Mercia is in Brazil visiting family and will be back on Friday. When she left two weeks ago she flew on TAM, what right now is the only Brazilian airline flying to the USA.
After checking in with two full suitcases (well within the weight restrictions), they asked to weigh her carry-on luggage at which point she was advised that her weight limit was 5 kilos (11 pounds). That's really nothing, but she was overweight with her carry-on luggage. We spent fifteen minutes trying to stuff more items in her checked baggage. We were unable to get the weight down to five kilos, but the woman - who did not give Mercia back her travel documents until she attempted to comply -relented and let her go.
Is this a government regulation of some kind? No, this is just TAM's bizarre policy. My brother-in-law was flying that same day and his carry-on probably weighed close to 25 pounds, more than twice the weight limit. The difference is that he is at an elite level in their frequent flyer program.
Obviously it's the company's choice to set up this policy. It's also my choice to fly TAM and it's highly unlikely I will do so again.