You are all ready for your vacation, you have double checked everything and triple checked the weight of your bags. So what’s the deal when you get to the airline and the airline scale reads 5lbs over?
This scenario is actually very common, just google “are airlines scales accurate”. The sad truth is many airline scales are not very accurate. In fact, they are only calibrated once a year so it’s understandable that airlines scale may not match your handy luggage scale. Even if you weigh your bags at home on a luggage scale or bathroom scale, and you don’t leave yourself a 5lb buffer you could face an embarrassing public luggage repacking or worse – paying the excessively high overweight baggage fees.
What can you do?
- Make sure to give your bag a buffer of 5lbs from the reading on the luggage scale.
- You can ask nicely to have your bag weighed on a different scale.
- Pack a foldable bag that you can throw a few items in from your luggage.
A digital luggage scale is going to become your new best friend
With many airlines, like United, now offering a new fare option called Basic Economy Class, a digital luggage scale will definitely be your new best friend. Basic Economy doesn’t include a carry-on bag, you are only allowed a personal item that fits under the seat in front of you. With no chance of slipping an extra bag overhead, you will have to pay for your bag to be checked. If your luggage is over the weight limit all that cash you saved on your fare will get eaten up with excess baggage fees. Not a great way to start a vacation.
So next time you are heading to the airport make sure to leave that 5lbs weight buffer. Also, you may want to bring your scale with you just in case there is a discrepancy and to use on your way home.