Why Your Luggage Scale May Not Always Match Your Airline’s Baggage Scale

March 06, 2017

Have you ever arrived at the airport to discover your luggage is over the baggage weight limit? Even though you double-checked to make sure it was under the limit when you left home? We could blame a change in gravity if we were traveling through space but it’s all the same as long as we are on Earth. How does our luggage miraculously gain or lose weight without us changing a thing?

Many of us are now in the habit of weighing our luggage either with a bathroom scale or a luggage scale before we leave home, which makes it so befalling when our scales don’t match the airlines. One of the reasons this happens is airline scales are usually only checked annually. Airfarewatchdog.com’s George Hobica wrote in this Huffington Post article “Most local jurisdictions have a bureau of weights and measures responsible for checking the scales at least annually, but a lot can happen between checks”CBS News reported last year about the inaccuracies of some of the airline scales, which have cost customers up to $100 in overweight fees.

Thankfully we have a few tips to help you pack like a pro and keep that money in your pocket instead of the hands of the airlines.

  1. If your bag is only over by a few pounds ask for it to be weighed on a different scale. According to the CBS Story, most airlines will honor this request.
  2. Even though no one wants to do the embarrassing luggage repack at the counter you’ll appreciate that $100 you didn’t have to spend at the airport when you’re sipping a cocktail on your vacation. Pack an empty extra lightweight bag, if your luggage runs over, throw some stuff in it to take as carry-on.
  3. Although today’s high-end luggage scales, like our popular Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale, are quite accurate, it’s unfortunate that some airline scales are not. To have that extra reassurance leave a 3 lb buffer when weighing your own bags, it might just save you when you get to the check-in counter. You can pick up a Jetsetter Scale for under $14 with the 10% store coupon, and unlike other digital luggage scales, the Jetsetter is built to last a lifetime and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale

Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale

*Article revised March 6, 2017