An old story, but a clever one, as highlighted by View From The Wing. After a woman was told her baggage was a feather overweight and she would need to pay €50, she cleverly found a way to reduce the weight of her baggage…just enough.
€50 Luggage Fee? How About Some Chocolate Instead?
First some context for this. 23 kilograms equates to 50.7 pounds is the standard weight limit for checked baggage in much of the world which does not use the Imperial system. Again for context of this story, 50 grams is the equivalent of 1.76 oz or 0.11 pounds.
A story posted on Reddit claims to detail a showdown between a stickler check-in agent and a passenger. The problem? Her baggage weighed 23.05 kg when the limit was 23.00 kg.
So when I travel by plane (which happens about 2/3 times per year) I’m usually quite conscious about the weight of my luggage because of how much you have to pay if it exceeds the limit. This time I put a bit more stuff in because of gifts but I thought I was fine. I pass the police and get to the check-in, where a woman in her late 30’s/ early 40’s that reminded me of my old history teacher indicated me to proceed. I give my passeport, do the usual stuff, and I put my luggage on the scale which shows 23.05kg (the limit being 23). I was quite pleased with myself while looking at it, thinking I got it just right, but NO, the woman tells me I need to pay 50€ for excess baggage.
I look at her confused, telling her it’s 50 grams, surely it doesn’t matter, she repeats herself and we start arguing until she says: “Either you pay 50€ or you somehow make the luggage 50g lighter”. (I didn’t have a carry on so I couldn’t take anything with me). At that moment I remember the 200g of chocolate that are sitting in the luggage and I start smiling. I open the luggage, take the chocolate out and start nibbling at it with a grin on my face while looking at the woman, who goes from pikachu face to annoyed. She tells me to hurry up (even though I was the only one in line) so I offered her some and she just stared at me. I ended up eating exactly a quarter of the 200g and lo and behlod the scale showed 23kg.
The woman gives me my ticket while glaring at me, and I tell her to have a good day.
TLDR: Check-in agent says passenger must pay €50 because her bag is 50 grams over the weight limit. She responded by eating a quarter of her 200 gram chocolate bar.
Good for her. You never know whether a story on reddit is true or false, but I’ve flown enough Ryanair and Wizzair (I strongly doubt this was on easyJet) that this story is at least conceivable.
And while I applaud her ingenuity, I quite pity the check-in agent who should have simply realized that 50 grams is probably well within the margin of error of the scale.
Too bad the woman did not have a 50 gram Snickers bar in her bag that she could have handed to the agent…