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Grumpy Traveller: A Matter of Weight

Grumpy Traveller: A Matter of Weight

When archaic airline rules spoil your holiday

Sumeet Keswani
June 09 , 2017
01 Min Read

As magnificent as Europe trips are, they’re also notorious for mishaps. So when I boarded my Emirates return flight from Prague’s Václav Havel Airport in May, I thanked the gods for having had a glitch-free tour of four gorgeous cities. The Universe rubbed its hands in smug anticipation.

After a four-hour stopover in Dubai, as I boarded my connecting flight to Delhi, I was stopped by the Emirates crew and made to weigh my cabin luggage. Although the trolley was of the right size and within the limit of 10kg, my camera bag added another 2-3 kg and I was asked to pay an exorbitant fine. Now all this would be totally fine and by the book, except that the same airline’s ground staff had weighed my cabin bag at the Prague Airport and approved it. The camera bag didn’t count, I had been told then.

When I presented this argument to the gentleman manning the Dubai gate, he declared with an impolite finality, “This is Dubai. Not Prague.” But it is the same airline, isn’t it? How did their luggage policy change from one airport to another? And how could the same bag be allowed at the source airport and fined in transit, that too, by the same airline? It goes without saying that my check-in bag (which was 10kg under the limit) was automatically transferred between the two aircraft during transit, so I wasn’t even given the chance to shift any extra luggage.

The airline left me with but two choices—pay the fine of over 5,000 or leave valuable equipment like a laptop or a professional camera behind. Luckily, I wasn’t alone in my misery. Other passengers on the same flight encountered the same ludicrous fines, and hopefully lodged the formal complaint I did on landing.

I flew Emirates, I met Dubai. I wasn’t pleased.


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