Airport Scales Are Often Innacurate

Many airlines are charging travelers for having overweight bags, but a KNVX investigation found that 90% of the scales were malcalibrated. And when they accompanied an Arizona Department of Weights and Measures inspection of United Airlines scales, they found all but one to have errors.

Steve Meissner of the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures wrote us, “…baggage scales are often inaccurate. They take a 24-hour beating, with people heaving bags onto them, and jumping up, down and across them on a constant basis…we don’t believe the airlines are deliberately ripping people off. In fact they’re usually quick to make repairs when we show up. But we almost never fail to find scales that are out of tolerance when we visit the airport. The scales in the pickup area are usually the least accurate, probably because they get the most use.”

His best advice, “make sure it’s set at zero before you put anything on it. You’d be surprised how often that isn’t the case.”

Or, you could always pack lighter…

Airports-Baggage Policies:

US AIRWAYS: 51-70 lbs. $50, 71-100 lbs. $80
SOUTHWEST: 51-70 lbs. $25, 71-100 lbs. $50
UNITED: Over 50 lbs. $50
AMERICAN: 50-70 lbs. $25, 71-100 lbs. $50
DELTA: 50-70 lbs. $25, 71-100 lbs. $100

Tipping the Scales [KNVX]
(Photo: AmericanDigest)

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