Update 18 Aug 2010: KLM contacted me after reading this post, see the end of the article
I have a love / hate relationship with KLM. I am happy with the many upgrades that they give me and with the way their Twitter team works. But there are also a lot of things that KLM needs to improve and that I complain about on Twitter when I encounter them (some examples: a website in China that is often not working because it seems to be hosted outside the Great Firewall, continuous problems with their customer service & call center in China, delays on every single daytime flight from Shanghai to Amsterdam, rude/non-service oriented flight attendants).
On Twitter I sometimes get the question why I still fly KLM. The answer is simply because they have the monopoly on the route Shanghai-Amsterdam, there are no other airlines with direct flights. If you fly regularly for short trips you don’t want to have the additional hassle (and time!) of stop-overs. Many of my Dutch business friends here feel exactly the same, the topic of frustration with KLM often comes up over dinner or a beer. There is so much KLM can learn from airlines like Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines, but they seem not to care. The flights to Shanghai are always fully booked so they probably feel there is no need to improve their service.
Yesterday I encountered another typical example of why I have a problem with KLM. I dropped off my luggage for the delayed flight from Amsterdam to Shanghai. We had 4 suitcases: 2 small trolleys of around 10 kg, one bigger of 18 kg and one of 24.5 kg. Our total luggage allowance was 46 kg each for me and my wife, 23 kg for Scott and 10 kg for Elaine, so no problem at all I would say. No, not for KLM: The lady at the baggage drop off told me the 24.5 kg suitcase was too heavy and I would have to pay EUR 100 to check it in. The 46 kg allowance has to be split into 2 times 23 kg. Why? She had no idea, but those are the rules.
The maximum weight of a suitcase is 32 kg, just like at many other airlines. But if one of your suitcases is more than 23 kg, even if your allowance is much higher, KLM will charge you. This is ridiculous of course and I see it as one more way for the airline to make money off its customers. That they also scare their customers away is something they seem to forget.
To solve the problem we opened our suitcases at the check-in desk, took out 3 pairs of jeans and put them in another suitcase. Nothing changed in the total weight of the suitcases, so I felt it was a totally useless thing to do. But rules are rules at KLM, even if nobody knows why. Even if you are one of their best customers (I am a platinum elite member) and already paid a ridiculous EUR 3700 for 2 economy class tickets for 2 adults, plus a baby and a toddler.
The check-in lady then hoped we would have too much hand luggage and asked us to put those bags on the scale. Bad luck for her, because we were easily within the limits, so KLM could not charge or punish us for this. Not sure if this is a new KLM policy, but this is the first time ever that I am asked to weigh my hand luggage at check-in.
Many airlines are not so strict with weight, if you have 2-3 kilos extra they won’t balk, some even have policies that the first 5 kgs are no problem (I learned this on Twitter when I tweeted about this yesterday). But the lady at the KLM desk told me that she gets into trouble within 24 hours if she allows a suitcase that is above 23 kilo without an additional payment. Is that really the way KLM instructs its staff? Can a staff member not make some decisions on his or her own like in the past?
I will file a formal complaint with KLM about this. I would like to know if these are really their policies and would like to understand what the reasoning behind them is. I wonder if KLM management has any idea what the results of their policies are and how their regular customers perceive the airline. Maybe they will think about it and eventually change this rule. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but they also just reversed their new regulation to pay for check-in golf bags after customer complaints.
Update: KLM contacted me after reading this post. They explained that there are additional costs for suitcases of between 23 kg and 32 kg (32 kg is still the maximum weight) because of labor legislation, therefore the price increase. They suggest to book overweight in advance, then you get a 20% discount. I thanked them for their reply and told them to inform ground staff about this, that would solve a lot of problems. Also I said that you normally don’t know the weight of your suitcases until a few hours before departure, so booking overweight with a discount is not a solution. Personally I think that KLM should be more flexible for (at least) business class and for its Elite members, just like some other airlines do. KLM has to become more service oriented, not only on board but also on the ground.
We were on the same flight today and had the same issues with our luggage at check-in in Amsterdam. Just moved stuff around in the suitcases and all was OK.
Can’t blame the girls at check in, they have a job to do, but feel sorry for them that their employer is making life difficult for them and makes frequent flyers pissed off.
