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The dumb things CUN check-in staff do...

The dumb things CUN check-in staff do...

Old Mar 9, 20, 10:26 am
  #1  
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The dumb things CUN check-in staff do...

Party of 4 on one PNR flying CUN-YYZ in economy last night. Our check-in baggage allowance was 4 x 23kg, but we were checking in only 3 bags. The check-in agent insists that one of the bags is 2 kg over, while the other 2 bags are significantly under. She then demands that we re-distribute the excess weight across all checked luggage, or she will have to charge us excess baggage rates.

I realize she was probably right given the "letter" of the rules, but... did nobody tell this aspiring beaurocrat not to do stupid sh...?

Otherwise the flight itself was great. On-time, uneventful, with friendly and efficient crew... just the way I like them.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 10:31 am
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Most airports in 3rd world...and even Athens, Greece check in agents clearly demanded bribes to let luggage pass through without fines. In Athens after I refused to bribes demand then the guy printed and gave me a huge bill to pay...I was on British Airlines heading to LHR UK.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by blue2002 View Post
Party of 4 on one PNR flying CUN-YYZ in economy last night. Our check-in baggage allowance was 4 x 23kg, but we were checking in only 3 bags. The check-in agent insists that one of the bags is 2 kg over, while the other 2 bags are significantly under. She then demands that we re-distribute the excess weight across all checked luggage, or she will have to charge us excess baggage rates.

I realize she was probably right given the "letter" of the rules, but... did nobody tell this aspiring beaurocrat not to do stupid sh...?

Otherwise the flight itself was great. On-time, uneventful, with friendly and efficient crew... just the way I like them.
it is not “stupid” to ensure the bag is within the maximum standard weight. If it is overweight it needs to be labelled as “heavy” and handled by the baggage handlers differently, not doing this could cause workers compensation issues in handling a bag heavier than expected and hurting someone’s back. “Heavy” bags are not necessarily put on the carousel but arrive at a separate point, depending on the airport, then leading to people complaining that their bag is “lost” when they can’t find it.

In the past WestJet used to allow overweight bags, but then caused issues of rejection of the bags with interline / codeshare partners and guests complaining when their bag was the same weight on the return journey and flagged as overweight, when it wasn’t on the outbound.

The rules are not there to be bureaucratic, but to resolve previous issues when employees didn’t ensure the bags were handled properly.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 10:55 am
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This is hardly confined to WS or CUN. It is fairly common practice worldwide. Either the 2kgs slides or it doesn't, but the allowance here was not 92 kg. It's the same even if you have a 2-bag allowance. You can't combine the two separate allowances and check a 46 kg. bag.

Easy solution if you are overweight is to split things up and check 4 bags and all will be well.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 12:24 pm
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As dumb as it may seem, Aerobod is 100% correct.

Airlines are all zero tolerance on bag weights these days — not because they’re mean or bureaucratic, but because of interline agreements and because of workplace safety protocols for baggage handlers. It’s not just at CUN today. It’s everywhere. It’s been a consistent shift over the past two years or so by all airlines.

They’re forced to draw the line — rather than make it up to the individual discretion of the check-in agent.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by aerobod View Post
it is not “stupid” to ensure the bag is within the maximum standard weight. If it is overweight it needs to be labelled as “heavy” and handled by the baggage handlers differently, not doing this could cause workers compensation issues in handling a bag heavier than expected and hurting someone’s back. “Heavy” bags are not necessarily put on the carousel but arrive at a separate point, depending on the airport, then leading to people complaining that their bag is “lost” when they can’t find it.

In the past WestJet used to allow overweight bags, but then caused issues of rejection of the bags with interline / codeshare partners and guests complaining when their bag was the same weight on the return journey and flagged as overweight, when it wasn’t on the outbound.

The rules are not there to be bureaucratic, but to resolve previous issues when employees didn’t ensure the bags were handled properly.
OK, I'll bite... What do you think is the additional per bag cost to have the single piece of luggage tagged HEAVY and processed accordingly?
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Old Mar 9, 20, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by blue2002 View Post
OK, I'll bite... What do you think is the additional per bag cost to have the single piece of luggage tagged HEAVY and processed accordingly?
As it is non-standard, the punitive $100 overweight/oversized bag charge is quite appropriate. It is all published here: https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/travel...s/service-fees
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Old Mar 9, 20, 3:41 pm
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Originally Posted by blue2002 View Post
Party of 4 on one PNR flying CUN-YYZ in economy last night. Our check-in baggage allowance was 4 x 23kg, but we were checking in only 3 bags. The check-in agent insists that one of the bags is 2 kg over, while the other 2 bags are significantly under. She then demands that we re-distribute the excess weight across all checked luggage, or she will have to charge us excess baggage rates.

