In January, I nearly missed a flight to Jamaica because the line in Miami's airport just to check and deposit bags took more than an hour. I made it on the plane that morning with a valuable lesson: Carry on my bags as often as humanly possible.
Saving time at the airport isn't the only factor. Like many other travelers, I've also been carrying-on more this year because it's saved me from paying the checked-bag fees. Airlines are constantly updating their luggage fees -- and some are even taking away the discount incentives to prepay bags online – motivating travelers to take less, pack tight and tote that bag around the airport.
Here's a Travelzoo tip: If you know you'll be checking a bag, use Fly.com as a one-stop place to find the major airlines' baggage fees.
It’s a common belief that an hour should get most people through security and to the gate on domestic flights, but in actuality, times vary by airline and day of travel. Check with your carrier if you’re unsure how early to arrive.