Baffling baggage rules on airlines lead to passengers paying £395million in excess fees every year


One in five Britons has been charged by an airline for exceeding a baggage allowance for a flight in the past two years, leading to an average of £135 in fees each.

However, travellers blame airlines for bringing in complex and confusing baggage charges which can regularly change depending on the flight route, deparure airport and ticket class.

Fees for excess and overweight luggage even with the same airline can vary markedly, with some carriers having up to 32 different charging brackets.

The research by travel insurer Columbus Direct reveals Brits pay an estimated £395 million a year at airports in charges for overweight and excess baggage.

Analysis of leading airlines flying from the UK reveals a huge variation in policies for both checked hold and hand luggage.

While the majority of airlines allow only one hold bag and one piece of hand luggage, some allow two for the hold and in cabin.

Most airlines will allow women passengers to bring on a handbag in addition to a piece of hand luggage, some airlines will charge for this as a separate item. A few will also require that if needed, the handbag fits inside of the other piece of cabin luggage.

It is not just the airlines that place restrictions on the type and shape of luggage transported; airports are increasingly cracking down on irregular shaped, oversized, and round bags.