Qantas says bye to shonky scales

Qantas will remove all analogue scales from airports after its shonky weighing system was exposed by NewsCorp journalists.

Independent testing revealed that the scales being used by Qantas inflate the weight of hand luggage by as much as 30 per cent.

Paul Riachi – CEO of Indi Imports and Rio Sound and Vision – returning with his family from the USA, weighed his bags before boarding his aircraft. They came in at 32kg.

When connecting to a domestic flight at Sydney airport, Qantas again weighed his luggage and Mr Riachi was told it was overweight at 38.3kg.

When he told staff nothing had been added to the bag between the USA and Sydney, he claimed Qantas staff  threatened him and said they’d call security when he objected to having to reduce the weight of the bags.

“Staff were aggressive, intimidating and demanding” said Mr Riachi.

He’s not the only one complaining about questionable scales. Many Qantas customers complained to News Corp that their scales were over-estimating carry-on bag weights, with several reporting that they’d weighed their bags at home, ensuring they were under the limit, yet were charged excess fees at the airport. Qantas charges $90 for overweight bags.

This set journos in to motion, testing Qantas scales with a bag known to weigh exactly 7kg. When weighed at the airport, the bag came in at 9kg on one scale and 7.7kg on another.

Jetstar scales could also be dodgy, says ChannelNews staff, who weighed a carry-on bag in their offices only to be told the same bag was over 8kg at the airport.

Some experts claim the discrepancy occurred because bathroom scales don’t accurately measure small amounts.

To get an accurate weight on bathroom scales, experts say you should first measure your own weight then get off and get back on while holding your carry-on, then subtract the second result from the first.

Since the furore, a Qantas spokesman said it was “gradually replacing analogue scales with digital scales at our major ports”.

Have you ever weighed your bag at home to ensure it was underweight, only to weigh it again at the airport and find out it was ‘over weight’? Do you think you have ever been unfairly charged excess baggage fees?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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