Put all the heavy stuff in your hand baggage (I expect you know that already) – and IN WITH YOUR LAPTOP. A separate laptop bag is always allowed – so use it! I was fortunate in having a large and floppy expandable laptop bag with me. So I ended up with one main bag checked in (34.8kg!), one small wheelie borrowed suitcase (about 12kg with all my clothes mercilessly stuffed in) and my ‘laptop bag’ (about 15kg and fit to burst). Luckily they didn’t spot me before I got away from the check-in desk. Apparently, they can even send you back from the gate to have them weighed (meant to be a maximum of 10kg, and they can charge ‘first class excess’ on anything over) – but they were too preoccupied with other things here, I think. Carting them round the airport was quite a pain, but less so than a whopping excess baggage charge. So far, so good.
Expect it to be quite a novel process, and look at it like you would an interesting cryptic puzzle. You know that you’re going to be on that plane in the end, so enjoy the struggle of getting there. And cherish the creative new ways they have found to put extra stages and steps into the process of getting on a plane. Keep smiling. I lost count after about seven, there of which happened before we even got the car parked. They did save the best one till last, though. You think it’s like one of those computer games, as you keep getting onto the next level and thinking you’re winning – and surely you have finally got to safety when you find you’re in the departure lounge with all the planes visible out of the window? Well, no, not here.