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Ryanair queue... will luggage soon become a luxury?
Travelling on holiday to Benidorm this summer could be costlier than you think - especially if taking hold luggage. Eager to cash in, "Low Cost" airlines are increasing the charges over the peak summer periods, thereby hitting families hard which are forced to take holidays when children are on school holidays.

Ryanair, already the airline with the lowest hold allowance have split their charges into Low season - Oct to May but excluding the Xmas & New Year period) charging £15 for 15kg or £25 if you pay extra for 20kg and High season - June to September charging £25 for standard 15kg allowance or £35 for 20kg. These charges are per bag each way so you obviously need to DOUBLE that charge for a return flight! So for a return flight in July, assuming you take the standard 15kg allowance it will be an extra £50 per case.

A family of 4 going on a 2 week holiday with 2 children would easily need 2 cases so straight away its an extra £100 on top of the basic fare - not mentioning the credit card or "admin" fee as some airlines now like to call it! Remember, Ryanair DO NOT allow you to pool luggage allowance - that means that each case must not be over the 15kg. If 2 of you are travelling with 2 hold cases therefore giving you a total allowance of 30kg, you cannot have 12kg in one case and 18kg in the other. You WILL be charged for 3kg excess weight unless you re-distribute the contents. Many a time have I seen this happening at the check-in desks with knickers and bikinis flying out of one case and shoved into the other!

Everyone's gone hand-luggage only!
Easyjet allow you 20kg of hold luggage but their charges are extremely difficult to work out. There is no reference guide on the website like for Ryanair and you do not see the price until you are booking. I went through the booking procedure for each month and the charge varies... in May it was £28 return; July £30; August £32 and September £31.  The main advantage with Easyjet, apart from price and the more generous standard allowance is that they allow you to pool weight.

Monarch charge £15.99 for a 20kg allowance each way so a return flight would cost £31.98 - they did not appear to increase the charge in July or August.

Although Ryanair always boasts about its "low fares" it is one of the most expensive in terms of baggage fees. But you also need to take into account the credit card or admin fees when booking and if you want to pay for priority/speedy boarding.
Always one to reduce costs, Ryanair are implementing other cost saving initiatives. With the rising cost of fuel the airline has found ways of reducing the fuel bill by reducing the weight it carries on its flights. They will be shrinking the size of its in-flight magazines from A4 to A5 size, carrying less ice on flights and believe it or not, "encouraging" staff to watch their weight - with the motivation of appearing in the annual Ryanair calendar!

But Ryanair are only following in the foot steps of other airlines ... In the 1980's, American Airlines claimed that they saved $40,000 by taking out one olive from every salad in first class and more recently, Japanese airline All Nippon Airways started asking passengers to go to the toilet before boarding in a bid to reduce carbon emissions! Without fuel you cannot fly, but I think that's taking things a step too far !

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