MY WIFE and daughter were booked on a budget airline bound for Kuala Lumpur on January 11.
After clearing Immigration, they headed for their boarding gate, where the budget airline’s staff weighed each passenger’s cabin baggage to ensure that it does not exceed the limit of seven kg set by them.
I am not even sure whether the weighing machine used by them is calibrated by the authorities as somehow, the weight of the baggage always seems more than when it was earlier weighed in at the check-in counter.
When my wife and daughter reached the boarding area, there was a queue of passengers lining up to present their boarding pass and for their cabin baggage to be weighed.
There was a family of four comprising the father, mother and two children aged approximately seven and five ahead of them.
The parents were carrying their own cabin baggage and that of their children.
When it came to their turn to have their cabin baggage to be weighed, the airline staff insisted that the children would have to carry their own cabin bags.
As the cabin baggage was around seven kg, which was within the weight allowed, the elder child struggled but managed to carry his cabin bag.
However, the younger child, being only around five years, was unable to carry his cabin baggage.
The airline staff informed them that if the child was unable to carry his own cabin baggage, he would not be allowed to take the said baggage on board.
The appeals by the father that he was willing and able to carry his child’s cabin baggage fell on deaf ears and the family was forced to leave one of their cabin baggage, which consisted items purchased with their hard-earned money to take to their families back home.
To the best of my knowledge, the ticket issued by the budget airline only contains the following condition: ‘All guests (except infants) are allowed to carry on board two pieces of cabin baggage. The total weight of both pieces must not exceed seven kg’.
Nowhere does it state that each passenger must carry his/her own cabin baggage.
Does the airline similarly insist that senior citizens and those on wheel-chairs also have to carry their own cabin baggage?
If not, why did the airline staff impose that condition on that family arbitrarily according to her whims and fancies?
I hope the relevant regulatory authority in Brunei, including the Department of Civil Aviation, investigate this incident and if warranted, penalise this budget airline for such practices forced upon their passengers who are not in a position to speak up for their rights.
I would also appeal that the relevant authority investigate the almost daily delay of this airline’s flights, some to the extent of passengers having had to miss their connecting flights and cancel arrangements which were made.
I believe that this airline should be made accountable for their actions and be made to pay for such actions, just like how their passengers are made to pay for every single thing when flying.
It is about time the airline started treating their passengers with respect and dignity.
– Concerned Air Traveller