BA hits fliers with sky-high bag charge

British Airways is planning an additional £240 to the cost of a return long-haul flight if passengers want to check in an extra bag.

Passengers will face an extra charge of £120 for extra bags on long-haul trips. There will be a £60 fee per extra bag on European journeys and £30 on domestic flights.

Full statement

The revision to our charging policy, which comes into partial effect next Tuesday, is being introduced to simplify existing policies.

Currently, more than 98 per cent of customers travel within their free luggage allowance. The majority of these customers check in no more than one item of luggage per person. For these customers, there is no change.


This includes all travellers to the USA, the Caribbean, Nigeria, Mexico and Brazil. Customers for these destinations will still be able to check in two pieces of luggage free of charge. The free 23kg allowance for economy-class customers to other destinations will be limited to a single item of luggage.

British Airways has absolutely no intention of discriminating against passengers who cannot comfortably carry a 23kg bag. Where it is clear that a passenger cannot manage one bag, we will let them check in an additional bag (or more) provided the total weight is within the 23 kg limit.

Our free luggage allowances, for both carry-on and checked-in luggage, remain among the most generous in the aviation industry. Many other airlines offer smaller free allowances and charge for additional items such as skis, golf bags or other sports equipment.

The change was announced in a press release last June. Details have been on the website since, and issued to travel agents and our frequent flyers.

For the two per cent of customers who wish to exceed their free allowances, we have decided to simplify the charges they pay to make them easier to understand.

At present charges vary according to weight, route and class of travel. We are replacing these with three simple rates for bags additional to the free allowance:

£30 per extra bag on domestic flights, £60 per extra bag on European flights and £120 per extra bag on longhaul flights. Customers will get a 30 per cent discount on these rates if they pre-pay online. The changes will not come into full effect until September 2007.

In the vast majority of instances, the new policy will be cheaper or comparable for customers who wish to fly with excess baggage on top of their free allowances.