For a long time, it was considered a money-saving tip to fly on holiday only with a suitcase. In the meantime, however, many airlines charge extra for the on-board trolley. Only small bags are allowed.
Bremen – Summer, sun, beach – in short: for many people the most beautiful time of the year. For some, however, this summer could also be the most expensive time of the year: experts warn above all about the increased airfares. A money-saving tip that has already helped many people with smaller budgets to go on holiday is: only fly with hand luggage.
Especially if you are only planning a short vacation, you can save money by switching to a small trolley instead of the clunky suitcase. A few shirts and shorts, swimming trunks and underwear don't take up much space, the small suitcase that can be taken into the cabin should be enough for a few nice beach days. However, many airlines are now throwing a spanner in the works for bargain hunters. Because the suitcase may no longer be taken free of charge on every plane.
To avoid charges on board: Permitted carry-on baggage must fit under the seat in front of you
Whereas flight tickets were once only differentiated into the price categories "Economy", "Business" or "First Class", nowadays passengers have to keep track of the subcategories "Light", "Basic" or "Flex". Uniformity? Not at all.
Free rebooking or cancellation, seat reservations and, of course, luggage. Which services are included in the price in addition to the pure transport from A to B is now defined differently by almost every airline. And the paid extras are handled just as individually. Sometimes the prioritized boarding ("priority boarding") determines the amount of luggage, sometimes the airline grants the trolley in addition to the backpack with a special seat reservation. And often there are costs at the airport for services that would have been lower in advance if they had booked online.
For many airlines, the luggage rack above the rows of seats is chargeable. (Symbolic photo) © Rolf Poss/Imago
Especially when it comes to baggage, many airlines ask passengers to pay. In the cheapest fares, often only small handbags or backpacks are allowed, which must fit under the seat in front of you. The luggage rack above the rows of seats is often taboo; at least for those passengers who have opted for the light or basic fare.
From the fare jungle to the holiday: Depending on the airline, different rules and fees apply
Low-cost airline Ryanair had already charged an extra fee for trolleys in 2018, and many airlines have since followed suit. Low-budget planes in particular offer such light fares. When booking, it is important to take a close look and, if necessary, to put on the folding rule. Because many airlines take it very seriously with their baggage regulations.
If the small bag is not enough for you, you can upgrade your luggage for an extra charge. Depending on the size of the baggage, flight route and season, an additional trolley (up to 10 kilos) costs between 12 and 35 euros at Ryanair. However, like the large pieces of luggage, it often has to be checked in at the check-in counter. Alternatively, you can prioritize boarding (6 to 30 euros), which allows a second hand luggage on board. With the Spanish Vueling Airline, the trolley is not allowed on board, but can be checked in free of charge.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
|Airline||Cost of trolleys||Hand baggage allowance (in cm)|
|Ryanair||12 to 35 euros||Small piece of luggage (40x20x25)|
|Eurowings||from 19 Euro||Small carry-on luggage (40x30x25)|
|EasyJet||from 8 Euro||No carry-on baggage (45x36x20)|
|SunExpress||Not available in the Light fare||Small carry-on luggage (40x30x20)|
|Vueling Airlines||Not available in the Light fare||Small bag (40x20x30)|
|Wizz Air||5 to 45 euros||Small carry-on luggage (40x30x20)|
|Norwegian||5 to 9 euros||Small bag (30x20x38)|
It will be more expensive for those who change their mind at the airport afterwards or are informed by the staff that their luggage is too large. At the gate, the size and weight of the bag is usually measured. If EasyJet's small hand luggage (45x36x20cm) is demonstrably too large, 48 euros are due according to its own homepage, and 56 euros for large hand luggage (45x25x58cm). This does not yet apply to the passengers themselves, who are weighed by an Australian airline.
"Cheap is not everything": Cheapest fare can become more expensive in the final bill
Consumer advocates advise to compare the prices in advance and to calculate the different final sums depending on the desired service. Because: "Cheap is not everything," writes the consumer center Brandenburg. In the end, it could be that passengers pay significantly more for additional costs and are more expensive than with a higher fare.
Even in the case of package tours, where a free baggage allowance is usually secured by the tour operator, it is worth taking a close look. This is because baggage regulations vary from airline to airline not only for hand luggage, but also for free luggage. In order not to experience any nasty surprises at the counter, you should check in advance whether you are entitled to 15, 20 or 23 kilos of free baggage. And, by the way, the validity of the passport.
If, on the other hand, you are flexible with your destination, you can go on holiday cheaply regardless of the luggage rules. However, if the offers are too tempting, caution is advised when booking; especially online, there is often a rip-off behind the offers. (Romina Kunze)