I’m not sure I condone this hack, but since it’s Evil Week, let’s take a look at this DIY strategy to get out of paying extra airline bag fees.
As Australian travel writer Rebecca Andrews explains in Escape Magazine, it’s relatively easy to wrap excess baggage into a belly-sized bundle, which you can then use to fake either a pregnancy or a gut:
Shape it into a baby bump (or a beer-belly) — five months is best as you don’t need to change the way you walk.
You’ll need to get your overstuffed carry-on through security first, but once you’re safely on the other side you can find a restroom and begin reconfiguring your outfit. Wear something stretchy as your first layer to hold your fake belly in place, then add a few loose layers on top (like an oversized T-shirt under an oversized sweater) to smooth out the appearance of your bump.
Andrews shows you how it’s done on her Instagram:
It’s worth noting that the outfit in that Instagram story didn’t actually fly, though Andrews successfully carried her fake pregnancy as far as the jet bridge before she got caught:
Collectively, they weighed my [carry-on] bag, and with smiles gave me the all clear. But as I walked my fake-pregnant arse down the gangway, I dropped my ticket and made a noise. So they all looked at me again.
As I bent over to pick up the ticket, the shape of my laptop down my back suddenly became apparent.
“Excuse me! Is that a backpack you have on under your jacket?”
“There is something there.”
However, Andrews told CNN Travel that she’s pulled off this stunt before, without the error of trying to hide a laptop under her clothes:
It wasn’t Andrews first rodeo. A frequent flier, Andrews tells CNN Travel she’s “double- and triple-layered clothes many times and have definitely done a fake pregnancy here and there.”
Wearing a few layers of clothing to avoid checking an extra bag sounds like an excellent non-evil travel tip, though if you wear too many layers—like, so many that it stops looking fashionable and starts looking obvious—the airline might not let you board. (You should also avoid layering so many clothes that you overheat and pass out, as the Independent reports happened to a 19-year-old musician “wearing six t-shirts, five jumpers, three pairs of jeans, two pairs of jogging bottoms, two jackets and two hats.”)
But wearing some of those clothes in a belly-shaped wad held in place by your other clothes… well… I’ll let you all decide whether you want to give that particular travel hack a try.
As Andrews’ Instagram video notes: “If you try this and get busted, this video 100% does not exist. Don’t sue me please.”