Luggage Can Cost More Than Flight Ticket

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

The confusing add-ons and extras that seem to be part and parcel of buying a cheap air fare have now got even more confusing with the news that having large hand luggage can end up costing you more than you pay for the flight itself.

compare travel cardsNew data from consumer magazine Which? has revealed that a passenger who arrives at the airport with hand luggage that exceeds the airline restrictions may be forced to pay an amount greater than their ticket price to put the bag in the hold.

The research found that one-way Ryanair flights from London to Malmo in Sweden in the month of May cost £15.99 including taxes and charges. This is £44.01 less than the fine the airline imposes for those with oversized hand luggage.

A one-way flight with Monarch to Barcelona can cost as little as £39.49, which is £11.51 less than the oversized hand luggage fine the airline charges.

Most airlines charge a fee at the boarding gate for luggage that does not adhere to the size restrictions they impose, and an added problem is that there is no standard in place with variations differing widely between carriers.

The fees also vary, but can be as much £60 with Ryanair and £50 with Monarch. These penalties apply even if the bag in question is only centimetres too big.

Which? said: “If you're heading abroad over either of the May bank holidays, make sure you find hand luggage that fits the requirements of your airline. Although Euro MPs have proposed a one-size-fits-all policy, airlines have a range of different size and weight requirements, potentially leading to confusion and surprises at the departure gate.”

Even if a suitcase is advertised as cabin sized, don't assume it will be. Our research found that airlines can include wheels and handles in the measurements for their restrictions, whereas manufacturers may only consider the main body of the case."

In addition to ensuring before arriving at the airport that your hand luggage is suitable for the airline’s restrictions, remember to load a prepaid cardwith currency, as this is also an effective way to keep overall holiday costs down.

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