Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Bags of Complication

The increasing tendency for no frills airlines to charge for all hold baggage is making it even more dificult to compare prices with established airlines which do not.

Latest to announce it will charge is easyJet. The move affects passengers booking flights departing from October 1. This replaces a previous policy where the first hold bag was free but subsequent bags were charged at £5 per item.

The airline says it will charge £2 for each items of luggage checked in - but passengers booking on line may be left somewhat confused. When I looked the section on baggage policy made no mentions of the fact that it will cost £5 a bag if you pay at the airport. The page also says you are allowed up to 8 bags within the maxmum weight limit. When I made a test booking the relevant page informed me I was restricted to one per person and showed a charge of £4. You should not that £4 is the charge for the outward and return journeys combined. And the software ASSUMES you will be taking one bag per person. There's a little drop down box which enables you to increase the number of bags - and pay on line accordingly.

easyJet does not impose a weight restriction on hand luggage - allowing one piece measuring up to 55cm x 40cm x 20cm.

It's announcement provided an amusing and typical example of the way airlines - probably even without realising thy are doing it - obfuscate such changes. The headline on its web site news release was: "easyJet simplifies baggage procedures".