Hand Luggage Fees Not Popular with British Passengers

The idea of paying hand luggage fees has not been well received by British air passengers.

Recently Wizz Air, a Hungary-based airline, commenced a trial of a new cabin baggage policy, by charging its passengers for carrying hand luggage that needed to be stowed in an overhead bin. Following the news, a recent poll conducted by TripAdvisor, a company offering an online travel community for collating user-generated travel information, has reported that British travellers have reacted unfavourably to the airline’s policy.

The company has reporting that around 73 percent of more than 11,500 British respondents to the poll expressed their annoyance at the idea of paying for their hand baggage, and would avoid airline’s that do so in favour of other airlines.

Around 25 percent of respondents said that they would consider paying a hand luggage fee, if they could save costs on the total journey. Only 2 percent of British travellers polled said that they would be happy to pay for hand luggage.

The company website reports, ‘Charging passengers for hand luggage that doesn’t fit under the seat is an interesting move, but one that clearly doesn’t sit well with the majority of British travellers. Travellers should always do their research before booking to ensure that any extra charges are factored into the total fare.’

Passengers booking Wizz Air tickets for travel from October 24, 2012, onwards, are being allowed a small cabin baggage of up to 42 x 32 x 25cm free of charge. All other kinds of bags taken as carry-on luggage are being charged a fee of £9.00 per bag.

The airline has tested its new airline baggage policy on its Luton Airport to Katowice (Poland) route with very good results. Since August 1, 2012, passengers on the route have paid €10 for a larger piece of cabin baggage, a step that the airline has taken to control the problem of lack of storage space in smaller aircraft.