Bag Weight BS in Denver

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Old May 13, 18, 11:34 pm
  #16  
 
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All those scales at the airport usually have state inspection stickers on them which means they have to be inspected and reliable per \the state's weight and measures, I have no doubt they're more accurate than some little hand luggage scale. I use a luggage scale but don't assume it's 100% accurate.
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Old May 14, 18, 12:17 am
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You should have checked the weight on the next counter's scale. Or maybe 2 others. They may not be calibrated and inspected often. Even if multiple scales are a little over 50 lbs, if they are not exactly the same weight, you have a pretty good argument for the scales being inaccurate, and thus SWA should allow a little leeway.
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Old May 14, 18, 12:18 am
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Originally Posted by kerrigjl View Post
Try curbside. They rarely - if ever - weigh the bag.
Huh ... thanks!
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Old May 14, 18, 1:12 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
BTW, airline airport scales may be certified, but I remember a TV news expose or story about how inaccurate they are, of course in the direction that results in higher bag fees.
Here's an old story reporting abysmal scale accuracy at PHX and TUS

Must have angered airline executives. The Department of Weights and Measures was soon thereafter abolished.
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Old May 14, 18, 2:27 am
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Originally Posted by GrandMoffJoseph View Post
To save everyone from reading a super long post...
Well that worked out well...

I don't think you have much of a case here. I can't speak authoritatively on the fine-tuning of airport scales, but I'll make the educated guess that they are more accurate that the $20 bathroom scale in a hotel.

The bigger point is, where do you draw the line? Sure, 1lb isn't going to kill anyone but what about the person who shows up with 3lbs over the limit? Or 4.2lbs? You need to have a rule that all can clearly see. If the agent is flexible, great for you. If not, well, you shouldn't expect it. We had the same discussion elsewhere regarding miles/PQD for requalification.
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Old May 14, 18, 4:06 am
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Originally Posted by Tanic View Post
Here's an old story reporting abysmal scale accuracy at PHX and TUS

Must have angered airline executives. The Department of Weights and Measures was soon thereafter abolished.
It's under the Dept of Agriculture in AZ.

Commercial scales are certified. The OP acknowledged this. Consumer scales are not. Done.
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Old May 14, 18, 6:22 am
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Four words - discount airline discount service.
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Old May 14, 18, 6:55 am
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I think it's the luck of the draw when flying with luggage that comes close to limits. I got nabbed once for having a carry-on that was allegedly too big, but wasn't allowed to put it in the sizer. In fact, it was under the limit on two dimensions and at the limit on one. Recently returning from London at LHR I saw a couple with three obvious bags each, plus a "personal item" for the woman allowed to board. Go figure. Plan on get shaken down at some point, it's a cost of flying. I allow extra room in my carry on in case my checked gets too heavy and I pack a tote in case somebody decides my carry on is too big and I have to off-load everything I don't want the airline to steal, lose, or break. AND I fly SWA whenever possible to vote with my dollars for two bags flying free. My own life is simpler and I take far less into the cabin when I can check two bags without getting held up. I also buy far fewer souvenirs because of the weight limitation. YMMV.
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Old May 14, 18, 7:47 am
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Speaking of "buffers," when you have a 50-pound limit, pack to 49 pounds and you will have that buffer. Pretty simple and you won't even have to incorrectly refer to WN sticking to a published policy as BS !

Somehow two people can survive a couple of weeks with just 196 pounds of stuff.
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Last edited by Often1; May 14, 18 at 9:33 am
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Old May 14, 18, 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by Dublin_rfk View Post
Four words - discount airline discount service.
Yeah because BA, United, American, Delta etc. would absolutely have given him the 1lb grace with a smile. Right.
I'll put Southwest's service above those guys any day.
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Old May 14, 18, 9:35 am
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Originally Posted by harold View Post
Yeah because BA, United, American, Delta etc. would absolutely have given him the 1lb grace with a smile. Right.
I'll put Southwest's service above those guys any day.
WN has a tendency to stick to its rules pretty well. That's not necessarily a bad thing from a customer service perspective. The rules are clear, you know what they are and that's the end of the argument.
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Old May 14, 18, 9:49 am
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My wife and I fly Southwest quite a bit. Living in Saint Louis it was the best option for direct or nonstop fights. Whenever we had checked items (usually golf bags or snow skis) we ALWAYS checked in curbside and tipped. Often those bags were stuffed with additional items that significantly increased weight. Never had a bag weighed.
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Old May 14, 18, 9:49 am
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I'm trying to imagine a scenario under which my wife and I would need 50lbs. each for a 2 week trip. Maybe if we packed scuba tanks.

Your problem is not an airline's weigh scales, your problem is you pack too much heavy stuff. I blame it all on Bernard Sadow. For those who don't recognize the name, he is the person credited with inventing the wheeled suitcase in 1970. Since then, the criteria for how much people pack has not been how much can they lift up and carry, but how much will an airline allow them in weight.

The two commonest mistakes that tourists make are trying to cover too much in too little time and packing too much. Congratulations, you qualify as a typical tourist.

Next time, why not try travelling 'light' instead. Of course people define 'light' in different ways. For me, it means under 15 lbs for a trip of any duration from 3 days to 3 months. For someone else it might be 25 lbs. But there is no one who packs 50 lbs. who can suggest they travel light.

In what is probably the most weight conscious kind of travel, wilderness backpacking, there is a saying. 'The ultimate backpacker is s/he who travels with the least weight and the most comfort.' When you have to carry everything including your bedroom, kitchen and pantry on your back, weight matters a great deal. As a result, those that do, focus on ounces, not pounds. At the same time, they do not want to give up their creature comforts any more than any other traveller does, so how do they do it?

It's simple. For each item they decide they need to take, they find the lowest weight example of that item possible. So for example, they do not pack a 2 lb. rainjacket, they pack a Marmot Mica that weighs only 9 ozs. If they decide they need to pack a t-shirt, they do not pack one that weighs 6 ozs. when they can pack one that weighs 4 ozs. If you want to take a camera, what is the lightest weight camera you can find that does what you want it to do? Simply starting out this way will always end up with you packing less weight without having to give up anything.

You may not decide to go to the extreme that some wilderness backpackers do of cutting off half your toothbrush handle and drilling holes in the remaining half to reduce weight to the absolute minimum but the principle will work for anyone. My guess is that even given how many pairs of shoes, shirts and kitchen sinks you felt it was necessary for you to take on your trip, simply applying this one rule of finding the lightest weight example of each item would quite easily have taken your weight from 50 lbs. to nearer 30 lbs.
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Old May 14, 18, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by harold View Post
Yeah because BA, United, American, Delta etc. would absolutely have given him the 1lb grace with a smile. Right.
I'll put Southwest's service above those guys any day.
Except they (UA, AA, DL, etc) offer a 70 pound bag limit - for even low-tier elites.

As a Silver Medallion flyer, you’ll enjoy a free checked bag over the standard allowance on most Delta-operated flights, saving $50 per round-trip domestic flight and up to $200 on flights to Europe. This free checked bag within the US can weigh up to 70 pounds, and the benefit extends to eight travel companions in the same reservation.
"Two bags free" is a winner.

But, as with most aspects of life, size matters.
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Old May 14, 18, 10:41 am
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Originally Posted by harold View Post
Yeah because BA, United, American, Delta etc. would absolutely have given him the 1lb grace with a smile. Right.
I'll put Southwest's service above those guys any day.
I've flown SWA two times! The second time was to confirm the first time really did disappoint me as much as I thought it did.
That said, if you fly often enough (sometimes once) something negative is going to happen. When it happens I'm much happier on one of the big boys.
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