Skift Take

As long as fares are low enough, some consumers will continue to choose the budget option and hope that they pack light enough to avoid the fees.

A Hungarian no-frills airline has become the first carrier in Europe to charge passengers for cabin baggage.

Wizz Air, which flies from Luton, Liverpool, Doncaster/Sheffield and Glasgow, to destinations across Europe, will introduce the £9 (€10) charge on all services departing on or after October 24.

The move follows a month-long trial on flights between Luton and Katowice, in Poland.

Passengers carrying luggage larger than 42cm x 32 cm x 25 cm must pay for fee, while smaller bags will be permitted on board free of charge as long as they can be fitted underneath the seat.

The airline said the policy will allow it to reduce fares by £4.05 (€5) a flight, but a number of passengers may resist. A survey by the flight comparison website Skyscanner recently revealed strong opposition to the charge, with 88 per cent of travellers saying they would choose to fly with an alternative airline rather than pay up.

Wizz Air is the first European airline to introduce a charge for carrying hand luggage, but the policy has already been adopted by a handful of North American carriers, including Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air.

This week Spirit announced that it would be raising the cost of carrying hand luggage to between $35 (£22) and $100 (£62) per person, depending on when passengers choose to pay.

The $100 fee applies to those who opt to pay at the departure gate. Those who pay at the check-in desk will be charged $50 (£31), while those who pay online will be charged $35.


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Tags: fees, luggage, wizz air

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