How accurate are airport baggage check-in scales?

Pegasus Airlines are notorious for charging its customers even for 1kg of excess baggage and yet passengers rarely challenge the accuracy of the readings on the weighing scales.  A recent Trading Standards check at Gatwick airport, following a customer complaint, revealed that out of 18 scales tested 10 were showing a weight even before the passenger’s baggage was placed on it.

The reason for the Trading Standards inspection arose from a customer complaining that their bag apparently weighed 23kg, 3kg over the limit with a £15 excess baggage charge, but when they took the bag off the scale it still read 5kg.

Passengers are also confused about Pegasus’ hand luggage rules which clearly state they are not only allowed one item of carry-on baggage, measuring 20 cm x 40 cm x 55 cm and weighing a maximum of 8 kg, but are also allowed to carry on board the following without extra cost:

  • One hand bag suitable for traveling,
  • One overcoat, shawl, scarf or blanket,
  • One bag of duty-free shopping,
  • One umbrella (except those with pointed ends) or walking stick,
  • One baby carrycot or pushchair (can be placed in cargo),
  • One small camera or telescope,
  • Books and magazines to be read during the flight,
  • Collapsible wheelchair or pair of crutches (to be placed in cargo)
  • Baby food and carrycot to be used during the flight
  • One laptop computer

Many passengers include their laptop, reading material and camera as part of their 8kg allowance and so prevent 3-4kg of luggage being transferred from their hold baggage to hand luggage, potentially avoiding excess charges.

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