Sandbags as Airplane Cargo

Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Sandbags as Airplane Cargo

Ever since the checked bag fee policies have been implemented, more and more people have chosen carry-on over check-in to save money. Who could blame them? Two bags costs an extra $50, and that’s just for a one-way.

As a result, airline carriers have been bogged down with the burden of not making weight. The lack of checked bags in cargo means an uneven distribution of weight, which could especially affect smaller commuter flights. That’s why airlines have been adding sandbags to correct balance in an airplane, according to an AOL Travel article.

Apparently this has been a longtime practice in the airline industry, but now, with the bag fees, the article points out that as much as 600 pounds of sandbags may be added per flight. Planes are designed to have at least one bag per passenger. The uneven weight means the center of gravity won’t be right for take off. But 600 pounds of sandbags!? What a huge fuel waster…

It almost sounds like it’s the airlines’ plans have been backfiring on them. They try to make more money by charging for checked baggage, but passengers have found ways around this by packing light enough to carry on instead. It’s only a matter of time before airline carriers start charging for carry-ons, as well.

Now when I hear that our flight’s been delayed because extra bags have to be loaded, I’ll know exactly what kind of bags are being hoisted into cargo.


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