Going Over

You’re flying somewhere, and the airline has a weight limit for your baggage. It’s always a gamble, do you pack within the limit, or do you take a risk and pack a few kilos more and hope you get away with it at the check in counter.

This happens to all of us I’m sure, and when you’ve been away for a long time, it’s difficult to pack within the weight limit (for most people anyway). There’s books, which are really heavy, shoes, clothes, gifts, maybe food and sometimes toiletries too.

I was travelling back from China, and before I left, I knew that if I packed all my books, I would have no room left for anything else. So I sent my books separately through the post office. The rates were much cheaper than buying excess baggage through the airline (270rmb/kilo with Qatar airlines and through China Post 130rmb for the first kilo and 50rmb/kilo afterwards). I packed all my books up, approximately 12 kilos, not including the box and took them to the post office.

They wrapped it up very well, even putting big thick staples into the box and weighed it, 12.05kg. But when the postman charged me, he charged it as 1kg + 12kg + tax + box fee. I told him he was wrong, because 1 + 12 = 13, my package is just 12kg. He said no, your package is over 12kg, making it 13. I asked if he was serious…it was over by 50grams, did they not learn rounding in school? He said that if it passed 12kg, it had to be classed as 13kg, no matter if it was 12.01 or 12.99.

50rmb is not a lot of money, about £5, but the principal made me so angry, I ordered him to reopen the package so I could remove the smallest notebook to make it under 12kg. He wasn’t very happy with me (he had been sleeping before) but I refused to pay the extra money for going over by just 50g.

I knew when flying home, my bags would be over thr 30kg weight limit I had, but before I left, I decided which things could be thrown away if I was made to at the airport and put them near the top of my bags (plan B for if crying didn’t work). When I got there, the assistant seemed to be in a daze, and didn’t pay any attention to the extra kilos I was packing, which was a relief.

She also didn’t make me weigh my cabin bags, which were probably double what they should have been. But if I’m honest, almost everyone had a small wheely cabin bag and an extra handbag or rucksack, despite the rules being one piece of 7kg + one duty free shopping bag. I guess flying on a big international airline you get a few more priviledges and leeway thatn you do with buget airlines like Ryanair!


9 thoughts on “Going Over

  1. Great post! I often have the same debate with packing – do I take everything I really want (and most of the time need) to take and be slightly over the weight limit, or do I sacrifice something and hope that I can do without it. So far, I’ve been lucky and haven’t gotten charged for a few extra pounds. Thankfully.

  2. Well, I’m actually the one who always has the smallest bag, hehe. I never went over my limit, I even use to have some spare space to bring back possible souvenirs or whatever I’ll be buying. It’s really not hard to learn to travel light. Almost every time I flew with Wizzair or Ryanair there was at least one person that was caught with overweight luggage and asked to pay huge fees (no, crying never worked). Plus, Wizz checks the cabin luggage each time lately (at least on the routes I traveled recently). There’s always the possibility to wear all your clothes, but better try to fit everything in the limits you can afford 🙂 Also, good idea with sending everything via post!

  3. I’m moving to Canada soon and I’m hoping to get away with on check in bag and one carry one. I’ve sorted through everything I’m taking with me but it still seems like a lot. I’ve sorted the books I’m leaving behind into boxes for my parents to mind. I’ve left out some travel books I want to take with me but I might get my parents to post them over instead once I settle 🙂

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