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Passengers hit by £168m in charges

03 April 2012 12:32

The baggage belts in Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport.

The baggage belts in Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport.

British air passengers were charged a total of £186 million for excess baggage last year.

On average, limits were exceeded by 3.5 kilos (about 7.7lb), according to a survey by website Kelkoo.

Around 27% of those due to fly this summer are expected to exceed baggage limits and these charges are likely to total almost £1 million a day during the peak holiday season.

Of those who faced charges in 2011, 37% were travelling on low-cost airlines and 20% on charter flights.

On average, the excess-baggage charges on low-cost carriers is £13.20, with the charter charge being £7.15 and the scheduled airline charge being £7.46.

The survey showed that the no-frills carriers took 47% of the total charges collected. The propsect of being hit for excess luggage charges underscores how important it is to geet a great deal on your travel insurance policy.

It was also revealed that 9% of travellers either guessed or had no idea what their hold baggage weight limit was and 22% said they did not weigh their luggage before checking in.

Also, 8% who had to pay charges said they would 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.

Of these, 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.