Airlines are now charging more for baggage than for a ticket on some flights, an investigation by The Mail on Sunday has revealed.
Extra baggage fees have long infuriated passengers who have been lured in by bargain flight prices, only to discover there are additional costs to take a suitcase on holiday.
The charge is often revealed many minutes into the online booking process.
Extra baggage fees have long infuriated passengers who have been lured in by bargain flight prices, only to discover there are additional costs to take a suitcase on holiday
Only then are consumers typically asked if they want to ‘opt in’ and pay more for any baggage too big to go in the overhead locker.
But as airlines increasingly turn to extra charges in a bid to boost their income, the cost of taking a bag can now exceed that of the flight alone.
Our reporters found shocking examples on five different airlines providing flights across Europe.
If holidaymakers want to buy a £48.57 return flight to Faro from London Southend on the easyJet website, they would be recommended a ‘luggage selection’ that cost them £69.23.
The cost of a £29.98 trip to Copenhagen with Ryanair from London Stansted was significantly increased when our reporters were charged £50 to check in a 20kg suitcase.
Research reveals the world’s top 20 airlines saw a 110 per cent increase in revenue from luggage fees between 2014 and 2018. Last year, airlines took a staggering £22.2 billion in fees
Similar deals are being offered by Vueling, Flybe and Level Airlines.
Research reveals the world’s top 20 airlines saw a 110 per cent increase in revenue from luggage fees between 2014 and 2018. Last year, airlines took a staggering £22.2 billion in fees.
The amount they are cashing in from luggage charges has also increased as a percentage of their overall revenue – almost doubling in the past four years.
Naomi Leach, of consumer association Which?, said: ‘While the headline price of a flight might seem eye-catchingly low, there could be a number of extra costs that are difficult to avoid.
Airlines must be completely upfront and transparent, as constant tinkering with baggage allowances and charges risks confusing even the savviest traveller.’ A spokesman for easyJet said: ‘The fact that a hold bag can be more than the fare is more reflective of the great-value fares that are available.’
A Ryanair spokesman said: ‘Our baggage policy is transparent and beneficial to customers.’
Level Airlines added: ‘Our economy cabin is excellent value for money, with affordable fares so that our clients can explore the world. They are in control because they can choose everything they want for their flight.’