The hand luggage argument – police called

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  MartynSinclair 26 Oct 2014
at 14:43

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)

  • Anonymous


    Came through Munich Sunday afternoon connecting on a flight to Ankara Turkey, with Lufthansa.

    Probably 50% of the people waiting to board were of Turkish extraction judging by their clothes and appearance it was noticeable their view of what constituted ‘cabin bags’ was very much at odds with a) the rest of us and perhaps more importantly b) Lufthansa.

    The situation was clearly one that was well recognised by LH staff as all those with excessive baggage were placed in one line while those of us with the ‘approved’ amount were placed in another, regretfully this did give the appearance somewhat of a racist approach to boarding.

    At this point as one person after another moved forward with in some instances four or five large cases and was told they would have to decide what went in the hold the arguments and shouting began. LH staff clearly having experienced this many times quickly contacted the police who threatened the first three shouters with arrest and calm was restored.
    Congratulations to LH for having the guts to stick with their policies and to the check in staff for being trained to deal with the situation


    If one queue had people with rule compliant hand baggage, verifiable by counting the number of pieces and using a gauge and one queue had people with rule non-compliant hand luggage, verifiable by counting the number of pieces and using a gauge, then it eludes me as to how this could be interpreted as a racist approach, since there is a clear difference arising from the application of a universal rule and the people self selected the queue by their choices to either comply or not.


    ‘KarlMarx’ you are of course right however that’s not how it would have appeared to somebody walking past. One line was clearly people of Turkish background, the second was of European peoples.

    It spoke of a cultural difference but that was probably amplified by the German habit of closely following rules and regulations meaning German passengers were all fully compliant while few of the Turkish customers were. Having flown on both Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines I can understand the problem as both airlines routinely fail to enforce baggage regulations so their customers would have been very surprised by the firm line taken by Lufthansa.

    Upon landing in Ankara we also had another example of the cultural divide between the two cultures where many Turkish people stood up just after landing and began to open the overhead bins resulting in some very harsh words from the crew which simply bemused the individuals.


    Regardless of Anyones Nationality of background, I really do wish Airlines would strictly apply these hand baggage weights and dimensions. KLM are off and on, and i get fed up of a Businessman travelling economy trying to put his huge oversized and weighted bags pushing other peoples modest bag and jacket, jamming it in.

    Now so many Businessmen travel economy it does not give them the right to go forward and use the Business lockers, or push everyone elses around either.

    But look at the boxes of food, clothes, electronics, etc in Asia for domestic flights, it amazes me how much people can get away with!

    in Australia, the Airlines do this very strictly at check in, then through security you are also checked.


    ‘MarcusGB’ fully agree. I had somebody come up into Business on a trip to Dubai earlier this year and remove my laptop bag so he could stuff his oversize suit carrier into the bin above my seat – a full and frank exchange of words ensued resulting in him being sent back to his seat (with said bag) by a determined Emirates stewardess. I understood from her this is now a much more common situation than it once was with crew having briefed on the problem.


    What a timely topic, was considering posting on the older thread, but this is far more appropriate.

    My pal has just returned from 2 weeks holiday in Spain. He stays at his sisters villa so doesn’t require to check luggage. He flew O/B on Ryanair to Alicante. Ryanair have recently relaxed their 1 cabin bag only rule, to allow for Duty Free, ladies handbags etc. . . Now when did they have that strict rule, the on-board chaos could be described as mild disorder. Seemingly the Flyingscare faithful have now embraced the relaxed rule with such vigour that boarding has now taken on an air of anarchy as first boarders selfishly fill the lockers with the vigour of a swill hog wallowing in …………..

    Now back to my pal, and his tale of woe….Sticking rigidly to the “OLD” rules him and his wife walk across the EDI apron to board. A rather over officious gentleman approaches and says that he has been selected to take advantage of the “Free hold service” . My pal retorts, “I don’t want to take advantage of the FREE hold service as I’ve got a tight connection to make in Alicante ( Rural bus service) …… Over officious gentleman becomes menacingly meddlesome and proceeds to enquire about his “Connection” …. My pal now irritated says it’s none of his business and continues to walk across the apron. With Gestapo like Gusto Mr Officious stops him and threatens him with non travel if he doesn’t comply with his request to “Take advantage of the Free hold service” ……..

    +1 about the issues with hand luggage, sorry cabin baggage on TK. Last time I flew a couple of woman walked on and I swear they wouldn’t have looked out of place if they had led a poor donkey on board behind them. Cabin crew didn’t blink an eye.


