Flight attendant’s tip to avoid ‘fees for overweight bags’

Martin Lewis Extreme Savers: Expert on how to cut luggage costs

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Cabin crew spend the majority of their working life navigating airports and onboard flights, so it’s no surprise they have a few tricks when it comes to beating luggage restrictions. Flight attendant Kat Kamalani has amassed 854.3K followers on TikTok thanks to her insightful tips and tricks which can make flights more comfortable and even save holidaymakers money.

Posting under her username @katkamalani, she revealed a “game changer” hack which can help passengers travel with more items while still avoiding airline baggage fees.

Many airlines set out specific weight and size restrictions for both cabin bags and hand luggage.

Passengers who are found to be in excess of the specified amounts could face hefty fees.

For example, if you are jetting off with Ryanair and arrive at the terminal with a bag which exceeds your permitted allowance, you could face fees of up to £55 to check luggage in at the airport.

According to flight attendant Kat, however, a simple pillowcase could be all you need to save money.

She explained: “This tiny hack will save you if you have baggage that is overweight while travelling.

“This hack works the best when you are travelling home from vacation.

“You will always want to carry a pillowcase in your bag because if your bags are overweight you can stuff your pillowcase full of clothes and use it as a pillow on the aircraft.

“This is seriously a game changer to avoid those fees for overweight bags.”

Whether or not this hack would actually work for you would be at the discretion of the airline and check-in desk agent.

The pillowcase hack has gone viral on TikTok in recent months, with holidaymakers testing the process out themselves.

Although some users have found it to be a success, head of The Points Guy UK, Nicky Kelvin, says it might not be worth the risk.

After another user went viral showing her experience testing the hack, Nicky weighed in on whether or not it could land passengers trouble.

Commenting on the hack, Nicky Kelvin, head of The Points Guy (UK) said: “This is exactly what you think it is: stuffing a pillow with clothes and belongings that didn’t fit into your basic carry-on without exceeding limitations.

“This popular TikTok shows three women waltzing through a Spanish airport having shoehorned a bundle of summer clothing into three cushions they carried on to a flight.”

How much money the hack could save you depends on the airline you are travelling with and their hand luggage fees.

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Nicky continued: “The likes of Ryanair and easyJet have been allowing people to bring pillows aboard for aeons, not to mention goading customers on social media over the more inventive means of maximising carry-on.

“Given the clothing and pillows are effectively perfect for stashing extra items, it was only a matter of time before people looking to avoid steep luggage prices steeper would see how far they could push it.”

However, Nicky says whether or not you could get into trouble for this sneaky hack is “debatable”.

Nicky explained: “You might very well get away with this one provided you’re not filling your pillow with anything that wouldn’t get through security anyway.”

Even if some people have had success with the trick, there are some major downsides too, especially for clothing.

Nicky said: “For one, all your clothes will be creased to high hell — just use packing cubes.

“Secondly, imagine this doesn’t work, do you want to be the person at the airport standing with a pillow of belongings they can’t take with them?

“Thirdly, actual pillows are far comfier than pillows you make out of your belongings.”

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