Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Seeing My Daughter Off for MTC: Baggage Weight Can Be Costly

This morning my daughter got on a plane bound for Salt Lake City at 7:35am from the Charleston International Airport. When you live outside of Utah or the Intermountain West you can receive an airline ticket from LDS Travel to Salt Lake City the day before. You have to make your own arrangements for the night in a hotel and find a way to get to the MTC by your arrival time at the MTC which in her case is 11a.m. They booked my daughter on Delta Airlines. She had three suitcases, a large one which weighed 71 pounds, a medium one which weighed 45 pounds, and a small carry-on bag which just had her purse and camera. We paid $40 for having two bags when we electronically checked-in irregardless of the weight. We were then informed when we put our two bags on the carousel that unless we got the large bag under 70 pounds the fee would be $150. We were told from 50 pounds until 70 pounds it would costs $90 for the excess weight. I was a little miffed that they charged so much since I had already spent two thousand dollars outfitting her for the mission and I had about $150 in my checking account. My daughter says missionaries are told by the Church to bring an extra hundred dollars just in case when they leave the MTC. She also said when my second daughter came home from Italy it cost her $150 because she had accumulated so many books on her mission. One tip I can give is pack all your paper and heavy items in your carry-on to get your weight down so your checked-in bags don't weigh so much. It will save you some money since they don't weigh the carry-on. It just has to meet the size requirment. Another suggestion is that the church should use an airline like Southwest that doesn't have so many new weight restrictions and hidden costs. I paid about forty percent of the ticket price for the one-way ticket in baggage fees. My wife hugged her and cried a little then I took a couple of pictures. We waved goodbye and hoped our two daughters would be on the other end to pick her up. I hope she remembered everything on the long exhaustive list her mission president sent her that even told her the type of fabric her clothes should be. She discovered a couple of the items she bought had too much cotton as she was packing and she chided herself as being a bad missionary. When I said tough luck you will have to wear them anyway since I don't have any more money to buy different ones nor the time or the energy.


Anonymous said...

you should check what the costs will be for international flights. They are usually substantially more. And she will get books at the MTC. It may be advantageous to ship a box to the mission home from the MTC, as the cost will be less than the additional luggage fees.

Josh said...

I served in the same mission as your daughter and am back in the mission field working. They discourage cotton because of the humid climate of Taiwan. Lighter fabrics tend to be more comfortable in this climate, especially in the summer. Things I would bring from the US that are considerably more expensive and come in smaller sizes are deodorant and good shoes. Also, most of the missionary set of books can be found in Taiwan and not packing them should save on weight coming over.