EasyJet Reduces Carry-On Baggage Allowance

Filed Under: Other Airlines

EasyJet will be adjusting its carry-on policy as of February 10, 2021, and it’s bad news for passengers. In many ways the airline has had one of the most generous baggage policies for a low cost carrier, but that will be changing. For that matter, I’ve found flying EasyJet within Europe to actually be quite pleasant.

EasyJet’s new carry-on policy

EasyJet will be adjusting its carry-on policy for flights starting in a couple of months.

As of February 10, 2021:

  • All customers will be able to take onboard a small under seat cabin bag, with maximum dimensions 45x36x20cm
  • Customers who book an Up Front or Extra Legroom seat, as well as EasyJet Plus cardholders and FLEXI fare customers, will be able to bring onboard an additional large cabin bag, with maximum dimensions 56x45x25cm
  • In both cases there continues to be no weight limit for the bags

For context, here’s EasyJet’s policy prior to February 10, 2021:

  • All customers are able to bring onboard a large cabin bag, with maximum dimensions 56x45x25cm
  • Customers who book an Up Front or Extra Legroom seat, as well as EasyJet Plus cardholders and FLEXI fare customers, can bring onboard a small under seat cabin bag, with maximum dimensions 45x36x20cm

In other words, in some ways the carry-on policy is being reversed:

  • Currently all customers get a big bag and only select customers got a second small bag
  • In the future all customers get a small bag and only select customers get a big bag

EasyJet has between 42 and 63 Up Front and Extra Legroom seats per plane, and that’s not factoring in those who are EasyJet Plus cardholders or those who booked FLEXI fares, who are also allows two carry-ons.

EasyJet planes have up to 63 “premium” seats

Why is EasyJet making this change?

The logic seems pretty obvious to me — EasyJet is making this change because this is a way to generate more revenue. The airline hopes that this policy will cause people to buy-up to higher fares, or to pay for checked bags.

As you’d expect, the airline attempts to provide a more selfless explanation. As Robert Carey, EasyJet’s Chief Commercial & Customer Officer, describes this change:

“Punctuality is important to our customers and we know that if they have their bags placed into the hold at the gate due to the limited space onboard this can cause flight delays, and it can be frustrating for them too. Our new policy will improve boarding and punctuality for everyone, as well as give our customers certainty of what they will have with them onboard.”

So yeah, the claim is that this is to avoid delays on departure due to having too many carry-on bags. I kind of get it, and this isn’t nearly as bad as when Lufthansa claimed it’s introducing buy on board in economy due to customer feedback.

EasyJet claims this change is to ensure punctual departures

What happens to previously booked tickets?

This new policy applies for flights booked as of today (December 1, 2020) and for travel as of February 10, 2021.

What happens if you already booked an EasyJet ticket for travel on February 10, 2021, or later?

  • You’ll be able to take on a small carry-on free of charge, per the new policy
  • You’ll also be able to check one large bag for free, using EasyJet’s Hands Free product

While those with previous bookings won’t be allowed to bring a large carry-on with them onboard, they will ultimately have a bigger baggage allowance, as they’ll be allowed a small carry-on (onboard) and a larger bag (to be checked).

Those who previously booked tickets will be allowed a free checked bag

Bottom line

EasyJet is scaling back its previously very generous carry-on policy. Going forward, all customers will be able to bring on a small carry-on, and only select customers will be able to bring on a large carry-on (while previously all customers could bring on a large carry-on, and only select customers could bring on a small carry-on).

While EasyJet claims that this policy change is to ensure on-time departures and to avoid frustration, it seems pretty clear that this is an attempt to get people to buy-up to more expensive fares or pay for checked bags, which I suppose I can’t blame the airline for at this point.

What do you make of EasyJet’s new baggage policy?

Comments
  1. What a mess! Within some times you’ll need to be a rocket scientist to travel. Long live travel before the 2010’s. Unless you have all the Alliance’s Top Tier status. In the meantime I don’t care much because I never fly LCC’s, i feel rather sorry for those who use them.
    On the other hand the last, let’s say 10 years, the main Carriers also apply ridiculous measures to Customers.

  2. easyjet does not enforce their own policies! they are a joke.

    I prefer Wizz Air, more professional flying experience for Low Cost Europe Flights

  3. What if Easyjet cancels the flight and you end up a voucher? I can’t imagine things working out well for the consumer here.

  4. I think they will shrink the market share in the tough period of covid recovery. I frequently use LCC around Europe, and the 55cm bag was the single advantage compared to the cheaper WizzAir and RyanAir.

  5. Easyjet often isn’t low cost so this policy makes them even less attractive to me. I expect it to hurt not improve their financial position over time.
    As a company in a service industry, it needs to improve not reduce its service.

  6. Easyjet cancelled several of my bookings when I was trying to get back to the UK from France at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I booked a flight; Easyjet cancelled it. I booked another flight; Easyjet cancelled it. Etc., etc., etc.. And then they had the audacity, initially, to refuse to refund the cost of the flights. Would I fly Easyjet again? Not likely!

  7. Will they abide by their rules, will they allow bags that fit within their limits? LH, is known for eyeballing pieces and deciding what will not fit. I had this experience before a flight to EWR and I refused to back down. They threatened to bring Airport Police and I threatened to show the Police that my bag fit in the sizer. LH backed down after I demonstrated that it fit. The LH manager still tried to get a last shot, claiming it was a tight fit.

  8. “Punctuality is important to our customers and we know that if they have their bags placed into the hold at the gate due to the limited space onboard this can cause flight delays, and it can be frustrating for them too. Our new policy will improve boarding and punctuality for everyone, as well as give our customers certainty of what they will have with them onboard.”

    I completely agree: there was always a rush upon boarding. Everyone tried to be one of the first to board, who could still take their bags with them. I prefer their “Hands Free” product, especially since I often travel with my family.

  9. Vueling made the same change recently. They made this change over the summer. A shame, because this was something that distinguished some low cost carriers from others. But given the industry right now, I do think these changes are completely understandable.

  10. I’m not happy about this change, but honestly I think it’s for the best. The old policy left a demand and supply mismatch for space in overhead bins, leading to crowding (and occasional sprinting) as people tried to get on the plane first so their bags wouldn’t be gate checked. That’s frustrating at the best of times, but even less acceptable during a pandemic.

    The ‘go handsfree’ option was an attempt to deal with these issues in a customer-friendly way, but it seem as though it wasn’t enough.

  11. It’s been coming a while, I would say about 50% of EasyJet flights I’ve taken in the last five years have announced at the gate that the flight is busy and have looked for volunteers to put luggage in hold, or failing that have announced there is only enough room for first 70 bags or so. Given one of the dubious benefits of Speedy Boarding is (to quote from their website) “Be amongst the first to board to secure locker space” I agree that this is just monetizing the overhead lockers. However if it overcomes the unseemly scrum and passive aggressive behaviours to get to the front of the queue, then it might make the boarding and disembarkation a lot more pleasant.

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