If you are a frequent flyer like me—and you mostly take African or Asian routes, I am sure you would have once been greeted by the way some Africans and Asians hijack the Airport check-in desks with their overweight luggage.
The airline luggage rules are pretty simple and for most airlines, the same rules apply—which is, two bags with maximum weight of 23 kg each for economy travellers.
Though passengers are made aware of the rules, people in queues are frequently put on hold by some African and Asian travellers because their bags weigh up more than the allowance—and mostly, they are not ready to pay for the excess so they end up begging the check-in desk staff. And this can go on for about 10 minutes, while holding every other person in the queue hostage.
During a recent trip, I nearly got out of my queue to land a big punch on the face of a Ghanaian woman whose bag weighed 33 kg instead of 23 kg—and for almost 15 minutes, she kept begging the airline check-in staff who had made it clear to her more than 10 times that she cannot help her in anyway, except to pay for the excess.
This woman was not ready to bring out her wallet and she was not ready to reduce her weight too—yet, she was ready to inconvenience all of us.
I’ve seen check-in desk staff letting certain bags go through when they are a little over the allowance. So if a bag allowance is 23kg and yours weighs 24kg or 24.3kg, they may overlook the little variation but to expect to get away with 33kg when you are allowed 23kg is just preposterous.
This may sound a little upsetting but it is the truth. When you travel with whites or have them in your queue, it’s so simply—and every one of them stays within their given allowance. Those who have excess would already know of this and would have paid for it online before even getting to the airport. I have never in my life seen any white person begging an airline staff member to allow his or her over weight bags through—but Africans and Asians do it all the time.
And mostly, the overweight African and Asian bags are full of ‘useless stuffs’ such as old cooking utensils, bottles of water, old shoes and clothes—and sometimes, sardines, soaps and cheap perfumes. Why don’t we ship these stuffs if we really need to send them across the ocean to make more rubbish in our countries?
Closely related to the above, have you ever looked at the various Airport Repack Areas? Those places are always packed with Africans and Asians, repacking their bags to remove and add stuff—all because their bags are overweight.
Interestingly, most of us have ‘scales’ at our homes and yet, we still over-pack our bags, hoping to beg our way through—with no intention to pay for the excess.
We seem to struggle with everything in life, including staying within simple rules—and wanting to beg for everything, instead of doing what is right or paying for what we want.
It’s really annoying and remember I’ve not even touched on the hand luggage of Africans and Asians which are sometimes bigger than their main luggage. How they expect to fit that big bag they call a hand luggage in that measure box is just a mystery. And when they are caught, they start begging—and squeezing without success to fit their hang luggage to fit the defined measure box.
If the whites are able to get this basic travel rules right, why can’t we? You know what, the next time you are travelling, just throw your eyes to the Repack Area and count the number of whites you will see there…