Airline Idiocy – Part Deux

The American Airlines counter at Miami International Airport was our first stop on vacation. The agent weighed our suitcase and informed us that it was six pounds over the 50 pound limit.

“But since you are two people with one suitcase, that’s fine,” he said.

That made sense to us. Every flyer is allowed to check a bag. We congratulated ourselves for fitting eight days of clothing for two people into one suitcase. We boarded the plane and had a vacation.

Fast forward, eight days – the airport in San Francisco for the flight back.

American Airlines counter agent: “Your suitcase is six pounds over the limit. You’ll have to pay a $25 heavy luggage charge.”

Me: “Yes, but in Miami, the agent said since we are two people traveling with only that one suitcase, we’ve actually saved on weight, so it’s fine.

AA Agent: “No, it’s not fine, the bag is overweight. But I have an option for you. I can give you a box and some tape and you can empty some of the contents into the box and check that as your second bag.”

Me: “So, American Airlines would rather we add extra weight with another box and take up more room in cargo with two checked items, rather than one compact suitcase on wheels for two people?”

AA Agent: “Those are the rules.”

Me: “But that makes no sense.”

AA Agent: “That’s the rule.” You have the option. Do you want the box?”

Uh, no thanks. We chose to pay the $25 heavy luggage fee rather opening the luggage, transferring items to some box, then lugging around a carton with no wheels.

The way I see it, American Airlines owes $25 to the charity of my choice.

Do airline managers lay awake at night thinking up ways to make traveling more difficult?


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