Bumper baggage fees mean 75% of holiday makers are travelling light this summer

Bumper baggage fees mean 75% of holiday makers are travelling light this summer

A new survey, being launched today by leading online travel and leisure retailer lastminute.com, has revealed the impact that increased baggage charges is having on Britain’s holiday habits. Over 40% of those taking part in the survey stated that they now find the new rules on taking bags onto an aircraft to be confusing.

It’s unsurprising therefore that 20% of travellers said that they had been caught out by the stringent regulations and have had to pay a fine. 60% of people paying a fine have been forced to cough up an average of £25 and nearly 10% have paid over £50 in fines. Because of this nearly 75% of holiday makers say that they now plan to travel with much smaller bags or just hand luggage in order to avoid charges and possible fines.

The average cost for a couple travelling in Europe with two bags in the hold of the aircraft is now a total of £45 return*.  And, for a family of four, these costs are now a blistering £90.00. In April 2010, the most expensive airline Ryanair increased its per-bag luggage fee from £30 to £40 for a return trip.

BMI Baby is the second most expensive airline with an average cost of £28. The cheapest low cost airline operator is Aer Lingus who charge an average of £8 return

Mark Bower, Head of Lifestyle for lastminute.com said: “Gone are the days when it was possible to take the kitchen sink on holiday. Today’s holidaymakers need to keep it lean and pack light in order to avoid these charges.

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“For most men, packing light isn’t a problem but our female customers are telling us that packing a week’s worth of holiday essentials into a cabin bag is a serious challenge. They say that shoes, sun-scream and electrical items like hairdryers are the first to be ditched.

Martin Lewis - Dodge airline baggage costs

“Travellers should expect to see more of what we’re calling ‘Layer Players’ – people who travel wearing a lot of their holiday clothes. Also, increasingly noticeable on airlines will be the ‘Poacher Coaters’ who travel wearing large jackets with many pockets. There is now a new purpose built jacket on the market that is designed for travelling on low cost airlines which has over 45 pockets!

“But, those planning to pick up last minute essentials after they have checked in at the airport need to beware. Many low cost airline users think that any items bought in departures or duty won’t be counted as additional luggage – but they’re wrong. Companies like Ryanair are now whacking customers with fines at the gate if they turn up with extra bags!”

Mark Bower has this advice for consumers on how to pack lighter this summer:

  1. Allocate a budget to buy new lightweight luggage; older bags are made of heavy materials, whereas the newer models use more lightweight materials and weigh half that of their older counterparts
  2. Use travel bottles for all your toiletries rather than take up valuable space with bulky packaging. Or even better, buy them at your destination
  3. Triple the space in your case with vacuum packing bags – these clever bags shrink all your clothes to allow more space for bulkier items
  4. Whenever there is no size of weight restriction on hand luggage (some airlines do offer this) pack all heavy items in your carry-on bag. Cameras, books, shoes, medications are ideal to carry with you and to lighten up your hold luggage
  5. And on the way home, ditch any books that you’ve finished reading and if you’re bringing back bulky souvenirs or large purchases, it will actually work out cheaper to ship them to yourself rather than bulk out your suitcase

Millions of Britons are getting ready to jet off to the sun this weekend, which is set to be the busiest weekend in the holiday airport calendar.