P.S. seems we were in the same area, We were staying with my parents in Hardenberg
At least you didn’t have as rude a check-in lady from KLM as we had in Amsterdam last time!
I am very polite (but also don’t like to be played or blamed of stuff that is not my fault) and that woman… well I have never been so offended before!
We had booked our tickets months in advance and weeks in advance I had reserved our four seats for our return flight. We forgot to re-confirm our return flights the day before (because we were in Amsterdam all day long). Anyway we arrived very early for checkin and then it turned out that there were no seats left anymore for us 4! The lady at check-in desk said no problem, the people at the gate would solve it for us. So I didn’t make a problem, went to the gate, made sure we waited in the front of the queue to give them enough time to fix the problem. Then finally they give us tickets (after they let everyone else in the airplane first): all of us split all over the airplane.
Me and my wife were just married and my parents in law do not speak any English so it’s not convenient to let them sit separately. Then the woman starts to blame me that I didn’t confirm our flight and I told her that it was not our fault that the airplane was overbooked and that we had confirmed our flights weeks ago. I said I wouldn’t accept that we all sit split all over the airplane, for the reasons mentioned before. Then this woman starts to talk like “oh, it’s not the end of the world you cannot sit together” (loud enough so we can all hear it, supposedly to her colleague). Then I said “it’s not the end of the world if you just let us sit together” and then she becomes even meaner. She said she was talking to her colleague and I shouldn’t interrupt her (all I said is “I understand” when she starts to talk about how it’s our fault).
My god, that woman was so rude! I don’t make a problem that we have much worse seats than we booked, I just want to sit together because it’s a very long flight. I said I would just refuse to board if they do not give us seats together. She said we cannot do this; ha! then I guess she is clueless because I was definitely prepared not to enter.
Another colleague of her tried to help her solve it, but she wasn’t too happy with that either. Finally she decides it’s possible after all to sit together. But our whole flight was ruined of course by that woman. The flight attendants were polite as usual, but because of that very rude KLM lady at the gate, I will take another flight next time. (we have some options for Hong Kong – Amsterdam)
I also blogged about it on my website, but I’m not high-profile enough to attract the attention from the KLM people. You can just imagine how many people are treated this way and have no way to tell others!
@gerrit If it also happened to you a lot of people must have the same problems. I wonder why KLM is doing this, only thing I can think of is to earn extra money. It just doesn’t make sense.
@thijs Hold on, you had to reconfirm your flight? I thought that is not necessary anymore? At least that’s what their call center automatic message tells me when I am on hold waiting for an available person to talk to me. I never reconfirm my flights anymore and haven’t done this in many years.
Yes, Marc I was also very surprised. I had booked the tickets months in advance and had picked the seats for the return flight more than a month in advance (very nice seats). The “lady” from KLM insisted that I should have logged in online the day before I arrived at Schiphol though, to confirm my flight.
I said to her that I arrived on time at the airport + I already picked my seats online, so that was none of my business that they overbooked the airplane. She didn’t want to hear anything about this, and blamed us a lot. It was all our fault and we should be happy that we were allowed to fly at all!
You are absolutely right! I must say that European, especially Dutch, have no idea what SERVICE means.
Last year, when I visited you in Shanghai, I took Cathay Pacific. Although, I needed to change in Hong Kong, I still prefer this few hours extra travel time. By the way, I will go to China at the end of October again.
China Southern Airlines is a Sky Team partner of KLM. Do they flight from Shanghai to Amsterdam?
Perhaps I used the wrong term and she wanted us to check-in online (30-or-so hours in advance). Anyway, as long as they allow you to check-in at the airport I don’t think I should be punished for that at all.
I can imagine the luggage rules of 23 kilo per suitcase are just because of the Conditions of Work Act(in Dutch: Arbo).
Last Januari, when I was on my way back to the Netherlands I was really lucky btw. I had 15 kilo of excess luggage with me but they let me through. You can read the whole story here if you’d like to.
Your story sounds very familiar to something i experienced with KLM. This wasn’t at Schiphol airport but in Montreal, flying with KLM to Amsterdam. Being Gold elite plus and having the pieces concept in regards with luggage I was allowed to take 4 pieces of 23kg each. I only carried one of 26kg and 1 carry on trolley of less than 10kg.
