Many times I flew on Elal and their baggage allowance was 20 kg which wasn’t a practical amount. So over the years, I developed different ways to get more weight onto the plane (i.e not declaring a piece of luggage) overloading pockets/backpack etc)
Unfortunately, it only occurred to me recently that this may well be theft and of a value of more than a Shaveh Prutah
My justifications are perhaps they know about this and it’s their discretion to check and therefore there should be Mechlah?
Their policy was very inconsistent and it all depended on the discretion of the luggage attendant as many times they just let me through knowing that I had a lot extra.
Also, does it matter if they are taking advantage of the situation by their exorbitant charges because you are stranded and need your luggage?
If my justifications are incorrect which is likely to be the case then what would I owe them? (Is it what the extra fuel cost them or how much overweight cost?)
At that stage in my life, I would never have paid the overweight charges and would have sent back the luggage so I assume that overweight charge is irrelevant but would it make a difference if I would have actually paid the overweight charges?
Would it make a difference if it was a Jewish or Non-Jewish Airline?
Would it make a difference if Elal lost my luggage or cancelled a flight etc that I can offset this charge?
If I am liable Please suggest If and how I could go about rectifying this issue?
Extract from Website
WHILE AIRLINES MAY set the fares and fees for air travel, the decisions made by passengers also come with costs. Every item on board makes a plane heavier, which burns more fuel. An airliner’s cost of operating rises with every laptop (33 cents per flight), pillow (6 cents), or magazine (5 cents) you bring along.
What you are doing is pretty common practice, especially when people are coming to Eretz Yisroel for an extended period of time. Although it might be true that whatever you bring on to the flight adds to the need for more fuel, the airline knows that often people’s hand luggage weighs more than the allotted amount, and they look away from it. Therefore if the extra weight being taken on is in the realm of what is normal then we can assume that they are mochel it, however more than that is problematic. included in this would be sneaking on an extra piece of luggage since they normally would not allow it.
If you are in a situation that you took items on to the plane without paying for it. contact the customer service department of the airline, and ask them what they suggest that you do.