We’re seeing lower than ever fares to some of our favourite destinations thanks to our favourite low-cost airlines. But the trade off often is limited hand baggage – and that means heavy restrictions on what we can bring with us.
Different airlines allow bags of different sizes and weights, and it’s easy to forget this when you’re blissfully over packing your suitcases, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to find out how to make sure you’re not overcharged. Because let’s face it – we’ve all got baggage. Here’s how to avoid paying for it.
Know your Allowances
easyJet standard tickets allow one cabin bag (maximum size of 56 x 45 x 25cm)
You can only carry a small extra bag (i.e. a handbag) in addition to this if you are an easyJet Plus, FLEXI fare, upfront or extra legroom customer.
You can check in a maximum of three suitcases at an extra cost, and each has to weigh a maximum of 20kg.
Ryanair allows one cabin bag weighing up to 10kg (55cm x 40cm x 20cm) and one small additional bag measuring up to 35 x 20 x 20cm. Oversized cabin bags could incur a £50 charge.
You can choose either 15kg or 20kg for your checked-in suitcases, and bring three in total. 15kg will cost from £21 per bag per way, and a 20kg bag will cost from £32 per bag per way.
Thomas Cook Airlines allows a 6kg bag per passenger and an additional handbag, laptop, coat or duty free bag free of charge. On a short haul flight, you’ll have an allowance of 15kg for a checked-in bag free of charge.
If you’re flying long haul, you’re allowed to take a suitcase weighing 20kg, or 23kg if you’re flying to the USA.
Thomson Airways have an allowance restriction of 5kgs for cabin bags (50 x 40 x 20cm). You can add a 20kg checked suitcase to your flight for £48 return.
Norwegian Airlines have a two-suitcase baggage limit, and the maximum size before being charged for excess is 20kgs per bag. These have to be checked in and the price varies depending on the departure point, destination and time of travel. You can bring one piece of hand luggage measuring up to 55 x 40 x 23cm, and a small personal item like a handbag, with a total combined weight of 10kg.
Monarch Airlines lets you bring one piece of hand luggage measuring up to 56 x 40 x 25cm and weighing up to 10kg. OR two separate pieces of hand baggage with a combined size of no bigger than 56 x 40 x 25cm and combined weight of up to 10kgs.
Weigh your Luggage
This might seem like an obvious task but it’s surprising how many people forget to do it. If you don’t have any scales, you can buy a special luggage weighing device which you hook onto the case and use to lift it. You can buy these in hardware and department stores. They even do them with torches! Now that’s a weight off your chest, we’re sure.
Be Smart with your Packing
So many people buy a whole new wardrobe for their holidays when this is just not necessary. Pack less than you think you need, because we have the tendency to over pack anyway. Bear in mind that where you’re going you’ll most likely be able to find the things you need if you realise you’ve left something important out. Chances are you’ll not miss a lot of the items you leave off your packing list.
If you’re having trouble fitting everything you need into your case, consider buying some vacuum pack bags to shrink large pieces of clothing like jumpers down to a more reasonable size. You can get these online or from department stores and can reuse them as many times as you need to. Apart from the fact you’ll have to locate a hoover to repackage them again on your way home, the downside to this method is that you may end up packing more than you need into the new-found space in your suitcase, so make sure you weight it before you head off.
Wear your Luggage
This might seem like a joke at first glance, but it’s not – there are specially-manufactured pieces of clothing with multiple pockets and flaps where you can pack/hide all the clothes you need to travel. Granted, they’re not the most attractive garments, but if you’re looking to make the most of the fact that a person’s body weight is not taken into consideration, this is the perfect opportunity.