Watch out for overweight baggage fees -- Sea-Tac's scales are accurate

Watch out for overweight baggage fees -- Sea-Tac's scales are accurate

Overweight bags can result in added fees for passengers.

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by KING5.com

KING5.com

Posted on December 14, 2011 at 9:44 AM

SEATTLE -- Sorry travelers, arguing with your airline that the luggage scales at Sea-Tac are inaccurate won't get you anywhere.

With most airlines continuing to charge passengers for checked bags, some fliers may try to overstuff a single bag in hopes of minimizing fees. The danger, of course, is that a bag will wind up over the airline's limit, which results in even higher fees.

But the Washington agency in charge of inspecting scales gave Sea-Tac high marks. Just eight of the airport's 120 baggage scales were found to be functioning improperly, and four of them were actually displaying weights that favored passengers. The other four were weighing accurately but not displaying weights clearly to passengers, which violates state regulation.

Inspectors from the state Dept. of Agriculture's Weights and Measures Program evaluated 179 airport scales across the state and found only one -- at Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco -- that was favoring the airline over passengers.

"With overweight baggage fees ranging from $39 to $400, it’s important to travelers to be assured that the scales are accurate,” said Jerry Buendel, manager of the Weights and Measures Program. “Travelers should be aware of their airline’s rules and fees on baggage before they come to the airport.”

Passengers with heavy bags should weigh them at hom, Buendel said, to avoid a shock when checking in for their flights.

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