Oversized Bag Leads To Big Headache

June 17, 2009

in Luggage Stories

This doesn’t really concern a flight so much as the shady service I was subjected to at Delta’s terminal in LaGuardia on my way to Disney World.

I was on my way to Florida with my fiancée, and it was 7 am. We were dropped off at the terminal and everything was going great until the two jerks at the curbside desk decided it would be funny to point out that my luggage was “oversized” (it was no larger than my fiancée’s), and would probably be subjected to an additional charge if I checked it inside, but I could check it in there if I wanted to.

Needless to say, I would rather have used the self check in like I always do, and really didn’t want to pay these guys any tips because they were irritating me for it being that early in the morning. We finally get inside and get everything taken care of. The woman weighing the baggage sets my suitcase on the scale; so far so good, under 50 lbs. She then proceeds to bust out a tape measure and check the dimensions like she’s quality control at the manufacturing plant for the luggage.

“Sir, your bag is oversized so I’m going to have to charge you an extra fee.”

I looked at her and shrugged my shoulders, “Okay, that’s fine.” I start to get money from my wallet, figuring that it would be the same amount as if it were oversized. It wasn’t.

“The total is $175.”

I completely flipped out and demanded to know why it was such an extravagant charge; that was more than my airline ticket had cost me! The woman tells me “Sir, your baggage exceeds our dimensions for an acceptable sized luggage. All fee explanations are on the back of the ticket.”

Calmly, I turned the ticket around and proved to her that nowhere on the ticket, or any of the paperwork I received, did it state I would be charged any such fee and proceeded to push my case with her until finally I was fed up to the point where I began to get more and more agitated, gave practically all the cash I had in my wallet, and we walked away. Like I said before, my luggage was no larger than my fiancée’s and she was not hassled in any such manner. For the remainder of my wait at the terminal, I noticed three TSA guards “discreetly” hanging around a few rows back from us. Apparently not wanting to be reamed by an airline makes you a danger on a plane now.

After all was said and done and I got a new, much smaller suitcase and filed a complaint on Delta’s website, when I went to use Disney’s airline check in service at the hotel, Delta’s computers flagged our tickets and said I had to wait until I got to Orlando airport to check in. They thought I was stupid enough to keep the same suitcase for the return flight and they wanted to charge me another $175!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous May 23, 2009 at 9:34 pm

If your luggage was the same size as your fianceé's, why didn't you point out to the oh-so-helpful agent that if hers was OK, yours couldn't possibly be oversized? (What *are* the dimensions of the suitcase in question, anyway?)


Anonymous May 24, 2009 at 6:10 am

I think if he were to point that out, he may run the risk of having to pay that money for her suitcase as well… it really could go either way


Julicans May 24, 2009 at 7:34 am

You were able to go to the Delta site to file a compliant, when you were there did you look at the size requirements for baggage? It's very plainly there-"Maximum 50 lbs (23 kg) and 62 linear inches (157 cm) (total length + width + height)". Was your bag over this size? If you answer yes then you have to pay the fee. Very simple. The size limit is the same for most airlines.

If the "jerks"(hey, they were just trying to warn you, forewarned is forarmed!) at curbside could tell right off the bat that yours was oversized then I would have to assume that your bag wasn't the same size as your girlfriends. Sounds to me that if you would have checked the bag with them they wouldn't have charged you. You were "irritated" b/c it was so early in the morning? Then don't book your flight so early. I bet those men were at their jobs before you even got up!

The tkt agent IS quality control for her aircraft, just as she has to inspect all baggage for haz mat and damage. There are rules that passengers have to go by and she is one that has to inforce the rules.


Nacho May 26, 2009 at 4:47 am

Oh geez, Julicans. Shut up.


Mike R. July 15, 2009 at 4:46 am

The bottom line for all this is NOT the size of the bag, NOR available dimension data on bags……Julicans is obviously in the market for a life and has the time to hunt.

The bottom line is the $175 assault on one's wallet.

If it was $10-20 there would be no issue.

The tiny insight that can be gained from this rip-off, I got pissed off just reading this, IS to avoid booking on BROKE ASSED carriers like Delta whose financial straits are so dire that they must resort to extorting hundreds of dollars from their passengers. It wouldn't surpise me I they had FA's turning tricks to bolster revenue.

If I see that a given airline is about to be- or is already in receivership, chapters 11 or 13, I stay the hell off of them. Un-happy financial picture… un-happy employees giving up benefits and pay to keep flying….shoe string maintainance…..repair deferrals…………….all contribute to creating MORE FLIGHTS FROM HELL.

I realize that my geographic location permits wide choice of carriers, for those living in Rural South Eastern – South Central US…… Delta's base….. its fly their feeders to their hubs or go Greyhound, sorry no alternative here.

But, if you have a choice of carrier, news on the financial condition, especially of big legacy carriers, like broke-ass Delta, is easy to access………..USE IT, STAY OFF FINANCIAL CRIPPLES and you'll avoid getting HELD-UP for all your pocket cash and HELD-UP at airport by busted planes.

Thus endth the lesson.



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