Weights and Measures penalizes airlines for inaccurate scales - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Weights and Measures penalizes airlines for inaccurate scales

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related Stories

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 8:45 am

With small errors adding up to big dollars for travelers, the state Department of Weights and Measures has penalized several airlines for inaccurate luggage scales.

Shawn Marquez, the agency’s compliance director, said his inspectors found problems with devices being used at both Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix and Tucson International Airport. He also found situations where airlines did not post their policies on how much customers would pay if their bags were considered overweight.

Marquez said his agency finds the problems particularly disturbing because of the money involved.

He said a customer whose pound of cheese or bologna at a deli counter is actually a bit short might be out a few cents.

“If something is one pound over, they’re not going to charge you $50 or $100,” he said.

But Marquez said the situation is quite different at the airport, where each airline has policies where overweight bags result in surcharges.

“So if it’s just a little bit off in their favor, it’s going to cost the customer,” he said.

What’s worse, Marquez said, is that inspectors found problems right at the “break point,” the spot where an airline imposes a surcharge.

“If they were going to charge you (at) 50 pounds or more, at 50 pounds they were off,” he said. Ditto for those airlines where 70 pounds became the point for higher fees.

“If you’re going to be charging somebody that much money just for being slightly off, your scales should be right,” he said.

He said the problems came in all types.

In some cases, Marquez said, the scale did not reset to zero.

“So, right off the bat, if there’s a number showing on there without any weight on there, you’re automatically going to be overcharged,” he said. In other cases, scales would become “stuck” at certain numbers.

Marquez said travelers need to protect themselves so they don’t become one of those folks you see at the airport, yanking items out of a suitcase in hopes of getting the bag under the surcharge limit.

The first step, he said, is making use of the bathroom scale. While they’re not perfect, they should provide a pretty good idea whether a bag is anywhere close to the limit.

And if the airline’s scale shows that bag is overweight, travelers should ask that the item be put on another scale to see if there’s a difference.

“They have, 18, 20 of them,” Marquez said of the airlines. “And if you get a better reading there, they’ll go with it.”

Inaccurate scales are not the only problem state inspectors found.

Marquez said state law requires the weight of the item be visible to the customer.

“Imagine getting gas and you don’t know how much,” he said. “You’re just squeezing the handle, but you can’t see it.”

And he said if an airline imposes a surcharge for an overweight bag, the policy — including the weight break point and the fee — must be posted.

“You have to know what it is you’re going to be charged,” Marquez said.

“It has to be clearly visible,” he continued. “You can’t stick it on a little disclaimer ... on the bottom of something you’re never going to know.”

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

A New Scientific Study Bolsters the Argument for Grand Canyon National Heritage Monument

Miriam Wasser A A With less than two months until President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office, those pressuring President Barack Obama t…

Published: December 5, 2016 - 4:06 pm @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/a-new-scientif…

Arizona Rep. Gallego takes up fight for civilian control of military: 'I cannot support a waiver'

Campaign Action Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego on Monday joined Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in opposing Donald Trump's Secretary of Defense nominee, f…

Published: December 5, 2016 - 4:06 pm @ http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/12/5/1607565/-A…

Sam Fox's Culinary Dropout at The Yard coming to downtown Gilbert in 2018

GILBERT, AZ - Valley restaurateur Sam Fox is bringing Culinary Dropout at The Yard to downtown Gilbert. Fox said in a media release last week …

Published: December 5, 2016 - 4:00 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/entertainment/events/sam-foxs…

China Lodges Diplomatic Protest After Trump's Call With Taiwan's President

China has lodged "solemn representations" with the United States over a phone conversation Friday between President-elect Donald Trump and the…

Published: December 5, 2016 - 4:01 pm @ http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-speaks-taiwan…

Margaret Whitton, 'Major League' Movie Actress, Dies at 67

Margaret Whitton, the actress perhaps best known for portraying Rachel Phelps, the Las Vegas showgirl turned owner of the Cleveland Indians, i…

Published: December 5, 2016 - 3:38 pm @ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/margaret-whi…

80 nonprofits may close due to prop 206

PEORIA, Ariz. - The Blythe Center has been open for more than three decades, catering to those who are disabled with a day center and in-home …

Published: December 5, 2016 - 3:37 pm @ http://www.12news.com/news/local/valley/80-nonprof…

Factbox: Contenders, picks for key jobs in Trump's administration

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Monday he would nominate retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a presidential rival-turned-supporter to s…

Published: December 5, 2016 - 3:36 pm @ http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-staff-…

Van Williams, TV's Green Hornet, Dies at 82

Van Williams, who portrayed the masked crime-fighter The Green Hornet in a memorable but short-lived companion TV series to Batman in the 1960…

Published: December 5, 2016 - 2:58 pm @ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/van-williams…

NCAA tournament postpones Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's criminal contempt trial

PHOENIX - Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s trial is being rescheduled once again – but this time because of the NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball tournamen…

Published: December 5, 2016 - 2:59 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

What It’s Like to Be an Immigration Attorney in the Final Weeks Before the Trump Presidency

Donald Trump’s formal ascension to the presidency is still weeks away, but for non-Americans living in America, fears of what he will do once …

Published: December 5, 2016 - 2:33 pm @ http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/1…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…