From extra charges for specified seats to punitive fines for overweight luggage, we’re used to the myriad ways low-cost airlines manage to extract more money from us. The latest is that one British airline has announced that its passengers must now pay an additional fee if they want to guarantee their hand luggage does not end up in the hold.
Jet2.com is based at Leeds Bradford Airport in England, and it carried 6.7 million passengers in 2016. It is the fourth-largest scheduled airline in the UK, and also has bases at Manchester, Belfast, Edinburgh, Newcastle, East Midlands, Glasgow, Alicante, Birmingham and London Stansted. Its “guaranteed cabin baggage” option is offered to customers just before they purchase their tickets online.
This is because it has become increasingly common for airlines to ask passengers to put their carry-on bags in the hold with the checked luggage below. For example, a study by Which? Travel revealed that 26% of Ryanair passengers end up having to put their cabin bags in the hold due to a lack of space in the overhead bins. It’s most inconvenient as it means you have to wait for the baggage to be delivered to the carousel at arrivals instead of swanning straight through.
Jet2.com spotted a potential revenue stream there, and is now charging passengers £2.59 each way to guarantee that their 10kg hand luggage travels in the cabin. The new fee joins the list of add-ons such as priority boarding and seat selection fees that budget airlines use to increase their revenue. Brace yourselves guys, because it is probably inevitable that the rest of the low-cost airlines will follow suit with this new charge, while kicking themselves that they didn’t think of it first.