Aer Lingus
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

This Airline Now Charges 5.99 to Carry Aboard Bags. Ridiculous Fee or Not?

Starting back on Sunday, August 1, 2010, at least $45.00 was charged per flight — or as much as $90 for one round-trip flight — to store belongings in the overhead storage compartment aboard airplanes which were operated by Spirit Airlines, which is considered to be an ultra-low-cost carrier. Fees for carry-on baggage on domestic and international flights were then increased from $45.00 to as much as $100.00 each way effective as of Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Almost eleven years later, Spirit Airlines still charges passengers to store belongings in the overhead storage compartments aboard its airplanes.

This Airline Now Charges 5.99 to Carry Aboard Bags. Ridiculous Fee or Not?

Taking a cue from Spirit Airlines, a fee of €5.99 or £5.99 is imposed on passengers who carry baggage of up to ten kilograms aboard airplanes which are operated by Aer Lingus and store them in the overhead storage compartments.

Worse is that you could pay a fee of as much as €35.00, according to this little note which is posted at the official Internet web site of Aer Lingus:

It’s important to note that if you have not purchased a carry-on bag with priority boarding, or if its not included in your fare, and you bring a 10kg bag to the boarding gate, you will be charged a €35 fee to place this bag in the aircraft hold. Payment of this fee will be processed using your smartphone via QR code with our partner Global Payments, and will be verified by our boarding agents.

Click on the screen shot for an enlarged view. Source: Aer Lingus.

Bizarrely — to avoid paying a fee — you can opt instead to drop off your baggage at the check-in area at the airport; and then collect your baggage on arrival at the carousel of the airport at your destination.

Also, a carry-on bag with priority boarding is included for some customers who are exempt from paying the fee:

  • Silver, Platinum, and Concierge AerClub members — this exemption applies to the member only and not any companions traveling with him or her.
  • Tickets booked with Plus, Advantage, and Aer Space fare types.
  • An accompanying adult travelling with an infant.
  • Customers connecting to or from an Aer Lingus transatlantic flight or a connecting flight with an interline partner.

Summary

To charge ancillary fees in order to drive down the cost of the actual flight to customers is understandable from a standpoint of doing business. After all, not everyone eats on a flight, so why should passengers pay for something they are not going to use — right? That would be simple logic…

…but to charge fees at a point where avoiding to pay them becomes difficult or impossible is another story altogether — similar to hotel and resort properties charging mandatory resort fees, mandatory destination fees, or mandatory facilities fees.

With Spirit Airlines, the only way one can travel at the true basic cost of airfare is to have no carry-on bag, or have only one carry-on bag which is small enough to fit under the seat in front of you. Do not do such things as check luggage, eat, or modify or cancel your flight — you will pay extra for all of that and more…

…but for Aer Lingus — which has been both the flag carrier of Ireland and a legacy airline — to follow a similar model is disappointing at best. The bright side — if you want to call it that — is that not all passengers will be forced to pay the new fee.

I guess the airline needs the money after likely operating at a loss for months due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — and do not be surprised if some airlines follow a similar pattern of nickel-and-diming passengers to scrape together some formidable revenue in order to recover…

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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