How to Weigh Luggage Without A Scale: A Complete Guide

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how to weigh luggage without a scale

None of us want to pay extra for luggage, but most airlines have a luggage weight limit. So it’s always a great idea to weigh your luggage before. However, you probably don’t have a luggage weighing scale. The good news is that there is a multitude of weighing your luggage at home saves you from paying extra bucks at the airport.

This article explores ways to weigh your luggage without a scale to ascertain whether the baggage is heavier than the permitted limit.

Let’s get started.

Different Airlines Have Different Weight Limits

Man weighing carry-on luggage

Before leaving for the airport, you must know how much your luggage weighs. Unfortunately, reducing excess baggage at the airport or paying extra for it is a big headache. After all, aren’t we traveling for fun? And this fun gets spoiled with the unnecessary hassles associated with excess luggage weight.

Most airlines allow up to 50 pounds of luggage weight. However, the consequence could vary from airline to airline. Therefore, we have listed the luggage weight limit for different airlines below.

  • American Airlines: 50 pounds
  • Air India: 55 pounds
  • Allegiant Air: 40 pounds
  • Copa Airlines: 52 pounds
  • Lufthansa: 50 pounds
  • Delta Airlines: 50 pounds
  • Korean Air: 70 pounds
  • Ryanair: 44 pounds
  • Singapore Airlines: 66 pounds
  • Turkish Air: 44 pounds
  • United Airlines: 50 pounds
  • Philippine Airlines: 50 pounds
  • Norwegian Air: 70.5 pounds
  • Spirit Airlines: 40 pounds
  • Volaris: 55 pounds

As we see, some airlines do not follow the 50 lbs weight limit. The weight limit could be a little less than or above 50 lbs. You must check the actual weight limit of the airline that you are traveling with. For reference purposes, we refer to this article’s maximum weight limit as 50 pounds. It is the standard weight limit that most airlines follow.

To determine how much luggage is allowed, call the airline office or visit their website for further details.

Exciting Ideas on How to Weigh Luggage Without a Scale

Compare Weights

You can compare your luggage with similar objects to estimate the luggage weight. Most airlines have a luggage weight limit of 50 lbs. So ideally, your luggage should weigh a little less than 50 lbs.

So how much do 50 lbs weigh? While this question answers itself, we understand what it implies.

50 lbs could be the weight of a large cat or dog food packet. The weight is mostly printed on these packages, which makes it easier to compare and weigh your luggage without a scale.

Similar items that weigh around 50 lbs could be some weights or dumbbells that you have at home. About 6 gallons of water are equal to about 50 lbs. This makes comparison easier even if you have 2 or 4 gallons. If you own a medium-sized dog weighing around 50 lbs, you can easily compare the weight with your luggage. Also, the average weight of a 7-year-old child will be about 50 lbs.

A Bathroom Scale

bathroom scale and luggage

If you have a regular bathroom scale, this could do the trick. First, weigh yourself using the bathroom scale. Write down your weight. Now weigh yourself again while holding your luggage. Subtract your body weight from the second weight.

Sometimes you are away from home and staying at a hotel. The tip mentioned above of using a bathroom scale can be handy. In addition, some hotels have a weighing scale at the reception counter. You can easily weigh your suitcase without worrying about how to weigh your luggage without using a scale.

A Fulcrum

To determine the weight of an object by comparing it with another, you will not get an exact weight. So you can design a fulcrum at home to estimate a precise weight. For example, let’s say the fulcrum looks like a seesaw.

You will need a large plank of wood to make the fulcrum and a large rock or a piece of wood to balance the log of wood. On one side, place your travel bag/suitcase. On the other side, place your weights that equal 50 pounds. It could be anything from household items, bags of dog food, dumbbells, or gallons of milk or water. Big bags of grocery items and dry food packages like rice, flour, and sugar have weights written on them. You could use these bags to add up to 50 lbs and then weigh your luggage.

If the plank balances once you are done with placing the balancing weights, your suitcase is around 50 lbs. If it tilts towards the travel luggage, you know that the bag weighs more than 50 lbs. In that case, you need to offload some items in your suitcase to make it travel-friendly. If the plank tilts towards the balancing weights, you can be assured that the luggage is less than 50 pounds.

A Free Scale

There are several places where you weigh your luggage if you do not have a weighing scale at home. These include:

  • Post-office
  • Hotels
  • Gym
  • Supermarkets
  • Junkyard
  • Travel agency
  • Hardware store
  • Airport

One of the places where you can weigh your luggage for free is the post office. It will help you determine if you are carrying an overweight bag. Sometimes, post offices have a regular scale that could be very small for your large suitcase. In that case, weighing at the post office may be an issue.

You can also weigh your suitcase at the gym or a hotel near your home. Visit the place a day before to weigh the luggage. Or, on the day of travel, you can also leave home a little early. So, if the baggage is extra, you have ample time to remove a few items.

If the hotel/gym/post office is near your house, you can return home to empty a few items in case of excess baggage. And if nothing else works out, you can weigh your luggage at one of the empty check-in counters at the airport.

What to do if the Baggage is Over the Limit?

luggage stuffing

There are times when you have to pack a lot of stuff. For example, you could be shifting to a new place, or visiting your native town after years, and you have to pack extra. In this case, the choices before you are fewer.

You can take carry-on luggage. If your baggage is in excess, take some items and keep them in the carry bag. Leave behind the water bottle. While traveling, you can put this carry bag in the overhead cabin on the flight. Just make sure that the cabin bag is not too heavy. You have to walk some distance carrying the bag.

Some airlines weigh the cabin bag, too, so keep the weight under control. You can also tuck some petty items into your garment’s pockets or laptop bag /purse to further space out the weight of the items.

If your baggage is in excess and you have to take out some items, there are a few options.

Keep all the extra items in a bag. Then, if you have time, visit the post office to send the items home through the mail. While this service is chargeable, the amount will be less than what the airlines charge you.

You can distribute items of additional luggage in two suitcases. Some airlines allow two checked luggage, while others allow only one checked bag. Inquire with your airline regarding the overweight luggage limit.

If your bag is only a little overweight, try checking with the airline person. Some airlines overlook a slightly overweight bag. They will allow you to check in without charging extra. However, not all airlines are lenient in allowing a few extra pounds.

While these options are possible, repacking your suitcase at the airport can be daunting. You must always check with the airlines beforehand regarding their excess baggage policies—the number of bags they allow, the weight restrictions, extra fees, and so on.


The best way to avoid hassles and embarrassment at the airport is to check and fix your excess luggage at home. If you do not have a weighing scale, the above tips will help you weigh your luggage without a scale. These do not require extra charges and save you the trouble of paying for excess baggage.

In the long term, we suggest you buy a portable handheld luggage scale to weigh your luggage heading to the airport. Also, traveling light is the best way to make your trip pleasurable.

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