They didn’t allow me to check in my suitcase without paying extra which made me decide that I took a plastic bag and take some heavy things out of my suitcase. While doing this the captain of the airplane came by to check in his luggage together with the rest of the crew. He recognised me and asked what I was doing. I explained the strange concept KLM has with luggage and he went to the desk saying to the lady at the counter that she should just let my suitcase through. After closing my suitcase again I went to the counter where the lady said I had to wait becauae her supervisor had called her boss whk had to come and decide about it… Long story short: they blamed me for going complaining against the captain about it! They said I am not allowed to do this and he is not the one to decide about these things. However for this time they would let my suitcase through.. Well dear KLM groundstaff: I can talk to whoever I want and second he came to me, I was so angry that I really wasn’t in the mood to talk to anybody at that time!
I didn’t make a complaint about it as last I complaint about a broken seat in an airplane I got zero reply.
Unfortunately KLM often offers the best connection in most occasions because otherwise I would definitely choose another airline. Although I do have to say that the problem reallh only lies at groundstaff. Onboard crew usually is very good.
@Hong Tong Wu KLM is the only airline doing the PVG-AMS route. If China Southern would fly this route I (and many others) would likely fly them. I used to often take them when I lived in Beijing years ago and they shared the PEK-AMS route with KLM
@Thijs Okay, understand. Still a strange story, if you are on time for check-in KLM can’t refuse you. Can’t imagine that everybody checks in online in advance.
@Hans Could be but then I wonder why this did not apply before March 28 when these new KLM rules came into effect. At that time I was allowed to bring 40 kg with maximum 32 kg per suitcase. That should have been 23 kg as well. On Twitter I read somewhere that 32 kg is the max allowed weight for union workers.
@Ho-Pin First of all a good recovery to you, I saw on FB that you’re working hard to get back in shape after your crash. It must be hard to spend most time in bed…
Your example is very typical of KLM, it seems the company has a culture where ground and flying staff belong to a different league and don’t get along well. Have observed this before as well. I hope for you KLM management will read your comments, they should embrace people like you to fly KLM and not treat you like dirt.
I just checked United — they have the same policies regarding weights for ECONOMY class. They even include the size of the bags. I used to fly very frequenly with United. So, depends on what class you fly. Business and First class have different rules. By the way United no-charge for first bag but customer has to pay for 2nd bag and is 20 usd I think. So, KLM is not that bad. Really.
I once had to throw away a suitcase at Brisbane airport (not sure which airline) and bought a smaller one to satisfy the requirements. I flew to Australia by business class so my bags were larger. But economy class to Malaysia did not allow me such luxury. So smaller bag.
AND if you fly singapore airline and fly via Singapore you might even be asked to put your hand lagguage to a special box with perfect measuremens requirement! So try to argue with the ground crew IF you are unlucky enough to try to put a round object (a rice cooker perhaps???) to a square or oblong box! Don’t waste your breath. You are not going to win.
The 23kb or 50lbs rule is because that is about the weight the baggage-handler can easily throw them onto the cart etc. I think is reasonable. Try to throw 50lbs bag around and you would find it is REALLY not that easy. So, have some heart for the poor folks. They have to throw hundgreds of bags per day. The size is to make staking easier.
Another observation I have is: flying to China you will have more problems with carrying extra weight EVEN if you are willing to pay for it. BECAUSE many of the passengers want to carry lots of things back to China. Flying out of China you would have less problems. Flying during school vacations or x-mas or new year when the flight is mostly full, you would face the same problems. Donkey years ago one x-mas, I flew from UK to Malaysia, even passengers were asked to be weight in SO THAT the ground crews can decide IF extra laguages were allowed.
I think the basic considerations when travel by air is: there are lots of elements operating a flight are unknown to us. Instead of getting all mad and stressed, just accept the situations. Works better.
I’ve had the same problem with KLM in Milan (to Amsterdam – Shanghai). Ground staff was also rather rude, humor-less and as agreeable as a visit to the dentist.
I’m always appalled how airlines fail to understand what business they are in; no surprise there’s one failing every other month.
They are so short sighted to prefer collecting 50Euro today rather than another 1000Euro of ticket in 3 months, but they also insisted in the same pointless weight splitting amongst two suitcases. This obviously doesn’t save the company any money.
That said, I guess it might have something to do with the powerful baggage-handler unions (not sure if in Holland, Italy or Europe). I seem to remember that work security rules mandate that they cannot lift more than those stated 20 something kg (not sure of the exact figure).
Still, what an idiocy to loose precious intercontinental customers by annoying them with these trivial issues.
@Cindy Many airlines have the piece concept, that’s nothing new. If you compare KLM with United you will see that with a Gold or 1K card you can bring 3 suitcases of up to 32 kg even in economy class, so they take much better care of their frequent fliers than KLM.
With regards to the ‘poor’ luggage handlers, why are they poor? They made the decision to take this job, they don’t have to do this. Where did you find that 23 kg is the maximum weight for bagage handlers, so far I heard it’s 32 kg (which would fit to former maximum weight at KLM as well).
I travel frequently and am not somebody who just accepts everything related to traveling. I have to put up with all the other restrictions already (hand luggage without liquids, long security checks etc.), does that mean I should not question any new rules? If the baggage handlers are not allowed more than 23 kg KLM should say so and I (and many others) would understand. But if they allowed more luggage before and other airlines still allow this, it feels like a sneaky way of ripping off passengers for additional money.
@michele It seems a lot of people met this problem already, I spoke to several others today as well complaining about this KLM problem. If there is a 23 kg rule KLM should explain it, that’s the only logical reason to split luggage between suitcases. And they should also tell their ground staff who could not do more than tell me that “this is the rule”. So far I am not convinced that this is behind it, because other airlines still allow up to 32 kg per suitcase, also on flights to Amsterdam.
here is the link:
here is part of the details:
Free baggage allowance for tickets issued on or after 28 March 2010:
Economy Class 1 item of check-in baggage*,
each max. 23 kg (50.5 lbs),
max. 158 cm (62 inches) l + w + h
World Business Class/Europe Select 3 items of check-in baggage, each max. 23 kg (50.5 lbs), max. 158 cm (62 inches) l + w + h
Flying Blue Silver, Gold and Platinum members +1 item of check-in baggage, each max. 23 kg (50.5 lbs), max. 158 cm (62 inches) l + w + h
*You may bring 2 pieces of check-in baggage, each max. 23 kg (50.5 lbs),
max. 158 cm (62 inches) l + w + h:
As for why POOR baggage-handler?? I respect anyone who provides any form of services for me, directly or indirectly. And therefore their working conditions is of great importance to me. Furthermore everyone is my equal including the queen. I do not feel inferior nor superior to anyone. That is just me. Born, bred and schooled that way.
@Cindy My question was what the limit for baggage handlers is, 23 or 32 kg, not what the KLM limit is. Of course I know the link you sent me, my whole story was based upon that, but it does not explain why there is a 23 kg weight limit per suitcase when other airlines allow 32 kg (and when they also still allow this for tickets bought before March 28).
I also respect anyone, but if someone decides to take a job that involves heavy lifting that’s his/her own responsibility. Therefore I would not call him/her poor. They are free to choose a different job if they are not happy with it, right? Do you also find people who work in restaurants poor because they have to work at night? Or mail men in Shanghai because they have to work in the heat? To me it’s totally unrelated to being equal to other people, and I don’t understand why you are trying to steer the conversation in that direction.
Check Flyertalk (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/klm-flying-dutchman-493/)
There are extensive discussions since the day the baggage policy changes were announced and the negative effect these policy changes had on elites. You’ll be surprised (or not) by the number of plats KLM is losing and has lost already. Last year it was the massive devaluation of miles, this year baggage policies, i wonder whats next.
Like you though, the AMS-PVG-AMS monopoly is what keeps me with them.
For that reason I chose to fly Finnair last time. The stopover is very short, 1.20h, the total flying time, including stopover was only 1 hour extra, but you do get 2 business class tickets for 3700, in stead of 2 economy. And an extra baggage allowance, and you can check in a little later and are out of the airport a little earlier, so the hour extra does not add to your total travel time, with the perks of Business class for the same price, I think you should really reconsider your options for the next flight.
“Fly cheap, think big!”
I do not understand your opinions. Relax as you enjoyed a free business upgrade! You are not able to relax, right?
To be a VIP is not cheap, Marc! It may can be cheap in the virtual world, but not in real life. So if you feel like in a business or as a VIP, you easy pay for it and be sure, it will bring you to heaven if you go for more than 1 time busi-claas and avoid to pay by miles in the first year.
