Woman Fakes Pregnancy to Try and Avoid $40 Airline Excess Baggage Fees

A woman has revealed how she faked a pregnancy in a bid to avoid paying an airline's excess baggage fee—and how it almost worked.

Travel writer Rebecca Andrews explained how she planned to evade Australian low-cost airline Jetstar's $60AUD ($40) excess baggage fee in an article for escape.com.au.

According to Andrews, the airline "cancel and delay their flights all the time" and are "inflexible with check-in times."

She added that if customers are even 1 kg (2.2 pounds) over the baggage limit, they are hit with the fee. Any plans to sneak in extra luggage just before boarding a flight are pointless because Jetstar staff "wander around with scales at the boarding gate" and will "definitely re-weigh your bags."

So Andrews said she decided to "fight the system" and devised an elaborate plan to fake a pregnancy in a bid to avoid paying the fee.

"You might think I'm joking. There is no way I did this. It wouldn't work," she wrote. "You are wrong. I definitely did do this, and it ALMOST worked."

To prove it, she also shared a video showing her preparing to execute her nine-point plan in her hotel room in Sydney before the flight.

The clip showed how she placed her laptop down the back of a leopard-print bodysuit before creating a "baby bump" (or "beer belly") using heavy items like electronics wrapped in satin and slid down her front.

Andrews said she decided to be five months pregnant because it meant she didn't need to alter the way she walked. She also showed how she layered on several heavier items of clothing, including a thick jacket.

Her fake pregnancy was convincing enough that a woman at Sydney Airport asked her how far along she was. "Three kilos, give or take," she replied.

But her plan was foiled when she arrived at the gate to discover she was the last person boarding the flight, meaning "the staff were all paying me attention."

Andrews advised anyone considering following in her footsteps to walk "very erectly" and "keep their shoulders back," as it was bending down that ruined her plan.

After having her bag weighed and given the clear to board her flight, she dropped her ticket as she walked, she explained. When she bent over to pick it up, the shape of her laptop hidden down her back became visible to airline staff.

When questioned about the shape, she admitted she had "triple-layered to make the carry-on weight and not get charged."

Andrews wrote that she was ultimately forced to pay the excess baggage fee, adding that the airline employee "didn't care that I was cold, and definitely didn't care that I was (fake) pregnant. The game was up."

Despite failing in her plan, Andrews wrote that she would do it again if her luggage was ever overweight with one adjustment: make sure she wasn't the last to board.

A Jetstar spokesperson told Newsweek: "While we appreciate the creativity, our team are pretty wise to all the tricks and most of our customers find it more comfortable to pay a little bit more for an extra three kilos of carry-on."

Update: This article has been updated to include a comment from Jetstar.

Stock photo: A Jetstar plane at Sydney Airport. A woman revealed how she faked a pregnancy to avoid paying Jetstar's excess baggage fee. Getty