Airlines enforcing luggage weight limits

Monday, November 21st 2005, 10:37 am
By: News On 6

You'd better watch your weight this Thanksgiving and we're not talking about the dinner table. We're talking about when you're traveling.

As News on 6 reporter Steve Berg explains, the airlines are cracking down on overweight bags.

Tulsa resident Shawn Wittrock just got back from a trip with his mother to sunny Hawaii, where a check-in clerk rained on his parade. "I was checking my bag at Honolulu’s airport and they're like, your bag's overweight, and I'm like, oh!"

The airlines have had weight restrictions in place for a while, but lately, they appear to be enforcing them more strictly. And with the busy holiday season this week, you might need to know that stuffed bag can carry a hefty fee. Shawn Wittrock: "It got me really concerned because I had bought nothing for people and I had promised people souvenirs.”

Sam Woodard's bag tipped the scales too far at the Tulsa Airport Monday, but he also got off with a friendly warning. "She said we were grandfathered and it wouldn't affect us. But next time it will. It's a 50-pound limit, and we have 55-pounds, which we didn't know anything about."

Shawn Wittrock: "I knew certain bags couldn't go inside planes for size purposes, but I hadn't really thought about the weight." Wittrock said the Honolulu airport allowed his bag anyway, but he bought a small backpack at the airport for some of his heavier items just to be sure.

Woodard meanwhile has another idea. "I wouldn't pay the extra fees; I'd unpack something and leave it. Leave it in the bathroom or something."

The airlines' reasons for the crackdown range from high fuel prices to injuries to baggage handlers. Their policies vary so best to check ahead before your flight.