Flyer’s ‘ingenious’ hack to avoid $120 fee
AN airline passenger has found a clever way to avoid a $119 baggage charge on a recent flight.
Natalie Wynn, 30, was stopped while boarding the Thomas Cook flight when a security officer weighed her 9.4kg case and told her it was too heavy to be taken into the cabin as the limit was 6kg, The Sun reported.
It would have cost her £65, or $A118.75, to check in the luggage.
So Ms Wynn said she piled on seven dresses, two pairs of shoes, two pairs of shorts, a skirt and a cardigan to avoid the fee.
The administrative officer claimed she was "boiling" as she boarded the Manchester flight to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands dressed in nearly half of the clothes she had packed.
The mum-of-five said other passengers laughed and even offered to pack some of her clothes in their cases when they saw how she was planning to avoid the extra fare.
Once on the plane, Ms Wynn asked a flight attendant if she was allowed to take the clothes off before returning them to her suitcase.
Even Thomas Cook themselves praised Ms Wynn's ingenuity and compared her ploy to the episode of Friends in which Joey wears Chandler's whole wardrobe.
"I was boiling, absolutely boiling. I still had plenty in my case, but I put near enough half of what I've put on," Ms Wynn, from Oldham in Greater Manchester, said.
"I put on four dresses, two pairs of shorts, I tied a dress around my neck, put a skirt on, I shoved two dresses down the dresses I had on and two pairs of shoes as well and a cardigan.
"It definitely worked. Normally, I check the weight of the baggage, but I did the online check-in for me and my friend, but we got to the counter and they just stopped me.
"It was nearly 4kg over, but they wanted to charge us £65 each just to get it on the plane.
"Because I had booked an all-inclusive holiday so was getting all my food and drink, I didn't plan on bringing much money with me."
She said the only had about £60, or $110, in her account.
"I didn't want to be using the little amount I had just so I could get my bag on the plane. I literally said, 'I'm not paying it', and started putting my clothes on," she said.
"There were people around us cheering us on because after I did it my friend decided she would do it too because her baggage was also overweight. We were definitely a sight walking onto the plane.
"A few people offered to put our clothes in their cases, but (Thomas Cook) got told they couldn't do that.
"The only person that didn't look happy about it was the woman at the security boarding desk. I was still allowed to get on the plane.
"I felt like I was going to pass out because it was so warm. As soon as I got on the plane, I took it all off and put it back in my case.
"That was funny as well because people were laughing because I'd just started taking off all my clothes in the middle of the plane."
Thomas Cook guidelines state adults are allowed to bring one piece of hand baggage weighing up to 6kg onto the flight free of charge.
Luckily, Ms Wynn didn't face the same on the way back.
"Saving £65 definitely put me in a good mood for the holiday. Everyone's reaction to it being done put me in a good mood as well," she said.
"I was worried I would get a negative reaction to it - people saying it was my own fault, but not one person said anything even at the airport. It set up a good start to the holiday anyway."
A Thomas Cook Airlines spokeswoman said: "Natalie's ingenuity here is noted!
"The good news for Natalie, and the rest of our customers, is that later this month we are increasing our hand baggage allowance to 8kg.
"This will hopefully help her travel a little less like Joey from Friends next time …"
While Ms Wynn has been praised for her ingenuity, other passengers haven't had the same success.
Last year, a passenger claimed he was kicked off his flight at the Iceland Airport after he was caught wearing eight pairs of trousers and 10 shirts.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission