A Singaporean woman who was leaving Thailand after a quick vacation says she was unfairly asked for THB2,000 (US$64) for overweight baggage — a sum she believes a worker for budget airline Nok Air then simply pocketed.
On Sunday, Bernadette Yeo, along with three friends, checked in for a flight bound for Singapore from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport when an unnamed woman working at check-in told her she had to pay THB2,000 because her luggage was overweight, an assertion contested by Yeo, who said she had weighed the bag beforehand and that the check-in scale did not register the bag as overweight.
She claims that the woman then took her passport and led her to a corner, where she demanded the overweight baggage fee before she would return the passport. When Yeo handed over the cash, she claims, the staff member put it in her own bag.
Yeo was so incensed that, when she got home, she created a Facebook post about the incident that included photos she took of the staff member involved. The post went viral after being shared by a few Singapore news and drama Facebook pages.
“[Sic] I know we have a lot of luggage but we have weigh them at the hotel so we will not exceed the allowance we have bought during the booking. End up at my counter, this lady who assisted us say that I have exceeded my luggage allowance by 8kg. Prior to that she made me carry my luggage up and down the belt and trying to make us confused. But I clearly saw that my baggage is only 35kg. I tried to put some of my stuff to handcarry but she didn’t allow me to do so. End up I gave up and ask her how much do I have to pay for the “8kg” she wrote down on a fake boarding pass 8kg/2000baht. So me and my friends gathered all our remaining cash to pay for it, end up she just shook her head tell me ‘it’s ok.’ At that point of time we keep thanking her. End up, she hold on to our passport made sure we check in our luggage, brought us to a corner and ask us for money in exchange for our passport. After giving her the money she put it straight into her bag. This is when we realised we have been scammed!!!!! The lady in the picture is the staff that took money from us, we managed to take a picture of her at the boarding gate.”
“Beware of this people when you go to Don Mueang airport.”
Responding to a request for comment from Coconuts Bangkok, Nok Air said that they and the outsourcing firm the accused employee works for are “working with Thai authorities to conduct a full investigation on the case.”
“The accused personnel has been suspended from duty while investigation is proceeding,” they added.
When we spoke to Yeo, she said that her embassy was aware of the situation, and that she has reported the incident to Nok Air and Don Mueang. She said she was contacted by Nok late this afternoon and assured they were investigating.
She added that, as far as she knows, no one has yet reviewed CCTV footage to see what happened and that, if she is wrong about her accusation, she will remove her post.
Text by Coconuts Bangkok