Beat the baggage rip off

travelsupermarket.com calls on all passengers to boycott excessive hold check in charges and fly hand luggage only wherever they can.

Tomorrow (1 July) marks the first day of Ryanair’s increased luggage charges, penalising passengers who choose to holiday over the summer time. Ryanair’s usual charge of £15 each way per checked in bag will be increased to £20 for the months of July and August.  And failing to declare the bag online at check in will see airport bag check in fees rising from £35 to £40 each way.

Based on research across 12 of the UK and Ireland’s popular airlines, Ryanair already has the lowest default hold luggage allowance of only 15kgs – 8kgs less than British Airways, so hardly great value for those wanting to check a bag in during the popular family travel period.

Interestingly, Ryanair has also this week launched a “Ryanair approved Samsonite cabin bag” costing £69/79euros aimed to encourage passengers to travel hand luggage only.  Whilst this is an attractive price for Samsonite luggage, travellers have to opt out of the bag option or run the risk of ordering one by mistake as it is part of the main booking process for a flight.

Bob Atkinson, travel expert from www.travelsupermarket.com, said: "What we take on holiday is sometimes as important as where we go particularly if you have a family.  And where you go obviously has a huge impact on what needs to be packed. Baggage is a huge factor for Ryanair which is constantly trying to encourage passengers to travel light by levying ever increasing exhorbitant baggage charges. Many of these passengers have no option but Ryanair on their chosen departure point or destination and these summer rises are a cynical stab into the family budget.

"As for the approved cabin bag, it will be interesting to see whether this is the thin edge of a future ploy to buy Ryanair approved hand baggage or pay for the priviledge of taking your own hand luggage at inflated rates. There are many other bag options available on the market that fit the dimensions allowed on board and at a fraction of the price Ryanair are charging for their ‘approved’ bag. The bag does not represent great value for money and whilst it may be ‘approved’, if it goes over 10kg it will be placed in the hold and an eye watering fee of £35 will be prised from you for the priviledge."

Top packing tips to travel hand baggage only from www.travelsupermarket.com:

  1. Know your limits – don’t go over your weight and dimensions limits – airlines will look for bags that are over and charge a fee to check them in
  2. Buy the right bag – soft bag with no frame to ensure that it can squash into the hand luggage gauges at the gate
  3. Only pack what you need – be ruthless and cut out items you are not really going to use
  4. Packing techniques – pack items using rolling, folding or bundling to maximise use of space
  5. Which clothes? – wear all the heavy items such as jeans, coats and boots and pack the lighter ones.  Check the weather for where you are going and the activities you are planning to take part in – only pack for those
  6. Toiletries - pack miniatures decanted from larger bottles, there is a limit of 1 litre in liquids in bottles of no more than 100ml presented to security in a clear bag
  7. Pockets – use your coat, jacket and trouser pockets to stuff them with heavy items and gadgets. Wear this to get passed check in and the gate them place them all into your bag once you get on board
  8. Phones/Ipods/LapTops/Cameras/NoteBooks/Magazines/Books – minimise what you need to take with you.  With chargers, electronic items add up in weight and guide books can be replaced by photocopying key pages or printing from the internet.  Carr books and magazines in your hands
  9. Don't Pool Your Hand Luggage – most airlines won’t allow it so be careful with this – no one bag can exceed the limit
  10. Be careful in the airport shops – some airlines insist that the purchase fit into your hand luggage – not be an extra allowed bag. – So your VAT free or duty free saving can end up costing you a checked bag fee of up to £35. 

So which airlines have the most generous baggage allowances?