I also checked PVG-AMS-PVG for 2 persons in September. Cheapest price was 7850 RMB per Person, highest arround 20.000 RMB per Person, but most available price was 14.190 RMB per Person. How did you find out the price you listed on twitter?
Sure I do have screencopies. Let me know your email adress if you do not trust my words.
So pay for service and you will get it. Miles are not money. They are a bomus. Be fair and notice my experience with KLM:
A lot of delays, but each time they call me or my office in front. Modern seats are not available, but it is ok. Never had problems with suitcases or service.
You talk about chinese airlines. Air China is a nightmare. The China Eastern Aircafts are smelling like the old mc donalds never cleaned chicken farm. And did you ever enjoy the chicken onboard such airlines or did you bring “breand and butter” with you? And did they call you if there is a flight delay? Yes? That is new, who was it?
So if you give comments in twitter, you maybe try to be fair in the future. And no, I am not a member of any Airline.
@Eugen Not sure what you are trying to say with “Pay for service and you will get it”. I am paying top dollars but am not getting the service. That’s the whole problem. I don’t mind flying Easyjet or another cheap airline in Europe, you get what you pay for. For discount airlines I don’t have any expectations, so I am okay with that. But if you pay a lot of money for tickets (and do that many times a year) I expect a different service and attitude. I agree that Chinese airlines are not great (understatement!), but if they offer much lower prices I am okay with that. Even on KLM I bring my own food already, so that’s not an issue.
With regards to the prices, I wonder if you ever booked KLM yourself through their website? I assume you went to their site and checked the prices in their grid and printed that out? Watch out, because KLM tries to trick you. Not only are the taxes, surcharges and booking fee not included, but when you look at the details of the flights you will see that the listed prices are for flights routed through Paris instead of a direct flight! Because I am not a tourist my schedule is not very flexible and I need to fly on Sept. 11. Just the Shanghai-Amsterdam leg (without a stop-over) is already RMB 16,100 excluding taxes!
I think you are lucky that you never had problems with your suitcases and services. I talked to a lot of people over the past 2 days that read this post and had similar experiences to mine. This is not an isolated case or experience, just look at some of the reactions to my tweets on Saturday when I checked in for the flight. It’s a problem that KLM needs to be aware of so they can solve it. The more people start using social media the more companies (not just KLM) will find out what their customers really thing about them, and it can help them to improve their services.
For sure the KLM flights I checked are direct flights, roundtrip and incl. all taxes, surcharges and booking fees. No need to double check that.
Marc, you paid for Eco and you got it. If you paid 450 Euro p.P or 2000 Euro p.P. It is still the same class, right?
So why should they not charge for more than 23kg? Go to FRA and fly LH and you also will have to pay for more than 23kg.
Sure, you can be lucky and they will not charge you, but rules are rules.
And believe it or not, the service gurus from Singapore Airlines will also charge you if you are not in the limits.
Yes you talked to other people and they all agree: KLM has bad service. That is same poeple do if you ask them about LH. But I am wondering. At the KLM or the LH check-in they are all again in the same row. And be sure, china eastern on the direct fly to AMS will not change it as they not changed it in case of FRA and LH. Right?
Last try to make clear what I am talking about: If you go to the small but still beautiful island of Ameland with only a very small Fiat Pandy, you will have to pay same huge price for the ferry than the guy with the S-Class. Seems not fair and, not to forget, they doubled the price for the ferry round trip in the past 20 years.
Eugen, I take you up on your offer to send me the screenshots (see my email on right side of this blog). You did not want to double check, but I did and there are no normal priced flights available on or around the dates that I need to fly. Like I said on Twitter yesterday the cheapest economy one is USD 3500, business is even a lot more expensive. I actually decided to use a different airline next month for 1/3 of the cost of a KLM ticket.
With regards to class & weight, I checked in at business class as a platinum member. Sure I fly economy class when I go on a holiday with my family, but one of the perks of having to fly often is that you get (or in this case, should get) a different treatment from people who only fly intercontinental once or twice a year. And please note that we had no overweight but were actually tens of kilos below the weight limit. So I don’t agree to your “you paid for eco and you got it”. Rules are rules? To me that argument is the easy way out and I would never use it in my business, KLM staff didn’t even know why these rules exist.
