Man’s Response To $1,400 Overweight Baggage Fee Prompts Police Action

overweight fees
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan Lockwood (This isn’t the luggage in question, but you get the idea)

Police in New York and Seattle were called in to investigate when a man ditched his luggage in order to avoid overweight baggage fees, NBC reports.

The unidentified traveler was going to take Delta Air Lines Flight 1452 from Seattle to JFK when he was told his baggage was overweight and he would have to pay $1,400 in fees. The man decided that whatever he was lugging across the continent wasn’t worth that much money and left it behind. When the abandoned bags were spotted it sparked a security alert and the check-in area was closed for two hours.

The passenger, blissfully unaware, flew to JFK only to find police waiting for him. He was questioned and released after police decided that he hadn’t intended on causing a panic.

It’s unclear how many bags this guy had or where he was going, but a look at Delta’s overweight fees show that he was probably carrying his prize antique brick collection to display at the London Brick Fair this summer. No, that doesn’t really exist.

Worried about getting slapped with extra fees? Check out our guide to packing your luggage efficiently. Or you can simply wear 70 items of clothing to avoid overweight baggage fees.

France Launches New Low Cost, High-Speed Train Service



Low cost
isn’t just for the skies anymore. This week, French rail service SNCF launched its new low cost service Ouigo, a no-frills option for the traveler that wants a more moderately priced ticket but wants to take advantage of the high-speed service that France is known for. The new train service will link Paris and Lyon to Marseille and Montpellier on the southern coast of France.

Service will commence April 2, 2013, but in an attempt to woo travelers, SNCF is offering up tickets for as low as 10 euros. Eventually tickets prices will go up to 85 euros. Regular TGV tickets can often be booked for much less if you happen to score a good promotion, but French travelers will tell you that often that means booking far in advance. Have a low cost option for last minute travel is always a good thing.

As is common with low cost airlines, room for baggage aboard the new Ouigo trains is limited, so if you’re planning on taking advantage, pack light, because after your first bag, your luggage will cost you.

Sound too good to be true? As with any low cost carrier, there are some catches:

  • You will have to catch the train in Marne-la-Vallée, where Euro Disney is located, just east of Paris.
  • You can only book on the Internet.
  • There is no bar. But don’t worry; you’re in France. You’re sure to find a bottle of red wine and a corkscrew at a local market.

[Photo Credit: Train Chartering and Private Rail Cars]

Man Wears 70 Items Of Clothing To Avoid Baggage Fees

An air traveler ended up wearing 70 items of clothing in an effort to avoid extra baggage charges at an airport in China.

Digital Spy says a local paper reported that an unidentified passenger at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport took out and wore more than 60 shirts and nine pairs of pants when his luggage exceeded the weight limit.

He is described as looking like a “sumo wrestler” in the report.

Wanting to board a flight to Nairobi, Kenya, the man was stopped in security by a metal detector and had to undergo a full body search. In his layers and layers of pockets, officials discovered batteries, thumb drives and device chargers.

Have you ever done anything crazy in a last ditch effort to avoid baggage fees? I’ve definitely transferred clothing from a checked bag to my carry on while in front of an airline agent, and I’ve seen people wearing 2-3 hats on occasion, but in this case I think I would have forked over the fee instead of sitting uncomfortably on an international flight.

[Photo credit: Flickr user geolawie]

Lost Luggage Has A Season And It Is Here Now

lost luggage

Lost luggage was once a major problem for airlines but they have been doing better lately. Perhaps with the introduction of fees for checked bags, airlines are paying more attention to what happens to luggage. Maybe it’s those fees that are driving airline passengers to pack less, carry on more and give airlines less to lose. Whatever the reason, lost luggage is less of an issue than it once was for air travelers – for the most part. Still, there are some airlines that do a better job than others and, apparently, a time of the year when lost luggage reports peak.

A recent study by NerdWallet notes, “regional airlines mishandle luggage at significantly higher rates than average.” Those regional airlines include carriers like like ExpressJet, Mesa, and SkyWest. Better known airlines line American, Delta, US Airways and others, have a better report card.

The problem is that those smaller, regional airlines often operate flights for larger carriers, which equals more lost luggage. Also a problem: the holiday travel period between now and January.According to the NerdWallet survey, reports of lost, mishandled, damaged, delayed or stolen luggage spikes during this time as more travelers take to the air.

Looking to minimize the chances of a bad luggage experience? NerdTraveler suggests when traveling with someone else, split valuables into multiple carry-on bags to reduce the odds of losing important papers, documents and other items. Booking direct flights to minimize the airline handling of your luggage can help too.

Another good idea is to take smartphone photos of your luggage and its contents. That goes a long way towards a happy claim when luggage is lost or damaged. Finally, know the airline’s policy on reimbursement. Airlines commonly exclude personal items like electronics, photography equipment, things made of glass and more.



[Photo Credit: Flickr user puregin]

Airline Madness: Baggage fees vs. Obese people who take up two seats

Airline Madness is Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances. You can catch up on all of the previous tournament action here.

gadling airline madness baggage fees obese people two seats

This Airline Madness first round match-up is sure to spark plenty of debate. The #4 seed, Baggage fees, ticks off just about everyone. On the other hand, #13 seed Obese people who take up two seats is too big to be ignored. If we’re traveling, we need luggage. However, airlines seem to punish us for packing even a normal amount of clothing by charging us exorbitant fees just to check a bag. Meanwhile, the limited space we do have for ourselves on the plane is being infringed upon by overweight passengers overflowing into our seats. If you’re too heavy to fit in one seat, shouldn’t you have to purchase a second?

Only one of these airline annoyances can advance to the second round. Learn more about them and then vote for the one that you simply can’t stand.

#4 Baggage fees
We understand that some people overpack and attempt to bring way too much crap onto the plane. But, what about the people who just want to pack properly for their two week business trip or family vacation? How can the price of a single bag not be included in your airline ticket? Are we all supposed to fly with one change of clothes in our carry-on bags? Let us pack like normal human beings and travel with some personal belongings without shelling out an additional $50!

#13 Obese people who take up two seats
Not all obese people are created equally. Some overeat, others have genetic disorders, while many suffer from crippling medical issues. Regardless of the reason, however, there is no excuse for taking up someone else’s space. I paid for my seat and only I get to use it. If you can’t fit in one seat, shouldn’t you have to pay for the space that you do need? It’s not a punishment; it’s just common sense. Once a child becomes too large to sit on his parent’s lap, he needs his own seat. Shouldn’t the same hold true once your waistline is too large to fit in a single seat?

Only one pet peeve can advance. Will it be Baggage fees or Obese people who take up two seats. Vote for the one that pisses you off the most and then share your feelings in the comments!
%Poll-73815%
First round voting ends at 11:59PM EDT on Friday, March 16.

More Airline Madness:
#1 Annoying passengers vs. #16 Disgusting bathrooms
#2 Legroom vs. #15 Inefficient boarding procedures
#3 Lack of free food/prices for food vs. #14 Cold cabin/no blankets
#5 Lack of overhead space vs. Inattentive parents of crying babies
#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #11 Lack of personal entertainment/charging for entertainment
#7 Rude airline staff vs. #10 Having to turn off electronic devices during takeoff & landing
#8 People who recline their seats vs. #9 People who get mad at people who recline their seats
Hotel Madness: Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances

Catch up on all the Airline Madness here.