Low Cost Airline Guide - Cheap Flights!

Baggage charges – Which low cost airlines charge the most?

Published June 14, 2014

Ryanair: A £70 charge (return) for each bag, plus the pleasure of queuing to drop it off.

One of the common complaints about low-cost airlines is that they initially look inexpensive, but when you add the handling fees, the airport taxes and especially the luggage costs for that suitcase or backpack, they cease being cheap. We set out to determine if that was true or more like an urban myth developed by the premium carriers to keep customers loyal to their own services. The subject is not made any easier to understand because every low-cost airline has their own unique policies when handling luggage. This includes different weight limits, luggage size limits, carry-on allowances and hold luggage allowances.

Luggage Price Mismatch

The prices for hold luggage fees on low-cost airline’ web sites can certainly be confusing, and some might say a little misleading unless you love reading fine print.

Our tip: The only truly reliable way to confirm up to the minute luggage costs it to run through the whole booking process on an airline website, add the require piece of hold luggage with the kilo limit required, and wait to see the luggage costs that are proposed by the airline. 

Comparison of Baggage Charges

The baggage charges league table is provided in this post to help readers see how the baggage charges and luggage weight limits stack up. For the reasons stated above it isn’t possible to make an exact comparison between airlines, but we have done the closest thing possible using the following guidelines:

Rank Airline Flight Route Number Duration Weight Cost
Data collected by Low Cost Airline Guide for June 2014 departures. Currency conversion where required by XE.com daily rate.
1 Ryanair London Stansted (STN) to Malaga (AGP) FR8162 2h50m 20kg £70
2 Jet2 Leeds Bradford (LBA) to Malaga (AGP) LS185 3h00m 22kg £41
3 Volotea Venice (VCE) to Crete Heraklion (HER) V7 1432 2h25m 20kg £40.60
4 Wizzair Warsaw (WAW) to Crete Heraklion (HER) W6 1545 2h50m 32kg £38.84
5 Easyjet London Gatwick (LGW) to Malaga (AGP) EZY8607 2h50m 20kg £38
6 Flybe Exeter ‭(EXT)‬ to Malaga ‭(AGP)‬ BE1425 2h35m 20kg £37.98
7 Vueling Barcelona (BCN) to Crete Heraklion (HER) VY2351 3h00m 23kg £32.50
8 Transavia Amsterdam (AMS) to Malaga (AGP) HV  6117 3h00m 20kg £32.50
9 Norwegian Oslo (OSL) to Majorca (PMI) DY1736 3h30m 20kg £26
10 Smartwings Prague (PRG) to Crete Heraklion (HER) QS1106 2h50m 15kg £0

Best and Worst

The clear winner was Smartwings, who offer all travellers 15kg of free hold luggage. For passengers flying out of Oslo on Norwegian Air, on your flight to Majorca can carry a 20 kilo piece of hold luggage for only £13 each way. Hats off to them. On the other end of the spectrum, Ryanair comes in pretty expensive. They do offer a discounted 15 kilo hold luggage option which can shave a few quid off. Many airlines offer around 20 kilos for approximately £20 just one-way. Paying forty pounds to get your suitcase to and from a holiday destination does seem a bit rich. Paying more seems like a scandal.

Luggage Weight Limits

As a general rule, many airlines have a luggage limit of 20 kilos for stowed baggage and 10 kilos for a single carry-on. Airlines vary tremendously on the exact weight limits, so they need to be verified before making a booking and departing for the airport, but this gives a good starting point.

Book Luggage In Online

One of the best pieces of advice is to book your luggage requirements online rather than leaving it until checking in at the departure airport. Anyone doing the latter will be in for a nasty shock as the additional costs are quite considerable in many cases.

Scroll to Top