Wizz Air charges £9 for taking hand luggage on flights

| October 25, 2012 | 0 Comments

By
Tara Evans

11:25 EST, 25 October 2012


|

11:39 EST, 25 October 2012

Low cost airline Wizz Air is now charging customers £9 to take hand luggage on-board flights and if the bag is too big then they may be forced to pay up to £51 to check it in.

From yesterday, anyone travelling with what is deemed to be a ‘large cabin bag’, bigger than 42cm x 32cm x 25cm, must pay the £9 fee. These bags fall well within what is considered to be the industry standard hand baggage measure of about 56cm x 45cm x 25cm – above this bags must go in an airline’s hold.

Handbags, small backpacks and laptop
bags are still allowed on-board for free, as long as they meet the size
restrictions, which means they will fit underneath the passenger’s seat.
The airline said that the levy was to prevent ‘overcrowding in aircraft
cabins’.

Take a flight: Wizz Air is now charging customers £9 to bring hand luggage on-board flights

Take a flight: Wizz Air is now charging customers £9 to bring hand luggage on-board flights

At the time of going to press we were unable to get Wizz Air to confirm what would happen to passengers arriving at the gate with a ‘large cabin bag’ not pre-booked with the £9 fee, however, passengers could fall foul of its baggage fee at the gate of £51.

Many low-cost airline customers rely on hand luggage to avoid baggage charges which are added on at the checkout and make the cost of the trip more expensive.

Wizz Air is the only firm in the UK market that asks customers to pay for hand luggage. The cost of checking in pre-booked baggage, which goes into the hold of the aircraft, is split into three tiers, depending on when passengers fly.

It charges £13 per bag for flights lasting less than 1 hour 50 during low season – which is anytime out-side of the popular Christmas period from mid-December to early January and peak summer season from June until the end of September. 

Passengers on flights lasting more than 1 hour 50 during low season and those flying less than that time during high season will pay £17 per bag. Those flying for more than 1 hour 50 during high season will pay £21 per bag.

However, any passenger who doesn’t pre-book baggage before turning up at the airport will be forced to pay £38. And those whose bags don’t fit once they reach the gate at the airport will be slapped with a £51 charge.


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Charges: Wizz Air charges are listed on its website. Passengers could face a hefty £51 charge if they forget to book online and their hand luggage is too big to fit.

Charges: Wizz Air charges are listed on its website. Passengers could face a hefty £51 charge if they forget to book online and their hand luggage is too big to fit.

Passengers who decide to fly with Wizz Air, which promotes itself as a budget option will find their costs spiral if they fall foul of the rules.

Bob Atkinson, travel expert for TravelSupermarket.com, said: ‘The key thing is to always ensure you know the baggage rules for checked in and hand luggage and NOT assume it is the same for each time you fly or each carrier you travel with. Remember to add in all the various costs of bags to the total price of your trip when comparing.’

The airline said that the introduction of the charge means that the overall cost of flights will drop by £4.50 per passenger.

There are no set rules for airlines with each airline setting its own policy on how much they can charge and how much baggage allowance customers are given.

Alex Francis, of Loveholidays.com, said: ‘Wizz have announced that by introducing this fee they will be able to reduce overall flight costs by £4.50 per passenger, whilst this may happen, I would think given the current state of the airline industry it’s far more likely that the additional fee will be absorbed by the airline.

‘Hidden charges have become a bugbear of holidaymakers and prices that can initially seem good value rapidly rise when all extra expenses are factored in to the equation so we imagine this won’t be well received with customers just seeing it as another way for companies to make money out of them.’

Filed Under: finance news

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