Friday, July 19, 2024

China’s young avoid luggage fees on flights by wearing clothes, not packing

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Young adults in China are dodging airline luggage fees by wearing all their clothes instead of packing them, much to the amusement of people on mainland social media.

Amid a post-pandemic travel industry boom, budget airlines in China have seen profits soar. Spring Airlines, for example, reported earnings of more than two billion yuan (US$280 million) in 2023.

Their success comes from stringent cost-cutting measures, such as no complimentary meals, narrower seating, and strict carry-on luggage limitations – typically allowing a small 16-inch suitcase with 7kg maximum weight.

Confronted with the restrictions, creative young mainland travellers have taken to social media to share their ingenious budget airline fashion tips.

Walking wardrobe: this flier seeks to avoid hiked luggage fees by putting on as many layers of clothing as possible. Photo: Weixin.qq

To dodge extra baggage fees, they have turned themselves into walking wardrobes by wearing layers of clothes in a mix of styles, creating unique looks.

In one case, a person layered six pieces of autumn and winter apparel on herself, from vests to shirts to thick jackets.

Another traveller adorned herself in eight pieces of traditional Hanfu clothing while flying to Australia, and got called “simultaneously rich and poor” because she owns many high-quality outfits but still wants to save on baggage fees.

Some people have explored creative ways to pack, such as filling U-shaped pillows with clothing, which double as a comfortable in-flight cushion.

To tackle the challenge of carrying electronics, a fishing vest is a popular solution because of its many pockets in which to store documents, cables and power banks.

The vest can even carry an entire range of skincare and cosmetic items, while the back pocket provides ample space for two books and an iPad. Larger sizes are even capable of carrying a 16-inch laptop.

The item of clothing has been dubbed the “ultimate trump card” by people online.

“This must not be disclosed to the boss, or we’ll lose the excuse of ‘my computer isn’t with me’ to avoid working overtime while on a trip,” one person joked.

The strategic layering and packing trend, has sparked a wave of enthusiasm among travellers online, eager to try the hacks for themselves, reported the news magazine, Vista.

This ingenious traveller even donned scuba-diving goggles as she took her seat onboard a flight. Photo: Weixin.qq

“I’m going to wear a fishing vest when I travel next time, it’s even more convenient than a backpack,” one person said.

“I’ve managed to fit 5kg of items into a fishing vest before. It’s incredibly practical,” said another.

“Haha, this reminds me of a friend who wore a bunch of stuff boarding the plane, and a woman beside him asked if he was wearing a parachute,” said a third.

“Try to wear all that in Guangdong and you will suffer from heatstroke before you even step outside,” quipped another online observer.

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