Notes from the dorm

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 June, 2010, 12:00am

'Er, Miss, your luggage weighs 37 kg - that's 14 kg overweight.' Flabbergasted, I can't come up with a sensible reply and an embarrassing silence takes over. This lady behind the check-in counter has just informed me the second-worst thing a first-time-flying-home student can ever hear. (This worst thing is that you just missed your flight.)

This cannot be happening. How can I have moved a 37kg suitcase on my own? Having decided that what she has just said is ridiculous, I rebut with an equally ridiculous comment.

'Are you sure the scale is functioning properly? Can I move my luggage over to the other scale and double-check?' She suppresses a sneer and my heart sinks as the other scale reads the same as the first one.

My jaw drops. I don't have the money to pay GBP50 for every extra kilogram. 'You need to either move something into your hand luggage or throw unnecessary things away,' the check-in woman says.

Seeing that there is no way to deny the reality, I step away from the queue to a nearby bench and start unpacking my luggage, just to see if there is indeed anything I can chuck into the bin.

Oh, gone are the tin cans of confectionery from Harrods and shower gel gift boxes from The Body Shop. And all the textbooks which I brought along are relocated to my hand luggage.

Fortunately, the tin cans and textbooks were taking up quite a lot of the weight, so I don't have to throw away any of my possessions after all.

This is certainly one of the most unforgettable experience I have ever had, and a lesson well learnt: always weigh your luggage - twice - before you head off to the airport!