PhotoMost airlines not only charge you a fee to check a bag, they often place limits on how much the bag and its contents weigh. Bags exceeding the limits cost even more.

For example, at United Airlines, checked bags in coach on a domestic flight must weigh no more than 50 pounds. Passengers in business and first class can pack up to 70 pounds. Either way, it is helpful to know just what your bag weighs before arriving in the check-in line.

For that reason Hammacher Schlemmer, a retailer famous for selling unusual products, has introduced what it calls a “self-weighing” suitcase.

The suitcase is 26 inches long with hard-shell construction. It comes with a built in digital scale, which is activated when you pick it up by the handle. It retails for $199.95.

The bag itself weighs 10.5 pounds and the company said it is constructed of sturdy ABS that will hold up, no matter how many baggage claims it goes through. According to the company website, the self-weighing bag comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Will convert pounds to kilograms

Inside, the suitcase is lined with soft polyester and has a built-in divider with a transparent pocket for separate storage of toiletries or shoes. It comes with what the company calls “a TSA friendly three-digit lock,” 12-inch extending pull handle, and 360 degree rotating wheels. Its scale will even convert pounds to kilograms for international travel.

"We are always looking for innovative ways to improve the travel experience for our customers," said Fred Berns, Hammacher Schlemmer's general manager. "Our Self Weighing Suitcase helps alleviate airport anxiety by eliminating the guesswork of luggage weight and avoiding the stress of surprise fees at the ticket counter."

According, overweight bags can be costly. It says both American Airlines and United charge $100 for a bag weighing between 51 and 70 pounds and $200 if the bag weighs 71 to 100 pounds.

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