Some travelers will go to great lengths to avoid ancillary fees levied by airlines. An Australian woman faked her own pregnancy to avoid carry-on fees on a budget carrier, and almost got away with it…
Rebecca Andrews is an Australia-based travel writer who wanted to see if she could get away with hiding excess items from her hand baggage that pushed it over the 7-kilogram weight limit.
She offers a nine-step guide on how to do it:
1) Pre-check into the flight or go to the do-it-yourself computer thingy at the airport: do not check in at the airline counter.
2) Go through security then head to the bathroom.
3) Find the baby-change area as it’s bigger than a toilet cubicle.
4) Put on something stretchy or Lycra — a good reason to be a cyclist.
5) Wrap your smallest but heaviest items — aka electronics — in something satin: the more slippery the fabric, the easier it is to slide down your front.
6) Shape it into a baby bump (or a beer-belly) — five months is best as you don’t need to change the way you walk.
7) Put your laptop/ tablet / book down your back. Make sure it is secure and won’t slip around (use stockings or similar if you feel you need to tie it on).
8) Double layer your clothes. TIP: the baggier the better.
9) A thick jacket — leather or puffer — is the icing on the cake.
But Andrew’s mistake was not in her costume; it was waiting until last to board. She shared that all eyes were on her, as she appeared at the gate toward the ending fo the boarding process.
Even then, her carry-on bag was weighed and she was cleared onto the flight. But she dropped her ticket walking down the jetbridge and a gate agent noticed a bulge protrude from her back.
“Excuse me! Is that a backpack you have on under your jacket?”
“There is something there.”
Rather than claim it was a back brace or try to explain it away in some other clever fashion, she just fessed up…and was hit with a 60AUD fee to check it at the gate.
You can watch a video of her describe the encounter here.
Andrews says she will do it again. Next time, though, she will not wait until the end to board. Simple as pie…
Not quite as ingenious as hidden-city ticketing, but not that bad either. Just needs some fine-tuning.
I certainly don’t blame her for trying, but there are probably clothes out there that can do the same. Also, I really dislike that so many airlines (outside the US) have such ridiculously low weight limits for carry-ons. And it’s not just LCCs but full-service ones, too. :-\ I mean, an *empty* suitcase can weigh 3-4kg.
I went to Australia back in 2011 for a scuba diving trip so I was already carrying two suitcases maxed out with gear and clothing at about 100lbs. That meant my camera gear was carryon. When I was at LAX waiting for the Qantas flight, right before boarding they put the carryon sizer and scale and made an announcement that carryon had to fit and cannot exceed a certain weight otherwise it had to be checked in. And there were people to used it to size and weigh their carryon. But I knew that my camera body and lens of my then Nikon D200 was almost 5lbs by itself. No way would I have passed and I was not going to check in my camera gear. But it turns out that they didn’t really check anyone.
But when I was at the airports in Australia, yes…I noticed that they have the sizers and scales and people there would use them.
Have tried diving in Indonesia? It’s refreshingly at your own risk and IMHO much better and cheaper than Australia. No nanny dive masters demanding to check your dive computer. Garuda (again AYOR) gives discounted baggage fees for dive equipment.
Why do you promote morons like this? You refer to this idiot as “an Australia-based travel writer …”
She apparently wrote this: “go to the do-it-yourself computer thingy at the airport”
Yeah, quite the “travel writer” she is.
I found it amusing.
I don’t deny the existence of these hand-luggage dragons but this piece doesn’t have a ‘ring of truth’ about it: on the contrary, it sounds contrived and concocted. I never heard of this writer.
But QANTAS will do absolutely anything to screw $$$ out of unsuspecting passengers: it is the stingiest airline in the world by a country mile.