Isn’t it wonderful?  Just when you think you’ve heard it all – along comes a revelation like this.I’ve been under the impression that the airlines were trying to conserve fuel (for the sake of the environment) so they wanted us to reduce the amount of luggage we carry on planes….what an idiot!  Therefore they deter us by charging us extra.  Of course it probably helps them if they know how much weight in baggage they are carrying for the sake of balance, distribution etc in advance…..But now it seems the whole idea might just have been to make extra money anyway!  I have to choose between carrying my few bits and pieces that would make my life easier in Egypt and paying extra for it by putting it in checked-in luggage or going without………in the meantime the airlines are replacing my “not checked-in luggage” with bags of sand!  Read on…..

Fewer checked bags means more sandbags in the cargo hold  Full article here
Next time the pilot makes an announcement that you’re being delayed at the gate while a few extra bags are loaded below, consider what might be being hoisted into the cargo holds instead. Adding sandbags to correct weight and balance in an airplane by providing ballast and redistributing weight has long been a common practice in the airline industry. But ever since the new checked bag fees were introduced on many airlines, with fewer passengers checking bags as a result, there’s been an upturn in the need to add ballast before takeoff, particularly on smaller commuter flights that are more sensitive to weight issues.

“The weight balance of the aircraft is set up to where they’re usually expecting a certain amount of bags to balance out the plane,” explains the captain for a major U.S. airline. “So if we have 50 passengers on board, we expect 50 bags and that offsets the weight of the passengers and balances out the aircraft to give it the right center of gravity for take off.

“But what happens now, with charging so much for bags, is that people carry on so there’s a weight balance problem. Because of that we end up carrying sometimes 500 or 600 pounds of sand bags to even us out.”

What do you think of that?

Mara