With regards to people complaining about LH as well, that probably says a lot about how similar LH’s service is to KL’s. Strangely I hardly ever hear negative stories about Singapore Airlines. Why? I think it has to do with caring for the passenger instead of just looking at maximizing profit in the short run. Indeed SIA are the service gurus and KLM can learn a lot from them. If ground staff is friendly and can explain why ‘rules are rules’ this whole thing could have been avoided. I would have missed this interesting discussion though 🙂
You asked for flights in September. You did not talk about a special date. Well something like this?
Total price is for 2 persons. I am not able to see that such a flight will stop in Paris!?!?!? Flight hours?
If I am right, and that is what I think, I am able to book for a similar price at most days of September.
And here a different flight for example:
In this case, tried it some minutes ago, I was able to pay but, sur I did not confirm my booking…but it works fine
And yes, during the booking precedure I also saw tha stop-over flights (Paris)
If I am wrong, please let me know.
@Eugen, as you can see in my reply I need to fly on September 11 and if you had searched for that date you would have found that the ticket is over RMB 23,000. You said you could find prices of RMB 7850 in September and the highest price was RMB 20,000, my reply was that you probably were looking at flights over Paris excl. taxes etc. Now you post two links to prices of around RMB 15K, not sure how that should prove that the RMB 7850 price is a direct one incl. taxes or that there are no prices above 20K. Anyway, it shows that KLM tickets are a lot more expensive now than before (even an average price of 15K RMB or 2200 USD is much higher than before and much more expensive than AMS-PVG-AMS flights).
We’re getting a bit off topic I think, so let’s end this discussion. Thanks for the feedback, even though we see things differently 🙂
for the chengdu – amsterdam connection KLM is are doing the same by the way. They started with reasonable prices (rmb 6500 including taxes)and now you should even be happy if it is double that price
forgot to add, and on top of that you get a stopover (in beijing or guangzhou) most of the time as well
I also often have issues on luggage with KLM. Once I (gold status) had a one way flight business (3000 Eur approx) and the 1 suitcase I had was 2 kg over limit. Whole discussion at check in, which resulted into moving a heavy coat to my handluggage and problem was ‘solved’. What did KLM accomplish? Overall weight was the same, but I had the hassle in carrying more stuff with me in my hand luggage… I also dont understand why KLM insists on the 23kg max per suitcase, while I dont have that with some other airlines flying to similar destinations.
I find Emirates much more flexible (plus you get 30kg standard on economy already). Plus I think they have a better upgrading policy, I reguarly got upgraded in Emirates whereas I have never ever been upgraded on KLM.
Funny enough I’m a KLM baby (parents worked and met eachother at KLM) but I don’t feel like one.. 🙂
I was charged in 100 Euro for checking in more then one suitcase in the cargo compartment, the problem was apparently number of bags not weight. This for a intercontinental flight from Lisbon to Beijing. Like a previous poster mentioned, made 100 Euro that day to loose 1000 in 3 months.
It does not make a difference if you confirm a flight, when the staff notices your desperation to be on that flight, they force you to buy new tickets! I had written confirmation of the change in my ticket and still had to buy new tickets.
I wonder if they will allow me to go with my handbag, my laptop bag and a small overhead bag(12kilos) as Hand luggage. I am very worried. When I was coming from India, KLM did allow but in a week i am travelling from Amsterdam to India. hmm…
@Worried traveller: 3 bags may be a problem as hand luggage when checking in, but if the check-in ground staff does not notice you have 3 bags you should be fine. KLM may not like this advice, but just give your overhead bag to someone else when checking in, and get it back before going through customs. Nobody will stop you once you are boarding. Have a good flight!
Just flying out of Shanghai to Amsterdam and found your blog whist searching for KLMs baggage fees for oversize or extra bags. Apparently it’s a big secret. Can’t find it anywhere on their site.
Anyways I was surprised at how strick they are cracking down on hand baggage. They were checking weight at the security entrance and the two rat security guards could barely surpress their glee over how much they were taking in on bribes. They wouldn’t let even a kilo slip. I had to put on my jeans and jacket and put my phone, wallet, and a charger in my pocket just to get by the thieves. I swear one of them could barely surpress laughter as he was putting poor passengers through the ringer.
狐假虎威 – when the wolf’s away the foxes will pretend they have power.
Do they way your hand luggage?
Do they check the weight on your carry on bag