A sign of things to come? European airline Wizz Air to start charging for hand luggage

Passengers will have to pull out their tape measures if they want to avoid Wizz Air's new charges for larger cabin baggage.

A Hungarian budget airline has become the first European carrier to charge passengers for hand luggage.

Wizz Air will allow passengers to bring one free cabin bag measuring 42cm x 32cm x 25cm such as a laptop or handbag into the cabin, but anything larger will cost €10 (£8).

The charge will apply to all flights departing on or after October 24 and follows a trial on flights between Luton and Katowice, Poland.

Travellers with bookings made before the airline’s announcement on October 4, or who are due to travel before October 24 will escape the fee.

Wizz Air said the policy would allow it to reduce fares by €5 (£3) a flight.

The airline is trying to encourage passengers to bring smaller bags in the cabin: a move that speeds up boarding and makes the travel experience more efficient, it argues.

The policy of charging for hand baggage started in the States with smaller niche no-frills carriers, Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air.

Spirit Airlines recently increased its cabin bag charges from $45 (£28) to $100 (£62) for travellers who wait until they reach the gate to pay for their hand luggage.

While hand luggage charges have been unpopular with passengers, Wizz Air will be under pressure to keep its airfares attractive enough – with fees added – compared to its competitors.

What others have said

    • Louise Driscoll

      Hi Fiona, thanks for the kind words. We’re busy preparing for the grand opening of our shop which will sell products for jet-setters that you won’t find on the high street! We hope it will be worth the wait. We expect to launch before Christmas, so watch this space…. Thanks again for reading and make sure you’re signed up to our free newsletter, as we’ll be sending out further info to all of our members.
      TU Founder & Editor

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