The former CEO of Thai Airways, Mr. Wallop Bhukkanasut, was sentenced to two years in jail for failing to pay excess luggage charges.
He had been shopping in Japan with his wife and had combined 300 kilos of luggage. The now ex-CEO had asked/ordered the Thai Airways check-in staff in Narita to forgo the charges by manually changing the bags’ weight.
Here’s an excerpt from the Bangkok Post:
The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases on Wednesday sentenced a former Thai Airways International (THAI) chairman to two years in jail without suspension for failing to pay for 300kg of excess baggage in 2009.
Wallop, while chairman of the board in 2009, was found to have abused his authority in ordering airline staff to change the stated weight of his luggage so he could evade charges for the excess.
Wallop and his wife returned from a trip to Japan in November 2009. He used his position to bring more than 300kg of luggage back from Narita to Suvarnabhumi airport without paying for the excess weight.
The former CEO must have fallen out of favor because why would someone otherwise get two years of jail time for such an insignificant matter?
Airline CEOs and high ranking officers in the field tend to get unlimited complimentary travel. I would assume that they were in first class on this flight, which comes with a significant luggage allowance (70 to 100 kilos per person).
This incident took place in 2009. How come it can take 11 years for a case to go through the legal system?
Amazing Thailand, indeed.