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Here’s How You Avoid Checking a Bag

I just fully Jedi-Mind-Tricked the check-in people at TAM Airlines in Sao Paulo.

Person at TAM Counter: You’ll need to check that bag.
Me: It’s hand luggage.
Person at TAM Counter: I’m sorry it’s too big you’ll need to check it.
Me: It’s hand luggage.
Person at TAM Counter: Hand luggage is under 5 kilos. That is bigger than that.
Me: It’s hand luggage.
Person at TAM Counter: That is a roller bag, it is not hand luggage.
Me: It’s hand luggage.
Person at TAM Counter: OK, go ahead.

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  1. That was a good laugh. Thank you!

  2. Wow, simple and hilarious! Thanks for a chuckle!

  3. LAN (same company now as TAM) is notorious for enforcing draconian carry-on rules. I’ve seen their staff scour the boarding area looking to hassle people with rollaboards. They once bothered me: I basically said “no, I plan to take this bag on board,” and the agent went away.

    Just this week in Lima, I saw a female passenger with a rollaboard and what looked like a small duffel bag/large purse. While my Spanish is poor, I witnessed an agent confront her about her luggage as she was about to board. It seemed like the passenger said something like “I’m going to bring these bags on board,” and the agent just let her do it. So now we all know the strategy to use with this airline! That said, I usually try to print out my boarding pass online — to avoid this encounter at the check-in desk — and then just “lay low” at the gate.

  4. I LOVE this!! Very funny (and great advice). Thanks!