Offbeat India: Woman cries ‘bomb’ at Mumbai airport to wriggle out of paying excess baggage fee

The things that people do to get out of paying excess baggage fees! While a girl in Australia had put on 5.5kg clothes some time ago, a woman in India cried “bomb!” and was detained by police in Mumbai.

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, formerly called Sahar Airport, was the scene of high drama over excess baggage recently. Photo courtesy: Instagram/lets_travel_sumwhere

Passenger description: affluent SoBo (South Bombay) resident in her forties, wife of a businessman, flying to Kolkata to meet her mother. On the evening of May 29, she reached the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, formerly called Sahar Airport, made her way to the check-in counters of the budget carrier SpiceJet, and dropped two bags for check-in.

Her bags exceeded the airline’s checked-in baggage weight limit by more than 7kg — the limit was 15kg, and her two bags had a combined weight of just over 22kg. The counter executive informed the flyer that excess baggage fees would apply. The passenger refused to pay.

An argument ensued, in which the passenger was angry and the airline staff tried to soothe her and explain to her the airline rules. But the woman got angrier and angrier, and shouted at the staff. Reportedly, the passenger, who was a non-Marathi speaker, accused the airline staff of harassing her because they spoke to each other in Marathi.

Airport security was informed and CISF inspector Muthu Kumar arrived at the scene. When Kumar began talking to the passenger, she suddenly cried, “I have a bomb!”

That triggered a security protocol: bomb squad sniffer dogs were brought in immediately, but they found nothing suspicious in the bags that the angry passenger had given for check-in. More security officials and the airline’s senior staff arrived. Mumbai Police were called.

Cops from the Sahar police station area came and detained the woman for “endangering lives and safety of others”. Being a woman, she was not taken into police custody in the evening. Instead, she was produced before a local court the next day and got bail. The police continued with their paperwork in the case.