Not so easy on the pocket.jpg

Not so easy on the pocket

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FROM THIS October, low-cost airline easyJet is to charge passengers to check in all baggage, in line with rival carriers. The airline has previously allowed passengers to check one bag for free with a five pound sterling charge to check in a second, but from October 1 will demand five pounds sterling for each item of hold luggage. The price drops to two pounds sterling if the bag is registered at the time of booking.

EasyJet says the move is intended to encourage people to check in fewer bags and claims that reducing the weight of aircraft means lower carbon dioxide emissions. While the carrier says it has not anticipated the impact of the new bag charges on profits, it was recently revealed that rival Ryanair is expected to make 92 million pounds sterling profit from baggage check-in charges this year.

When Ryanair introduced its charges in March 2006, it too insisted that they were to deter passengers from checking baggage, not to generate profits.

The only way for easyJet passengers to avoid the fees is to fit their belongings into a bag measuring no more than 55cmx40cmx20cm, regardless of weight, which can be carried onboard for free.

EasyJet’s weight limit for checked baggage will remain at 20kg per passenger and excess baggage charges of six pounds sterling per kilogram still apply. In addition, easyJet’s charge for transporting sporting goods such as skis and mountain bikes remain at 15 pounds sterling per flight if pre-booked, or 20 pounds sterling at the airport. Customers who have already booked flights departing after October 1 will not pay the new fees.

EasyJet recently carried its 150 millionth UK passenger, from Bristol International Airport to Barcelona. The airline has now expanded its fleet to 137 aircrafts, which carry more than 35 million passengers per year between 83 airports in 22 countries.

Easyjet flights from Bristol were introduced just over five years ago. During the next 12 months, easyJet expects Bristol passenger traffic to pass 3.3 million, an increase of more than 2.7 million carried in the previous 12 months. Service from Bristol, easyJet’s second largest base, continues to expand with new routes to Funchal, Lisbon, Innsbruck, and Gdansk scheduled to begin operation in the autumn.

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