I realize she was probably right given the "letter" of the rules, but... did nobody tell this aspiring beaurocrat not to do stupid sh...?

Otherwise the flight itself was great. On-time, uneventful, with friendly and efficient crew... just the way I like them.
This happens everywhere, all the time. Baggage handlers have expectations of weights, interlines have expectations.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 8:35 pm
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Originally Posted by aerobod View Post
it is not “stupid” to ensure the bag is within the maximum standard weight. If it is overweight it needs to be labelled as “heavy” and handled by the baggage handlers differently, not doing this could cause workers compensation issues in handling a bag heavier than expected and hurting someone’s back. “Heavy” bags are not necessarily put on the carousel but arrive at a separate point, depending on the airport, then leading to people complaining that their bag is “lost” when they can’t find it.

In the past WestJet used to allow overweight bags, but then caused issues of rejection of the bags with interline / codeshare partners and guests complaining when their bag was the same weight on the return journey and flagged as overweight, when it wasn’t on the outbound.

The rules are not there to be bureaucratic, but to resolve previous issues when employees didn’t ensure the bags were handled properly.
How confident are we that the scales at these airport counters are calibrated correctly to believe something that is 8% over in weight is correctly being charged for.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 8:39 pm
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Originally Posted by aerobod View Post
As it is non-standard, the punitive $100 overweight/oversized bag charge is quite appropriate. It is all published here: https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/travel...s/service-fees
If the customer is moving items around from bag to bag then there is no additional fuel burn. There is no additional volume in the cargo compartment. It is just the "special handling costs", if they tag for special handling. I have seen slightly overweight bags with overweight tags come off the regular conveyor from time to time. Someone is exercising some discretion.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Fiordland View Post
How confident are we that the scales at these airport counters are calibrated correctly to believe something that is 8% over in weight is correctly being charged for.
I’ve seen calibration stickers on many and have never had a scale be more than 0.5kg different than the reading on my electronic bathroom scale. Best to know the bag weight before arriving at the airport and ask for the weight on another scale if it disagrees with your own measured weight. I’d expect the chance of a scale reading high is just as much of the chance of it reading low. Best to take responsibility for understanding what your own bags weigh and how close they are to the airline limit.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 9:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Fiordland View Post
If the customer is moving items around from bag to bag then there is no additional fuel burn. There is no additional volume in the cargo compartment. It is just the "special handling costs", if they tag for special handling. I have seen slightly overweight bags with overweight tags come off the regular conveyor from time to time. Someone is exercising some discretion.
As stated before, there have been problems with bags not accepted by interline / codeshare partners due to agents not enforcing the overweight rules and there is a worker liability if they hurt themselves when picking up a bag that is heavier than expected, the reason why a “heavy” tag will alert them to handle it differently. Passengers just need to take responsibility for meeting the rules (i.e. know what each bag weighs before arriving at the import) or expect to pay if they are too lazy to do so. Travel scales are cheap and the electronic ones are fairly accurate when used properly.

I’m definitely an advocate for everyone being treated consistently and to the rules stated in the tariff. If I had my way, the carry on bag rules would be properly enforced, the best way I have seen this done is the Ryanair “box” in this (rather poor quality) photo, if it doesn’t fit over your carry-on, the credit card machine and checked bag tags come out:



WestJet used to be sloppy in process consistency until about 2013, causing many on-time and baggage transfer issues. Although I haven’t worked there and reviewed the data since 2018, the publicly available data I look at shows that their processes are a lot better now, a lot due to consistency, compared with the very inefficient process anomalies that “nice” agents used to create all the time. Delta is also another airline that has become a lot more consistent with their processes (I spent a week in their Hartsfield Ops Centre about 5 years ago when they were in the middle of their process Improvement drive).
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Old Mar 9, 20, 9:57 pm
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One thing to bear in mind if your bag is overweight, many WestJet airport bag drops now use automated self-serve systems. These bag drops will not accept the bag if it is overweight, I’ve seen a few people feverishly re-packing on the floor to get the bag to the allowable weight, best to be prepared before arriving at the airport.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 11:25 pm
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I this case, it isn't about fuel, it is about workplace injuries. This is pretty standard.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 8:22 am
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Originally Posted by blue2002 View Post
Party of 4 on one PNR flying CUN-YYZ in economy last night. Our check-in baggage allowance was 4 x 23kg, but we were checking in only 3 bags. The check-in agent insists that one of the bags is 2 kg over, while the other 2 bags are significantly under. She then demands that we re-distribute the excess weight across all checked luggage, or she will have to charge us excess baggage rates.

I realize she was probably right given the "letter" of the rules, but... did nobody tell this aspiring beaurocrat not to do stupid sh...?

Otherwise the flight itself was great. On-time, uneventful, with friendly and efficient crew... just the way I like them.

Rule of thumb, always check your heaviest bag first..........
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