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United Passenger Extorted For Bribe At Newark Airport Check-In Counter


Most checked bags in the U.S. are limited to 50 pounds. Anything heavier than that and you’ll pay extra. First and business class passengers, and those with elite status, may be allowed 70 pounds. When you approach the check-in counter, they’ll weigh your bags, and if your luggage is overweight you’ll be assessed an extra fee.

One United passenger reports being extorted for a bribe at Newark airport terminal C when checking a bag for their flight home.

They self-tagged their luggage and went United’s bag drop to have it weighed. The scale “read 47lb then the number started slowly climbing until it went up to 50.5lb.” That didn’t make any sense since the bag was within allowable weight on the outbound portion of their trip.

That’s when things got weird:

The employee says, “ah, don’t worry. I don’t see anything” and gives me a high five. In my naivety I thought, wow that’s so kind. Then he says, “but you can leave my tip right there” pointing to an inconspicuous spot on the counter. I asked if he was for real, he said yes so I left him $5.

I thought something was off but it wasn’t until I walked away that I realized I just got scammed. I couldn’t see his feet so I don’t know for sure but as soon as I got home I weighed my bag and it was 43.7 lb. Also when he took the bag off the scale it read -0.5lb but I’m not sure if that means anything?

Airline check-in agents soliciting bribes to ignore overweight bags isn’t, itself, unheard of. What’s different here is the agent making the bag overweight in order to solicit the bribe.


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