The Department of Consumer Affairs has been cracking down on faulty scales that are not properly calibrated for use at major airports around the country. When tested at New York's John F Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, investigators found 14% of the scales at JFK and 4% of the scales at LaGuardia were overestimating the weight of bags by at least one pound. A one pound difference today at the airport can add up big time during your check in. Some airlines charge up to $100 for overweight bags.
The DCA found a total of 102 scales were not working properly during their investigation and ordered them to be shut down immediately. While most of the airlines abided to this ruling, they still found 10 broken scales being used by American Airlines. DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz commented on the broken scales, "That kind of improper weight can, particularly now, when every penny counts, really make an impact on a consumer's wallet."
So how will you know if you are using a broken scale the next time you check your bags in at the airport? Simply look for the red "CONDEMNED" sticker that was slapped on the side of the scale by the agency.
And consider weighing your own bags in front of the check in agent with this handy device.