Subject: Re: Are you watching your weight?

The whole baggage thing has me mightily confused. On Sat at SFO, I observed a check-in squabble when the counter agent deemed a buffalo-sized bag to be 3 pounds overweight. So the owners got into a fight about what to take out, opened the bag & started strewing stuff around the weight platform. They located a cosmetic bag of full-sized shampoo & the like, removed it & stuffed the bottles in her purse. So, the same net weight of baggage is still on the aircraft. However, airline friends tell me the restrictions are more to do with injury to baggage handlers than weight-and-balance considerations for the cargo hold.

I ramble; here's the bottom line: many airlines will apply weight restrictions for the holiday period on a seemingly random basis. Aero Mexico has announced they will accept NO overweight, oversize, overlimit baggage at all during the next 3 weeks, & other carriers have begged for cooperation in reduction of checked baggage.

American Airlines has announced, retracted & announced again changes in overweight charges in the last 4 months, as have several other major airlines. It really is up to counter personnel to enforce excess baggage charges.

In addition, TSA screeners are now in charge of baggage & passenger screening at all US airports. At some airports, no one will be permitted past first security check without boarding passes, at others, a copy of the itinerary or passenger ticket receipt will suffice to pass the first checkpoint. When a passenger can self-issue a boarding pass online & modify it & copy it, I fail to see why this boarding pass issue will insure my security.

Gail In Eugene