An Australian writer was discovered to have faked her pregnancy in order to save on excess baggage costs. In a bid to dupe Jetstar staff, the lady in question nearly saved herself a whopping AUD60. Simple Flying takes a look at this most unusual pre-flight scene as it played out.
An Australian woman was preparing to depart on her Jetstar flight from Sydney when she discovered that she may be overweight on her baggage allowance. Rebecca Andrews, a travel writer, hatched the plan to fake a pregnancy in order to maximize her carry-on luggage and reduce her checked luggage weight.
Preparing for the scam in her hotel room the day before the flight, it was clear to Rebecca that any weight excess would not go unnoticed by the Jetstar staff at the airport. She writes on travel site Escape, that the airline’s staff may “hang around with scales at the boarding gate, so you can’t sneak things into your luggage at the last minute because they’ll definitely re-weigh your bags.” Desperate to avoid extra costs, she decided to come up with an elaborate plan.
Rebecca Andrews proceeded to set herself up as a five-month pregnant mother-to-be in a bid to save on an extra 3kg of baggage weight. By her own admission, she prepared in one of the baby-changing cubicles in the restroom after passing through security.
She dressed up in stretchy clothing and wrapped heavy electronics items in satin, pushing these down her front and shaping them into a belly. She then stuck her laptop down her back. The only problem was that she arrived for boarding last, and she had all eyes on her.
Rebecca was caught out in the process of boarding by vigilant staff. After checking through baggage without any excess luggage weight costs incurred, she dropped her ticket whilst walking to board. As the staff noticed her bending down, they found that a strange shape was visible through the clothing on her back. Her laptop had slid down as she bent, revealing its outline to Jetstar staff looking on.
When confronted on whether she had a “back-pack” under her shirt, Rebecca stumbled in making an excuse and decided to claim that she was just triple-layering to avoid excess costs. The unsympathetic Jetstar staff proceeded to charge the extra AUD60 for the added weight, and the passenger had no choice but to pay the fee before boarding.
She has no regrets about her attempt, in fact, she says she would try it again but ensure that she was not “the last person to board”. If anything, her failed attempt may just close that avenue for future Jetstar passengers.
For many booking their flight tickets online, affordability and convenience is a thorough consideration to be made. This is especially true with low-cost carriers, where passengers are looking for the cheapest fare possible. It becomes an issue then when further little add-ons change the final price of the tickets. Advanced seat booking may cost a little extra, as will in-flight refreshments and snacks.
One of the more frustrating added costs is the sometimes over-priced baggage charges. Airlines often compensate for lower ticket prices by adding on a premium to extra weight, even for as low as 1kg. What tactics have you used before, to make the correct weight?