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Traveler’s Spat With ‘Petty’ Airline Worker Has People Scratching Their Heads

The confrontation turned into the perfect example of poetic justice.



People on an online forum were shocked to hear about a passenger’s experience with an overzealous airline employee.

A Reddit post by user u/EmperorButtman (the “original poster,” or “OP”) on the subreddit r/MaliciousCompliance went viral after the OP described their relief after being exonerated of violating the baggage policy of an unnamed airline.

A thread on Reddit with the title “Petty airport security overdoes it” has been upvoted over 11,000 times and has prompted over 400 responses.

OP started off by saying, “My bff and I travel on a budget.” “When you don’t check a suitcase, the unnamed budget airline in question has a strict policy of one bag and one personal item per passenger.”

The original poster continued explaining that everything on their outbound flight went off without a hitch, including getting through security without any issues before being confronted for allegedly having improper luggage.

OP stated, “Security is constantly in our faces pointing out where we’re going against company policy.” We flew there together with one airline, so we each have one carry-on bag, but only one of us brought a personal item in the tote bag we both used.

OP continued, “Man obviously has a problem, and when I cite the actual policy he insists it’s a baggage item.” I put on my bathrobe and cat-themed neck pillow (the only other items in the bag), fold the tote, and place it in one of our bags like any reasonable person would.

“He now sends us to another colleague to measure our bags, and they fit the measurements perfectly,” OP said. As someone else put it, “It was satisfying to watch the guy bite his tongue from the other side.”

in 2022, the cost of airline tickets skyrocketed to unprecedented levels.

Although costs have reportedly increased by as much as 50%, vacationers taking advantage of the loosened COVID regulations have brought air travel numbers back up to near pre-pandemic levels.

The use of low-cost airlines has grown in popularity as a means of getting from one place to another without breaking the bank.

While there are no hard and fast rules about what makes an airline “budget,” Reader’s Digest designated Southwest, JetBlue, Spirit, and the up-and-coming airlines Avelo and Breeze as such earlier this year.

Spirit Airlines, widely considered to be the best low-cost carrier, provides one free personal item but charges extra for additional bags.

JetBlue’s tiered pricing structure allows the airline to meet the needs of each individual customer, and Southwest is well-known for its famously free first two checked bags.

Even the most seasoned of travelers make mistakes when dealing with baggage policies because no two are the same. However, it’s not inconceivable that some airlines see minor violations of their baggage policies as opportunities to make extra money, given their penchant for picking nits and charging exorbitant fees.

Redditors all over the post’s comment section cautioned the original poster against this sort of predatory behavior, explaining that the man who had approached them about their luggage was probably an airline employee and not a power-tripping security agent.

In the most popular comment on the post, Reddit user u/Diberries said, “That’s not security,” which has been upvoted nearly 4,000 times. A Reddit user named u/bstrauss3 echoed this sentiment, saying, “For the record, that individual is not [security],” and received over 1,500 upvotes for his comment. They are employed to strictly enforce…rules in order to maximize profits for the airline.

Reddit user u/Slokunshialgo chimed in, “Had a similar thing happen to me when boarding.” “When I went to board, I was told it was two bags, and I was only allowed one” (I had a backpack and a (almost empty) courier bag with me).

“I opened the backpack and haphazardly stuffed the courier bag inside. Now that there was only one bag, they were satisfied, and I could board “And so on they went.

Newsweek sought u/opinion EmperorButtman’s on a topic.

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