domenica 12 agosto 2012

Five point Checklist: cabin luggage on a low cost flight.

This list will help you go through the insanity checks of a Low Fare carrier (companies such as Ryanair, Wizzair, Vueling, Easyjet...) It will help you save money and troubles.

We will start by the most obvious of the rules: check the cabin baggage / luggage policies!
Generally Speaking a Luggage with these sizes will do:  55cmx40cmx20cm 
If you didn't while booking you should at least check the baggage rules 1 week before your flight. If you don't have any available luggage that fits the requirements get out and buy one NOW! It' better safe than sorry. Here is a list of the requirements they impose on you (Summer 2012)
  • Company - Maximum Size for Luggage - Maximum Weight of Cabin Luggage - Penalty of Nazi Check
  • WIZZAIR (Experimental Policy) - 42x32x25cm - 10Kg - 60€/51£ 
  • WIZZAIR (Standard Policy) - 55x40x20cm - 10Kg - 60€/51£
  • RYANAIR - 55x40x20cm - 10Kg  - 50€/50£
  • VUELING - 55x40x20Cm - 10Kg - 25€ @ Airport
  • EASYJET - 56x45x25cm - NO WEIGHT RESTICTION - 40£ @Gate - 25£ @Desk
  • AIRBALTIC - 55x40x20Cm - 8Kg - 60€
  • IATA Guidelines - 56x45x25cm + 1 Laptop - No Weight limit - No Penalty, All baggage is checked at checkin.
You don't want to be milked at the gate! As they usually don't take no cash and some debit cards you could also be denied your flight.


Theoretically you are requested to fit all your goods in the luggage and it should be under the maximum weight which is 10Kg on most low-fares.

The luggage weight is checked only on same airports! British airports have the strickest checks on luggage (both size and weight). If your flight includes england or other unknown destinations then you'd better be on the safe side and respect the limit.

You can weight your luggage with a small scale. Or you can use a person scale: just hold the luggage and then subtract your weight.

Workarounds: You're still allowed to be dressed on flights. No-one will mind if you hold your phone(s) in your pocket and/and have plenty of accessories in your coat's pockets. Also be sure to travel while wearing the most heavy and voluminous dresses, just go for it. You can dispose up to 3Kg of equipment this way while getting some free luggage space. A nice place shop for this kind of dresses is Decathlon.


There are 2 kinds of people. People with soft luggages and people who pay the penalties.

Take a look at those luggages: You will notice there are just 2 hard case luggage, anche those are rather small. Hard case luggages weight more, carry less and have a delicate weel system. A soft fabric trolley allows also for additional compression if requested to fit the luggage in the nazi-cage. A Rucksack can be even a better choice, having no weels and weighting less it has obvious advantages.


As for packing your stuff inside the luggage, this is up to you. I found my favourite way is rolling things. I can roll 10 days of trip in the cabin allowance no problem and even fit my laptop. If you have no idea of what I am talking about check these videos about packing up

Additional Tip. When Packing you want to be sure you leave things you're going to use on the plane on a top layer so they are easily accessible during the flight. It could also be a nice addition to cover electronics in a layer of soft dresses. Just in case you're requested to pass security check and you are above the limit remember to put on the top layer something you can take out and wear quickly in order to cheat (see point 2)


When the other passengers are lining up for the plane, enjoy the moment! Sit down on a comfortable chair and relax while the queue stands countless minutes in anxious wait. When the boarding procedures are almost over (4 to 5 people still in the line) join them. You're now more rested and probably more likely to skip checks. If there is a BUS to the plane you may also get to be first to board! In those cases where there is not a plane try to get on by the rear exit, probably most people would be already seated and you're good to go.

By now you should know that these companies operate on a no-frills policy. Where no frills has to be read as "no-frills for you". When booking in advance you are presented with a "dumping" price for your flight. The company will use any legal means to raise as much money as possible during and AFTER your reservation to make a profit. Given this scheme of things you get INSANE penalty charges for not abiding their rules and their employees (who work often as temporary employee) are requested by the management to apply those rules stricly.

INSANITY FOR PROFIT. In no particular order this is a list og the extra charges you won't find listed on the front price of the flight that are usually included in a real non low-cost company ticket:
  • Administration Fee 
  • Cargo Baggage 
  • Check In Fees
  • Credit Card Fees - Cabin Baggage (when outside of their nazi specs)
  • Sport Equipment 
  • Flight Insurance
  • Special Seats on Board
  • Priority Boarding (You jump the cue to the gate and then take EXACTLY the same plane as everybody else).
  • Airport Taxes 
  • Boarding Card Printing Fee
  • Flight change Fees
Proposed insane fees 
  • Overweight passenger fee
  • Disabled person extra fee
  • Bathroom access fee
  • Feet Standing Places (instead of seats).
I could discuss hours about those additions/changes but for the sake of brevity: don't get caught with the pants down! Don't forget to print your boarding card: 60€/60£ (Estimated cost  a sheet of paper is 0,006€ a piece. Ryanair) - Don't Fail to pass Nazi-check of cabin baggage at the gate: 60€/51£ (Wizzair)

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