A passenger resorted to dressing "like the Michelin Man" so he could board a flight with all his luggage.

Soccer coach Raymond Williams and wife Lori were travelling to a family reunion in Wellington last weekend when they were told Lori's carry-on bag was too heavy.

He said the Jetstar flight attended suggested the pair transfer items into Raymond's carry-on bag, but his bag was also already over the 7kg limit.

Williams said he argued that the combined weight of the luggage would still be the same and that as he and his luggage together weighed 86kg, it was still considerably less than other passengers.

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He then donned two bulky jackets before rearranging the contents of both bags.

After being told he "couldn't do that" by the flight attendant, he countered, "why not? I'm cold. And that lady over there has a big jacket on, so why can't I?"

When the Jetstar employee remarked he was wearing two jackets, Williams responded that he didn't have a singlet on underneath and asked if the attendant was planning to count the layers of clothing every passenger was wearing.

Williams said while he was "grudgingly" allowed to board the flight, he thought the whole palaver was illogical.

"If you can put the clothes on, what difference does it make if you're wearing them or they're in your suitcase?"

When the pair returned to Auckland on Monday morning they were deceptively plumper, having put on as much clothing as they could on their way to the airport.

Yet Williams said none of the flight attendants said anything and their bags were not weighed.

"I had two pairs of tracksuit pants on under my jeans, one jacket and a couple of big jackets on top," Williams said.

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"I felt like the Michelin Man."

Thankfully, he said, it was "quite cold" in Wellington, so his flight home wasn't as uncomfortable as it would've been in warmer weather.

Williams said he understood airlines needed to limit overhead luggage, but thought they should measure the size of the bags instead of the weight.

But now knowing how strict airlines can be around baggage allowances, Raymond and Lori plan to travel lighter in future.

A Jetstar spokesperson said airport and cabin crew monitored carry-on bags on all flights to ensure they were within allowed limits.

Jetstar staff were trained to watch for bags that looked as though they might be over the 7kg limit and would get them weighed if needed.