Think Twice Before Trying TikTok's Viral Hack To Make Your Luggage Weigh Less

TikTok has brought us too many handy tips to count, like the packing hack to give you extra room in your suitcase or the hack that keeps your beach snacks sand-free. However, the advice promoted on the platform isn't always worth copying. Case in point: the sneaky baggage scale hack.

The method went viral after @bed.sweater posted a video on TikTok showing how it works. All you need is a flight ticket, an overweight carry-on bag, and a flexible foot. When you're checking in for your flight at the airport and an agent asks to weigh your bag, simply position your foot under the scale to keep the weight under the airline's limit. The more you push up with your toes, the fewer pounds will register on the scale.

Earlier, another iteration of the strategy was shared across the internet when Reddit user u/SomeoneFromGalar posted a photo of a man weighing his suitcase, with part of the luggage hanging over the side of the scale. In the picture, he can be seen discreetly lifting the suitcase with his foot, presumably in an attempt to avoid paying for the extra weight.

Think twice before trying TikTok's viral hack to make your luggage weigh less

The TikTok clip has garnered over 8 million views and 574,000 "likes" since going live in August 2023, but not everyone is impressed. One commenter pointed out that luggage is weighed to maintain the plane's center of gravity, and if it isn't balanced correctly, the aircraft won't be able to fly. Another added that the luggage weight is controlled to prevent baggage handlers from injuring themselves.

Bill McGee, an aviation expert and former airline worker, confirmed to USA Today that airline baggage policies exist for a reason. An improperly loaded plane can be dangerous, especially if the plane is small in size (such as those used for regional flights). In fact, McGee says that 136 accidents in nine years were related to inaccurate weight calculations.

Still, the man in the @bed.sweater video, Teddy Stavropoulos, disagrees with the pushback. "We think it's crazy how 1,000 people gave their 'expert' opinions on the weight distributions of commercial planes," he told Business Insider. "The difference between 49 and 54 pounds is obviously not enough to cause a plane crash."

If you try the hack, it could backfire

Another reason to rethink the TikTok hack is because, well, it might not actually work. One commenter wrote on the clip, "I've tried this a bunch of times [and] they always ask me to back up." Another questioned how easy it would be to keep your foot steady to prevent the reading on the scale from fluctuating.

Remember, if the airline staff realizes you've been manipulating the scale, they'll still impose any weight restrictions and fees — and they'll likely be less forgiving than if you'd just been honest about your overweight bag in the first place.

If your bag is just a few pounds over the limit, as it was in the viral TikTok video, get creative with your belongings without relying on dishonesty. Wear your heaviest garments during your flight day, and use your coat or jacket pockets to stash some of your heftiest small items (such as phone chargers and carry-on liquids). If you're traveling with a friend or family member, try to evenly distribute weight between your suitcases. If your load is still too heavy, accept that you'll have to pay up, and do so sooner than later. Extra luggage or weight is almost always cheaper when paid for in advance than when fees are applied at the airport.