British holiday makers charged £186 million for excess baggagePublished on March 30th, 2012 by PressFR
This summer alone, Britons will be charged almost £1 million a day for exceeding baggage limits
- • 55% of consumers that exceeded their excess baggage allowance in 2011 incurred charges, a total of 3.8 million people. On average, limits were exceeded by 3.5 kilos costing a total of £186 million or £48 each – this is 15% of the average airfare at £318
- • On average, travellers on budget airlines incur the highest excess baggage charges at an average of £13.20 per kilo, almost double that of charter (£7.15) or full service (£7.46). The average charge is £9.34 per kilo
- • Almost one in 10 (9%) either guessed or had absolutely no idea of what their hold baggage weight limit was when they last went on holiday. Over a fifth of consumers (22%) do not weigh cases before check in
- • When faced with a charge, 32% complained but still had to pay, 15% re-arranged their belongings and 10% had the fee waived as a result of their complaint. 8% of those that had to pay will not use the airline again
- • In 2012, Brits are expected to spend £37 million in excess baggage charges during the main six week summer holiday period alone, that’s almost £1 million a day on top of holiday costs
STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL Friday 30th March 2012. With more than six million people expected to jet off on their summer holidays in the coming months, a new report from Kelkoo, the travel and shopping comparison website, reveals that more than a quarter (27%) will exceed baggage limits and more than half of these (55%) will incur charges. These charges are expected to total almost £1 million per day during the peak summer holiday season. In total, the report reveals that an estimated £37 million worth of charges are expected to be collected by airlines in the main six week summer holiday season this year.
The report commissioned by Kelkoo and produced by aviation advisory consultants RDC Aviation, focused on UK holidaymakers who travelled by plane in the last 24 months. Passengers were segregated according to carrier type (low cost, charter or full service) to determine the number of people that exceeded their baggage limit. The report also examined industry data around the average number of bags checked in and the number of holidaymakers expected to fly this summer. Based on this data, this enabled us to forecast the amount that will be spent on excess baggage by UK holiday makers in 2012.
Weighing up excess baggage
In 2011, a total of 3.8 million people were charged an estimated £186 million for excess baggage. When this charge is split by airline type, it’s interesting to see that just under a third (37%) of travellers incurred charges on low cost airlines, 20% on chartered and 41% on full service airlines. However, due to the average cost per extra kilo on low cost airlines reaching £13.20 – almost double that of charter (£7.15) or full service/scheduled (£7.46), it’s no surprise that these carriers reaped 47% (£87 million) of the total charges collected which is a significant source of income. Just to note, airlines do not receive 100% of this fee as they have a pay an administration charge to the airport that collects it.
Source: RDC Aviation, Report into excess baggage charges
Research also reveals that on average, each UK holiday maker who was charged for exceeding their weight allowance packed an average excess baggage of 3.5 kilos, resulting in a cost of £48. This equates to 15% of the average overall cost of a return airfare (£318). With weight limits varying from as little as 15 kilos to 23 kilos, it’s not surprising that consumers get confused as to what their allowance is. Regardless of the excess baggage charge, airlines will not allow travelers to check-in individual suitcases which weight more than 32 kilos as this breaches health and safety regulations.
In fact, almost one in 10 travellers (9%) either guessed or had absolutely no idea of what their hold baggage weight limit was when they last went on holiday and over a fifth (22%) confess that they do not weigh their cases before check in. As a result, over a quarter (27%) of UK holiday makers said they went over their weight allowance when they last went on holiday.
Despite a lack of understanding and preparation amongst many consumers around baggage limits, nearly one in 10 (8%) of those that had to pay claim they will not use the airline again. In addition, 42% said that when they last went on holiday, they knew they were over their baggage limit and so were not surprised when they were faced with an additional fee. Almost a third (32%) complained but still had to pay, 15% re-arranged their belongings to avoid the charge and 10% actually had the fee waived as a result of their complaint.
Chris Simpson, CMO Kelkoo, comments: “While the fare for flying with a low cost carrier may be lower, additional costs for checked luggage, booking fees and higher charges for excess baggage can result in prices rocketing. With summer holidays round the corner, travellers should look to compare prices not just between low cost and traditional airlines, but also between specific carriers as there are substantial savings to be made by shopping around. We’d also encourage all passengers to check their luggage allowance, and weigh their bags before they fly, to ensure they are not hit with an unexpected extra cost once they get to the airport. With airlines charging as much as £20 per extra kilo, this can be an expensive oversight.”
The report also revealed some surprising insights into the amount of luggage men and women pack. The research highlighted that male travelers were more likely to have paid an excess baggage fee when they last went on holiday than their female companions with 63% of men compared to 47% of women saying they were charged for going over the hold baggage limit. Men on average went 5.6 kilos over the baggage allowance with women going on average just 3.8 kilos over – dispelling the myth that men travel lighter than women.
Table two – baggage policy summaries
Source: RDC Aviation, Report into excess baggage charges – correct as of January 2012.
For further information visit: www.Kelkoo.co.uk
For further information please contact:
Tracy North, Head of PR, Kelkoo Europe
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3402 9448
Mobile: +44 (0)7940 753 663
Notes to Editors:
- All figures taken from the RDC Aviation report into excess baggage charges, commissioned by Kelkoo in January 2012. Figures in this report were based on both industry data and consumer research which was carried out by Vision Critical from Friday 20th until Monday 23rd January amongst 1,367 consumers, 100% of which have travelled in the last 24 months.