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Is it ok to wear multiple layers of clothing during flights to avoid baggage fees?

By NICK GARCIA Published Mar 27, 2024 6:39 pm

Tag-init or “summer” season is here, and many Filipinos are now in vacation mode.

Sometimes though, traveling light doesn’t suffice and bags don’t have enough space for all of a traveler's OOTDs. Between paying baggage fees and lessening their load, some would opt for creative solutions like wearing multiple layers of clothing.

They’d pass by the checkpoint and check in while “balot na balot” as if winter was coming.

@_frida.ibarra I thought I was goong to faint!! #airportsecurity #airport #budgettravel #carryonfees ♬ original sound - Sped up songs

This has been a practice of young flyers in China and Australia, to name a few. To take weight off her bag, a 19-year-old Australian teen wore about six layers of clothes but was caught by authorities and made to pay a fine.

Is it really ok to pull off such a cheeky move?

The Manila International Airport Authority told PhilSTAR L!fe that it’s the airlines that have jurisdiction over the matter.

AirAsia Philippines, in an advisory sent to L!fe, didn’t explicitly state that it’s not allowed, though urged passengers to avail of its services.

“While some guests may opt to wear layers of clothing to avoid baggage fees, AirAsia makes packing a breeze with affordable baggage options,” it said, adding that it has choices from 14kg to 60kg.

It said that travelers may purchase baggage space through the AirAsia MOVE app or its website.

Cebu Pacific, meanwhile, declined to comment on whether wearing multiple layers of clothing is okay.

Instead, it advised travelers to pack their bags accordingly, noting that a carry-on bag and a personal bag must not exceed 7kg.

“Passengers may board the flight with one carry-on bag that fits in the overhead bin,” it said in an advisory shared with L!fe, “and one personal item like a purse, small backpack, or laptop bag that fits under the seat in front.”

Bags that aren’t within the allowable size or weight will be intercepted and charged at the boarding gate, it added.

It also encouraged travelers to purchase prepaid baggage online via its website or mobile app to save on fees. The purchase can be done up to two hours before departure.

Cebu Pacific noted that passengers may avail up to three pieces of 20kg baggage and for every piece of baggage purchased, they may also add an extra 4kg, 8kg, or 12kg weight allowance on top of the initial 20kg.

Testimonies on Reddit’s subreddit “travel,” meanwhile, state that it’s okay to wear multiple layers of clothing to save weight.

Some commenters who claim to have tried the scheme, however, warned of feeling hot and heavy and other forms of discomfort. Others have brought up that having multiple layers on would be a hassle when going through security as you may be asked to remove some of your outerwear.