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City Inspectors Check Scales at New York's Airports

Monday, November 24, 2008

Several airlines are charging extra for handling your luggage, and city inspectors want to make sure the scales being used are accurate. WNYC's Marc Garber has more.

REPORTER: All 810 scales at LaGuardia and JFK were checked by the city Department of Consumer Affairs. Eighty-seven percent of the scales passed inspection during the first sweep. The remaining 102 were ordered to be re-calibrated within five business days.

New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Johnathan Mintz says a follow up inspection last month to ensure compliance found American Airlines at JFK still had problems.

MINTZ: American Airlines had 28 scales which were off balance. When we went back to check again after having issued stop use orders, we found that they were continuing to use, we caught them using 10 of them.

The airline was fined $150 and could face additional fines when it appears at a December hearing for the violation.

American Airlines says it spends tens of thousands of dollars each year checking its scales for accuracy and that inaccurate scales usually err in the customer's favor. For WNYC, I'm Marc Garber.

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