Airport luggage scales put to the test - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Airport luggage scales put to the test

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

CBS 5 News is making sure you know which airlines are keeping things honest when it comes to weighing your luggage.

Airlines are already charging you for your luggage. The fees go up when your bags weigh too much, so you want to make sure that scale is accurate. The Arizona Department of Weights and Measures recently put the airlines' scales to test. 196 scales were audited Between Oct. 28 - Nov. 1, 2013 at both Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Tucson International Airport. Here's how they fared:

  • Overall, the results were a subpar 71 percent overall compliance.
  • Fifty seven individual scale violations were found at 22 airline ticket counters and curbside check-in locations

Violations included:

  • Inaccurate scales
  • Devices not starting on zero
  • improper installation
  • digital displays inoperable
  • missing tamper proof seals
  • general maintenance issues

Scale infractions found to be detrimental to the consumer were immediately locked down and civil penalties assessed accordingly. "Our inspections are conducted to protect consumers from unwarranted overcharges" said Kevin Tyne" the Director of the Department of Weights and Measures. "Inspecting before the busy holiday season actually begins, affords the airline industry the ability to mitigate any scale issues early, and provides industry with useful data concerning their in-house maintenance programs" added Tyne.

State inspectors also made sure customers were fully aware of each airlines policy in charging for overweight luggage. It is required by state law that and charge for service be clearly displayed. Of the 22 airlines reviewed, two were issued "notices to comply" directives that require proper signage to be displayed to their customers.

Consumers who have a complaint can call the Department of Weights and Measures at (602) 771-4920 or file a complaint online

Sky Harbor International Airport Inspection Results

  • Alaska Airlines - Notice to comply issued, no overweight luggage charges posted, directive to repair scale weight identification on all scales.
  • American Airlines - 1 scale failed - would not start on zero; scale was showing a weight with nothing on the scale, 1 scale missing serial numbers. Overweight luggage charges posted.
  • Delta Airlines - 1 scale failed - would not return to zero, 1 scale failed- customer weight display inoperable, customer unable to see the weight indication. Overweight luggage charges posted.
  • United Airlines - 2 scales failed- weight inaccurate (favorable to the customer) 2 scales failed - tamper proof calibration seal broken. Notice to Comply issued - no overweight luggage charges posted.
  • City of Phoenix Aviation Department - (Volaris) - 2 scales failed, weight inaccurate (favorable to the customer) 1 scale failed would not start on zero, missing identification plate. Overweight luggage charges posted.
  • Frontier Airlines - All scales passed- overweight luggage charges posted.
  • Hawaiian Airlines - All scales passed, overweight luggage charges posted.
  • Jet Blue Airways - All scales passed, overweight luggage charges posted.
  • Spirit Airlines - All scales passed, overweight luggage charges posted.
  • Great Lakes Aviation LTD - All scales passed, overweight luggage charges posted.
  • Southwest Airlines- 1 scale failed, weight inaccurate (favorable to the airline) 2 scales failed (favorable to the customer). Overweight luggage charges posted.
  • U S Airways - 1 scale failed, weight inaccurate (favorable to the customer) would not maintain a zero, weight would fluctuate, 1 scale failed, thin pieces of wood placed in between scale platform and load scales. Overweight luggage charges posted.
  • Air Canada- City of Phoenix- All scales passed, overweight luggage charges posted.
  • City of Phoenix- Jet Airlines- All Scales passed, overweight luggage charges posted.
  • City of Phoenix - British Airways- All scales passed, overweight luggage charges posted.
  • City of Phoenix- Aero Mexico - All scales passed, overweight luggage charges posted.

Tucson International Airport Inspection Results

  • Alaska Airlines - All scales passed, overweight luggage charges posted.
  • American Airlines- All scales passed, overweight luggage charges posted.
  • U S Airways - All scales passed, overweight luggage charges posted.
  • Southwest Airlines - 1 scale failed, weight inaccurate (favorable to the customer) 3 scales failed for scale serial number marking requirements.
  • Delta Airlines- 4 scales failed for weight inaccuracies (favorable to the airline) scale illegally modified - wood has been found under the scale platform, scale incorrectly marked as 600 lb capacity but blanked out at 518 pounds. Overweight luggage charges posted.
  • United Airlines- 1 scale failed, digital display shows zero with weight on the scale platform. Overweight luggage charges are posted.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 http://www.cbs5az.com (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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