    Just love petty officials with delusions of power the world over. I always enjoy calling their bluff to see their world of minor officialdom collapse.

    Recent examples have been:

    i) Some fool in New York telling me I can’t take a photo of my daughter at JFK “What do you mean, Homeland Security ?”
    ii) A security goon at Brussels wanting to know for what condition I was carrying some medication. “None of your business sunshine”
    iii) A customs officer at Heathrow telling me my Belgium ID card was not sufficient for travel to the UK and that in future I should carry my passport. “Since when and show me the rule
    iv) Eurotunnel private security trying to tell me that eight cases of champagne in my car was “excessive”.
    v) The look on the face of the junior bag checker at Farnborough Air Show when my business partner revealed he had a model of an air defence missile system in his bag.


    @ Charles-P – 19/08/2014 08:24 GMT

    The common theme appears to be officials attempting to exercise powers that they either don’t have or don’t understand the limits thereof.

    But in terms of “stretching the definition” of permissible baggage, I recall (with some amusement) the family that pitched up with a car engine on a pallet many years ago at LGW when I was doing my Summer holiday stint at British Airtours. As it comfortably exceeded the then 20kg personal allowance and permitted dimensions, they were politely reminded of the checked baggage limits and pointed in the direction of BA Cargo.


    ‘AnthonyDunn’ yes fully agree. One of my staff calls this the “1% excitement time”. An individual who spends 99% of his time doing nothing in real terms so when he or she does have the opportunity to ‘flex the muscles’ all common sense goes out of the window.

    Your Airtour story reminded me of an ex girlfriend who used to talk about the hated BA Jamaica flight check in as it was common to encounter on each flight elderly people retiring back to the West Indies after a working life in the UK. They were always wanting to take some ridiculous package as hand luggage.
    She talked about things as diverse as car batteries, a gearbox for a Land Rover, lorry tyres, a mattress and even a medical skeleton !


    If only the airlines encouraged more people to check bags in rather than cram as much as possible into hand luggage, them these situations would not arise.

    For a period I was checking everything in…. until on my way to Milan my luggage and I became parted..

    I am sure if pax had 100% confidence that not only bags WOULD arrive and waiting times for the bags to appear would be minimal plus airline/passenger education, then this problem would be solved.


    @ Charles-P – 19/08/2014 15:04 GMT

    The “1% excitement time”…. Yes, I have had recent first-hand experience of this that left me shaking my head.

    Going through outbound security a fortnight ago at SYD en route to HKG and I was swabbed for explosive residues. There was clearly a negative result but the security official then turned to me and said that I would now have to follow him for a full body cavity strip search. When, with a look of horror on my face, I queried this, he said that “there is no argument with the needs of security…” At that point, I protested loudly that he had no basis for such a search – at which point he smiled and said “the women normally enjoy the prospect. You can go….” I was so stunned and appalled that I said and did nothing about it at the time but I have since thought that I should have made a formal complaint there and then to his supervisor.

    This made the utterly blatant racial profiling of me and my similarly white European/non-Han Chinese travel companion by security at PEK seem entirely inoffensive. Hundreds of Chinese and we were the only two pulled out for explosives swab tests.


    I enjoyed the reply of a man who was told that “security is paramount here” by some TSA mouth breather.

    “Is it, well in that case ground every aircraft that will prevent any accidents or terrorism won’t it.”


    Anthony, I’d lodge a formal complaint, and perhaps put one in to the government department that regulates this as well.


    Flew down to Cape Town from Johannesburg with SAA a couple of days ago. Full flight as most of them are on this route.

    As the cabin door the airline stationed a member of ground staff with a supply of baggage tags. I only had a laptop bag but the three people in front of me were all stopped and the discussion went like this.

    Airline: “Excuse me sir are you travelling in economy today”

    Pax: “Yes”

    Airline: “I’m sorry sir but in economy your baggage allowance is one piece of cabin baggage so I must ask you to place the other piece in the hold”

    Pax: “I’m not happy with that – I always take these bags/I know the Minister of XYZ/my sister’s auntie once met Jacob Zuma/[insert other excuse]

    Airline: “I’m sorry sir but if your bag is not placed in the hold you will not be travelling with us today”.

    At that point said bags were tagged and shifted to the hold. Guess what – inside the cabin there was plenty of room for all passengers’ hand baggage in the overhead lockers without stuff getting mangled by some clown with a heavy bag.

    Why don’t other airlines do this?

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