easier. But I *really* don’t like paying the ~$5 fee per cart!
If you have checked luggage and need an airport cart at your destination, you can find airport luggage carts near the ticket counters and at baggage claim. However, you have to pay up to $5 or more for a cart.
Carts are usually free in airports outside the US, but US airports charge for them. But here’s a way to sometimes get them for less.
Saving Money on Luggage Carts Upon Arrival
Your checked bags will take several minutes to be offloaded from the plane. So instead of waiting at baggage claim and paying for a luggage cart, you can try to get 1 for free.
You can usually go outside to the curb or to the Departures section of the airport and you will find empty carts waiting to be returned.
Folks rent the luggage carts from baggage claim after their flight, load the cart with their luggage, and then leave them around after they’ve loaded their car or taxi. So Emily waits at baggage claim for our suitcases and I look for a cart that someone has returned.
Saving Money on Luggage Carts When You’re Leaving
You can use the same principle if you’re checking luggage on a departing flight and want a free cart. If you go outside the Arrivals section of the airport, you can get an unreturned cart from the.
Folks will have already checked their bags and discard their carts. So you can use 1 for free!
Of course this doesn’t work all the time, but Emily and I have had more than a 50% success rate.
You Can Even Make Money!
Some airports give you an incentive to return your luggage cart. If you have time, you can make some money retrieving abandoned luggage carts.
I could have made ~$20 returning all these luggage carts! But Emily would not have been happy with me. 🙂
You can save money on airport luggage carts if you know the secret to getting a free luggage cart.
Folks abandon their used luggage carts in the airport Arrivals area after they’ve checked-in for their flights. You can use a discarded cart for your checked bags at baggage claim or to check-in to your flight.
Has this worked for you?