A passenger checking in at the Atlanta airport reported being solicited for a bribe to avoid the overweight fee on a checked bag. He’s incredulous, despite the bribe offering a significant savings.
My checked bag was 4 lbs over and the girl behind the counter showed me her cash app and said “U can either pay $50 more for your overweight bag or give me a lil tip and I’ll let you go”
Dear Atlanta 😂😂😂
— Kollin, please (@Kollinbenson_) August 19, 2022
To be clear this would get an airline employee fired. An airline could easily look up photographer Kollin Benson and see whether he was traveling on one of their flights out of Atlanta on Friday – and which agent checked him in. There are plenty of cameras in the airport to verify this as well.
In any case, avoiding overweight bag fees is almost literally what sky caps (who do work in part for tips) are for. Too bad American Airlines has eliminated curbside check-in at so many airports, any reports on the outsourced vendors where it remains?
Twenty years ago a good sky cap made $100,000. It’s underappreciated the extent to which airlines have captured the money people were willing to pay for bags through checked baggage fees.
If you’re four pounds over the limit, I’d take a few items out of the checked bag and shove them into a carry on and into my pockets. I’d see if there was extraneous wrapping or cardboard to dispose of. All the while I’d be holding up the line.
And if I were just a smidge over the limit and an airport agent decided to enforce overweight fees, I’d file a complaint because odds on the scale’s accuracy hadn’t been tested in the immediate past – and with all of the bags on and off of it, getting slammed up against it, there’s a good chance the calibration was off.
It’s no surprise that this story comes from Atlanta, whose airport is among the most corrupt in the nation.