Hiding a Maccas meal in your suitcase is extreme but we’re all guilty of one or two of these fibs.
Last week, a traveller was fined a hefty $2664 after trying to sneak a half-eaten McDonald’s meal into Darwin via a flight from Bali. Customs dogs sniffed out the two egg and sausage McMuffins and ham croissant (not shockingly – Macca’s isn’t exactly known for its low-key aroma) while on the lookout for biosecurity breaches connected to Bali’s recent foot and mouth disease outbreak, Escape reports.
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Perhaps the most eyebrow-raising part is that this wasn’t an accidental, “Oh sorry guv, I had no idea it was there” situation. According to reports, the passenger had deliberately lied on their inbound passenger documentation, presumably hastily ticking ‘no’ next to the bit where they ask if you’re carrying any food into the country.
This particular fast food fib is – if you’ll pardon the pun – a whopper, but if we’re honest, all of us have told the odd porky while we’re travelling.
Here are a few others that, cough, we may or may not have been guilty of in the past.
Disclaimer: we are in no way endorsing any of the below – you do the crime, you do the time.
1. I had no idea my hand luggage was overweight
This one enrages me, actually. I am a priggish hand luggage rule-abider, to the point that if I have any doubts over whether my luggage is larger than an airline’s allowance I’ll check it into the hold to be on the safe side. This is because the boorish overhead baggage hold hog is one of my least favourite travellers, and I intend never to be one.
However, I see it time and time again – people who have slipped their chunky duffel bag or extra few handbags and backpacks through the check-in process. (Yes, we all know you can sort of hide it as swipe your boarding pass or wait to race through when the check-in staff looks distracted.)
But know this.
This makes you a bad person. It does. I know it, the airlines know it, and deep down in your deceptive soul, you know it too.
Just check your bags.
2. I haven’t been anywhere near a forest
This grey-area fib is one that you may be guilty of when you’re filling in your customs entry form as you arrive in Australia.
This is the specific question they ask:
Have you been in contact with farms, farm animals, wilderness areas or freshwater streams/lakes etc, in the past 30 days?
And look. Here’s the thing. I feel slightly ambiguous about this one. Because although it is incontestably bad to violate Australia’s iron-clad biosecurity laws, it’s also true that ‘wilderness area’ is a very broad term. Define ‘wilderness area’, Australia!
When I trekked bits of the Appalachian Trail in 2018 then sure, that’s wilderness in anyone’s book.
But when I walked a small bit of the Nakasendo Trail in Japan a year later, along a stretch that was mostly little villages and cobbled and paved roads, just with trees and – OK fine, the occasional warning about bears – does that really count as wilderness?
Certainly my customs form said no. Moving on.
3. It’s just hayfever
This is one of those lies that can either be, meh, no one died, or dear god someone did actually die you psychopath.
Once upon a time getting on a plane with a runny nose or cough was something that few of us would have worried about too much. These days, obviously, it’s a much more serious proposition. And one of the greatest fears all of us have before we’re about to embark on that long-delayed holiday of a lifetime is that we come down with a cold, flu or – of course – Covid-19.
Now, I’m not your mother, or Dr Norman Swan, so I’m not going to tell you exactly where you should draw the line on when it is or isn’t acceptable to travel when you’re sick. A runny nose can be just that and sometimes you simply have to be somewhere.
But I think we can all agree that trying to pass off actual Covid – as opposed to a simple cold or sniffle – as hayfever before getting on a flight would be a pretty low act. Do not endorse.
4. I’m sick, I need to be moved to business class
Yeah, nah. The flight crew are onto you. They’ve heard every possible reason under the sun for why sneaky economy class passengers think they need to be upgraded – everything from “I feel dizzy” to “I’ve hurt my leg”. (And let’s use our noggins here people – even if either of these things were true, how is business class going to solve either of them?)
When you crank out a lie like this one, all you’re really doing is insulting the cabin crew’s intelligence, and that is hardly going to make them want to go out of their way for you.
There are ways that you can get upgraded if you’re lucky, and all of them involve a little thing called ‘not acting like a jerk’. Read about a few of them here.
5. I’m here as a tourist
This one specifically refers to people who need to travel a lot for work. Specifically to the USA. And who may need a visa.
OK, I’ve said all I’m going to say about this one now, please carry on with your day, thank you.
This story originally appeared on Escape and is republished here with permission