A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us details of a semi-maddening experience flying on TMA (Trans Maldivian Airlines) who have started to more carefully weigh bags.
Note that TMA images are from my several trips to the Maldives and flying with the airline.
Resorts have deal either with Trans Maldivian (red) or with Maldivian (blue):
Here’s the email from the reader:
Probably you will be interested in our story happened couple hours ago:
I and my partner booked in March all 5 Marriott Maldivian properties (which are open currently) for our double BDays. I just turned 50 btw.
So, we had to perform 4 transfers through MLE seaplane terminal.
I’d like to share with you our unpleasant encounter which we experienced during TransMaldivian Airways seaplane transfer from St Regis Vommuli to The Westin Maldives through Male seaplane terminal.
The luggage allowance for seaplane is 25 kg per pax (for all luggage including hand).
Upon our first check-in to StRegis at MLE international terminal I and my partner had 50.4 kg which was ok for counter.
After we stayed 5 nights at StRegis our luggage had the only addition of nice StRegis branded candle which was gifted to us by our nice housekeepers. Also, we both switched from jeans to shorts and put jeans in luggage. And, due to wet climate, our clothing’s could weight slightly more.
When arrived from StRegis to seaplane terminal for transfer, our luggage was weighted and suddenly it was “overweight” for 6,6 (!) kilos which was just impossible. We were offered to go somewhere to pay $36 “excess fee”. I doubted their scales and asked for certificate and supervisor. My request was declined. So, I asked to weigh again to look at scale myself and started video. Surprisingly, I noticed that staff switched scales from kg to lbs mode and calculated kilos back from pounds.
Experienced travelers knows that allowance, say, of 23 kg is, in fact 50,7 pounds, but not 50,0 which you can see in US issued tickets. I am serious about everything and always have my own hand scales with me, which shows me that there is no such a big overweight.
So, since my Westin letter quoted luggage allowance as 25 kg, I asked to switch scale back to kg and do not make double transfer of weight from kg to pounds and back. Also, I showed to staff my previous luggage receipt from their airline. Also, I asked why their receipts had kilos, not pounds.
Westin representative surprisingly doubted that I was quoted by his hotel in kg, so, I had to spent 10 minutes searching for relevant email letter in my inbox to show it to him.
I really unexpected such a shameful treating by Westin employee of Ambassador guest.
At Maldivian highest in the world rates of hotel and transfer, they still willing to cheat for extra 36 bucks. What a shame.
As I am allergic to cheating and foul play,
I had no way just to wear jeans over shorts, put on my hoodie even it was very hot, and put our iPhones, metal home keys and wallets in pockets and fly this way.
Finally, agents were satisfied with weight of our luggage and escorted us to pitiful (comparably to StRegis) Westin lounge.
I am quite sure that there is cheating system exists to pull out some extra bucks from rich holiday makers. Why on earth they quote in kilos, write receipt also in kilos, but scaling in pounds and making double recalculation during which adding extra 10% to the weight? It’s not USA to use pounds, isn’t it?
It seems that TMA has become stricter with weighing checked and hand luggage and the process described by the reader differs vastly from my previous flights with this airline.
My black 22 weighs precisely 15 kilos, my computer bag is 10+ kilos, and sometimes I may have a small paper bag from a hotel with folios, etc. I am 100% sure that I have been few kilos over their allowance, and I have never been charged anything extra, most recently in late 2019.
I am sure that the two local airlines shuffling tourists from one resort to another are hurting tremendously due to the pandemic. To make up for revenue shortfall, hey likely have advised employees to collect more fees where they can, despite ridiculous pricing for these short flights.