10 Unusual Ways to Avoid Bag Fees

We spotted this in the Melbourne (Australia) Herald Sun, thought it was fun and hope you do, too.

LISTEN: So how does travel expert Rick Seaney do it?

Backstory: According to the article, employees of low cost carrier Norwegian Air compiled a list of imaginative passenger excuses to avoid baggage fees or overweight bag fees. What we don’t know is if any of these excuses actually worked so we took it upon ourselves to suggest likely outcomes (but no guarantees).

10 Unusual Ways to Avoid Bag Fees

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  1. Wore three pairs of trousers, with a pair of shoes stuffed in the jacket pockets. Likely outcome: If you don’t mind looking like a sausage, this could definitely work!
  2. Decided to give up their bag and asked for it to be donated to charity. Likely outcome: We think most airlines would say dump the bag yourself or pay the fee.
  3. Carried a beloved pet’s ashes in their handbag and wanted leniency. Likely outcome: They will probably check to see if that’s really Sparky in there; if not, and you’re over the weight limit, get out the credit card.
  4. Tried to bribe gate staff with newly bought chocolates from duty free. Likely outcome: We’ve heard anecdotal evidence that this has worked in the past, but would it still work today? We doubt it!
  5. Refused to comply by repeating “Me no speak any English”. Likely outcome: Are you serious? This won’t work.
  6. Two pairs of jeans were doubled up and worn as a “double denim” scarf. Likely outcome: It just might work. If you’ve tried this, we’d love a photo.
  7. Claimed their bag contains fragile antique pottery. Likely outcome: Nice try but the airlines really don’t care what you have as long as it fits within regulation size and weight. Also, if you do travel with an antique, you should know that most airlines do not cover losses for anything considered a ‘valuable’.
  8. Wore two layers of suits. Likely outcome: As long as you can still squeeze into your seat, this will probably work.
  9. Insisted their credit card is maxed out with no money left to pay. Likely outcome: Uh, no. The airline will remind you that it is not a charitable institution.
  10. Wore two winter coats and tied three jumpers [sweaters] around their waist. Likely outcome: This could work but the real question is you really need two coats?

You think your excuse is even more unusual? We’d love to hear it!


Updated: January 5, 2016