View Full Version : Baggage Weight

11th Jun 2008, 08:36
Why is it, that whenever i fly fron STN to ORK my bag weighs less than the return, despite the fact, i went out with more than i brought back......funny that.

Not just me either. Do the scales need calibrating, or is MOL trying to up the profit.

11th Jun 2008, 08:48
Oh and before some wiseguy say's it no my clothes were not all damp due to rain.

15th Jun 2008, 20:59
I've had the same strange occurence. Left MJV on BMIbaby with just under the maximum baggage weight en route to GLA via East Midlands. Of course we had to check in again for the Glasgow flight and to my astonishment the weight of my baggage had gone up by 5 kilos. The Desk Dragon insisted that I pay for this 'excess' which I did but never used BMI again.

7th Jun 2011, 13:19
I experienced this discrepancy between baggage check-in scales flying in Spain & Portugal last month - a suitcase containing the same items weighed in anywhere between 16 and 21kgs at different airports. A colleague has also just experienced this problem elsewhere in Europe.

Has anyone had success in avoiding excess charges due to inaccurate scales?

7th Jun 2011, 13:47
I thought that in Britain each scale used commercially, as in charging money for the weight of the item weighed, was required to have a current certificate of test, renewed every five years, issued by the Department of Weights and Measures. I'd ask to see that certificate, determine who is responsible for the scale and make as much noise and trouble as possible. It's usually much more fun doing that than making your flight. The legislation must be the same throughout Europe and in any event, a misreading scale is a flagrant breach of your human rights.

Hotel Tango
7th Jun 2011, 14:16
The subject of check-in scales has been discussed before. Whether it is deliberate or not is difficult to say, but for sure there are discrepencies. It is not just Ryanair either. Last year my son had an issue with Delta Airlines in Tampa. In the end 4 of their scales gave different readings! When the Supervisor was called he agreed to go with the lowest reading.

7th Jun 2011, 16:40
We use those dangling self-weigh scales ... travelling with BA with 4 bags, often close to the limits. A good case [ooops] for a good argument at checkin, IMO.

8th Jun 2011, 13:20
If I think I might be overweight I put the heavy things into my "ladies" http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/wink2.gif handbag - cameras/laptop/motorbike engine parts... (makes going through the X-Ray scanner interesting), just don't want to be caught by surprise on a no-frills airline.

Romeo Delta
9th Jun 2011, 14:20
The readings at different stations can be interesting. I can check in at Ft Myers with a 48 lb bag, and that same bag in Boston will be 55 lbs (slightly less but still overweight at ORD and MDW). I carry the same stuff every week, so I get a chance to see what scales are close to right, and which ones are wayyyyyy off.

11th Jun 2011, 14:22
Interesting topic, with equally as interesting speculation! :\

In the UK at least, the check-in areas are operated by the airlines, yes, but the airport companies/owners are responsible for calibration and maintenance.

Whilst I know most pax love to blame the airline that they themselves elected to fly on := for the perceived "inaccuracies" of their weight readings its really an issue to do with the airports not the airlines and definitely not the poor check in staff!

15th Jun 2011, 18:42
its really an issue to do with the airports not the airlines and definitely not the poor check in staff!

It's that kind of SLF myth that means that this issue will be with us for ever.

The airline that takes your money for excess baggage, either itself or through its appointed agent, IS RESPONSIBLE for not defrauding you with incorrect scales.


The airport often supplies the equipment, and should be made responsible to the airline for its proper functioning via its contract between the airport and the airline (or agent).

Nothing, nothing in those arrangements, whatever form they take removes the airline's responsibility for not defrauding its customers.

The fact that no-one, not the airline, nor the agent, nor the airport, nor the police standing around doing SFA, no-one, is the slightest bit interested in ensuring that passengers are not defrauded is evidenced by the fact that testing the scales' accuracy can be done in 10 seconds with a calibrated bag of known weight, ideally 20Kgs, kept ready near the desks and used daily. I've instituted that wherever I was able to do so. It's very easy.

If that were common practice this vicious and lucrative fraud would be wiped out overnight.

I write as an ex-airport manager, handling agency manager, and airline traffic manager. This scandal has been going on for decades and needs to be stopped.

16th Jun 2011, 07:53
Do airport scales come under the purview of the weights and measures board?

Chidken Sangwich
16th Jun 2011, 08:54
...and lets not forget that the handling agents get 'commission' from the airlines on excess baggage charges so they arent as 'whiter than white' as some are suggesting...

16th Jun 2011, 08:55
Do airport scales come under the purview of the weights and measures board?

As far as I'm aware yes as they are used for the charging for supply of goods or services.

Southampton is, as far as I know, the only airport where I have seen
stickers on the front advertising the fact that the scales are calibrated
and that the local Trading Standards can be contacted if there is a
perceived issue. Kudos to them...

16th Jun 2011, 13:00
so they arent as 'whiter than white' as some are suggesting...

Of course they aren't; they are in the pig trough up to their elbows.

But if you try and share out the blame, you will simply ensure that nothing is done about it as the parties to the fraud blame each other.

The airline is the principal, and as such is 100% responsible for making sure its customers are not defrauded. Therefore they are 100% responsible if a fraud does occur as it does hundreds of times a day in the UK alone. I wish that one of the many groups purporting to represent consumers in general or airline customers in particular would have the balls to get to grips with the problem and launch a few test cases for fraud.