Hand luggage Top Ten**

= 1 easyJet
= 1 British Airways
3  bmi
= 4 Aer Lingus 
= 4 Ryanair
= 4 Jet2
7  Monarch
8  bmibaby
9  Flybe
10 Virgin Atlantic
11 Thomson (Flight only)
12 Thomas Cook (Flight only)

Hold luggage Top Ten**

=1 British Airways
= 1 Virgin Atlantic
3  BMI
4 Jet 2
5 Thomson
6 flybe
7 easyJet
8 Monarch
9 Aer Lingus
10 Thomas Cook
11 bmibaby
12 Ryanair

Hand luggage allowances

Rank

Airline

Hand luggage weight allowance

Hand Baggage size

Volume cm squared

=1

easyJet

No limit but must be able to lift into the overhead locker unaided.

56cm x 45cm x 25cm

63000

=1

British Airways

No limit but must be able to lift into the overhead locker unaided.  Pax may take one bag plus either a handbag or a laptop bag

56cm x 45cm x 25cm

63000

3

bmi

No limit but must be able to lift into the overhead locker unaided.  Pax may take one bag plus either a handbag or a laptop bag

55cm x 40cm x 23cm

50600

=4

Aer Lingus

10kg

56cm x 45cm x 25cm

63000

=4

Ryanair

10 kg in one bag

55cm x 40cm x 20cm

63000

=4

Jet2

10 kg in one bag

56cm x 45cm x 25cm

63000

7

Monarch

10 kg

56cm x 45cm x 25cm

56000

8

bmibaby

10 kg

55cm x 40cm x 20cm

44000

9

Flybe

10 kg

50cm x 35cm x 23cm

40250

10

Virgin Atlantic

One piece up to 6kg plus a handbag

56cm x 36cm x 23cm

46368

11

Thomson

(Flight Only)

5 kg

55cm x 40cm x 20cm

44000

12

Thomas Cook

(Flight only)

5 kg

43cm x 28cm x 23cm

27692

Hold luggage allowances

Rank

Airline

Economy Bag

Allowance 1 bag

Cost of 1 bag

Pre-booked

Max Number of

Hold Bags allowed

Pooling of Hold Bag

Allowance allowed?

=1

British Airways

23kg

FREE

Varies by route - minimum is one bag. Maximum is 5 - different charges apply for 2ns and extra bags

No

=1

Virgin Atlantic

23kg

FREE

Varies by route - minimum is one bag. Maximum is 5 - different charges apply for 2ns and extra bags

No

3

BMI

20kg

FREE

Unlimited - different charges apply for 2ns and extra bags

No

4

Jet 2

22kg

from £7.99 to £15.99 one way  - varies by route

Up to 3 per passenger - different charges apply for 2ns and extra bags

No

5

Thomson

20kg

from £8 to £15 one way - varies by route

5 per passenger - different charges apply for 2ns and extra bags

Yes

6

Flybe

20kg

£8.99 one way

Up to 3 per passenger - different charges apply for 2ns and extra bags

No

7

easyJet

20kg

£9 one way

Up to 8 per passenger – different charges apply for 2ns and extra bags

 

No

8

Monarch

20kg

£9.99 to £15.99 one way varies by route

Up to 5 per passenger – different charges apply for 2nd and extra bags

Yes

9

Aer Lingus

20kg

£10 or £12 each way

3 bas up to the 20kg limit

No

10

Thomas Cook

20kg

Short haul £10 one way  Long haul £17.50 one way

1 per passenger

No

11

BMI baby

18kg

from £12.99 to £14.99 one way - varies by route

Up to 5 per passenger for the 18kg weight limit

Yes (up to 18kg per person)

12

Ryanair

15kg

£15 one way (apart from July and August 2010 - £20 one way) N.B.You can also book a bag to weigh up to 20kg - cost £25 one way - £30 July - August

Up to 2 per passenger. 2nd bag costs more

No

-Ends-

Notes to editors:
** Comparing 12 popular airlines

Did you enjoy that? Why not share this article

Contact us

MoneySuperMarket Press Office

For any media queries or interview requests please contact the MoneySuperMarket press office on...

Telephone 0203 826 4576

email pressoffice@moneysupermarket.com