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KLM Simplifies Excess Baggage Charges

As of 1 July 2004, KLM - the airline that flies from all over the UK to all over the world - will be the first flag carrier to radically simplify excess baggage charging from the UK.The new system has been introduced as a result of demand for greater transparency in excess baggage charges. Baggage will be priced in brackets of 1-5kg, 6-10kg, 11-15kg and 15kg or above, meaning that customers will no longer arrive at the check in desk to face unexpected charges.

For most airlines, the cost of excess baggage per kilogram is based on an industry standard rate of 1.5% of the most expensive, one-way economy fare per route. KLM’s new scheme however, will set the fixed excess cost per kilogram against the passenger’s destination. For example, a passenger travelling from Humberside to Cape Town, who exceeded their baggage allowance by 4kg, would incur a fixed rate of EUR 15 (approx £10) per kilogram, paying only EUR 60 (approx £40) in total. The industry standard excess charge for the same route would be £126.40, saving passengers over £86 in total*.

Further to this, the system’s flexibility allows charges to be lowest for the first weight bracket (1-5kg), so those who slightly exceed their free baggage allowance will only face a small penalty charge.

Vincent Knoops, KLM’s UK general manager, commented: “KLM’s new scheme radically simplifies the current confusion around excess baggage charges. Instead of being hit at the check-in desk with an unpredicted cost, the transparency of our initiative means that passengers will know up front how much they have to pay, which in most cases will be much less than before.”

The initiative follows on from the success of KLM’s sporting baggage scheme, which sets a straightforward, fixed charge for the transportation of golf clubs, surfboards, diving equipment and skis.