Aer Lingus’ Annoying New Carry-On Fee

Aer Lingus’ Annoying New Carry-On Fee

22

Aer Lingus has just made what will no doubt be an unwelcome change to its carry-on policy.

Aer Lingus’ carry-on policy change

Historically Aer Lingus has allowed passengers one free carry-on weighing up to 10kg, and one personal item, like a purse or laptop bag. While Aer Lingus isn’t changing how much luggage passengers can travel with for free, the airline will start charging if you actually want to carry that luggage into the cabin of the plane.

Effective immediately, Aer Lingus will start charging passengers if they want to carry on their bag, rather than having it checked into the cargo hold. Specifically, for flights within Europe, customers will have to pay €5.99 or £5.99 for “priority boarding” in order to bring on their carry-on bag into the cabin. Otherwise they can check it in for free.

If you don’t purchase priority boarding and try to bring a 10kg bag to the gate, you’ll be forced to gate check your bag, and will be stuck paying a €35 fee for the privilege.

A carry-on bag with priority boarding is automatically included for the following customers:

  • Silver, Platinum and Concierge AerClub members (this doesn’t apply to companions)
  • Bookings made with Plus, Advantage, and Aer Space fare types
  • Adults traveling with an infant
  • Customers connecting to & from an Aer Lingus transatlantic flight, or a connecting flight with an interline partner

In other words, this change specifically applies to non-status passengers traveling on Aer Lingus Saver fares exclusively within Europe.

This doesn’t apply to those connecting to & from a transatlantic flight

Is Aer Lingus’ policy change a pure money grab?

On the one hand, you’d think this wouldn’t be the time to make a customer unfriendly change, given that consumers are in control right now. On the other hand, airlines are kind of desperate, especially in Europe, where travel restrictions are hindering an airline recovery.

It’s hard to view this as anything other than a punitive money grab:

  • Even if it didn’t cost anything, I imagine Aer Lingus would prefer if people carry on their bags rather than check them in; when people carry on their bags the handling costs are lower, and there’s less risk of bags being lost
  • At the same time, clearly Aer Lingus thinks enough people are willing to pay to avoid checking their bags to the point that the economics of this make sense
  • In other words, Aer Lingus isn’t making this change because the fee somehow reflects the costs the airline incurs from a customer carrying on a bag, but rather the airline thinks people are willing to pay to avoid checking bags

I suppose this is something that the airline could try to blame on coronavirus, suggesting that this change will reduce contact in the cabin and minimize the amount of time people spend in the aisles. Then again, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel with coronavirus, so this really isn’t the time to make such changes.

This is purely an attempt to generate more revenue

Bottom line

Aer Lingus is starting to charge Saver fare passengers within Europe to take their complimentary carry-on bag into the cabin of the plane. Instead the airline will check these bags for free, and require customers to pay if they want to take them onboard, in the form of charging for priority boarding.

It’s hard to view this as anything other than a shameless attempt to generate more revenue. Then again, that’s kind of the business model behind the short haul aviation market in Europe, so that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

What do you make of Aer Lingus’ carry-on policy change?

Conversations (22)
Oldest comments are displayed first.

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Tracy

    At first, airlines charged passengers to check in baggage and now the new ruse is to charge you for carrying on baggage. Ohhhkayyyy

    1. Frances Power

      I have flight booked with ye for September, October.and December I thought as they were booked well in advance, I could take my luggage on board as booked

  2. John C

    Your correct in stating historically that Aer Lingus had allowed passengers one free carry-on weighing up to 10kg and one personal item but since the Irish Government decided to sell their stake to IAG I wondered if some procedures would be bought in line with other IAG subsidiaries e.g British Airways. Do you know if BA or Iberia charge for carry on also?

  3. Kar

    When business make up fees as a cash grab that creates no value for me as a customer, I try my best to make sure it costs them in other ways. Such charges make me feel cheated.

    Silly resort fees = no spend on room service, unnecessary requests like extra towels, toiletries, etc

    Silly bag fees = no buy on board spend

    There have been situations where I have not spent $50-$100 on a...

    When business make up fees as a cash grab that creates no value for me as a customer, I try my best to make sure it costs them in other ways. Such charges make me feel cheated.

    Silly resort fees = no spend on room service, unnecessary requests like extra towels, toiletries, etc

    Silly bag fees = no buy on board spend

    There have been situations where I have not spent $50-$100 on a flight over a stupid $5 charge for something else.

    Customers (and employees) can be a partner in a company's profitability, but when you don't trust them or make them feel cheated it just shows how tone deaf they are.

  4. ---

    fwiw their ULCC competitors (such as Ryanair) employ the same tactics. :-(

  5. Declan

    Whilst this is an annoying development which I noticed when booking a flight yesterday, please note this is almost the exact same policy Ryanair has. Considering they are the two largest airlines in Dublin airport, it would make sense for Aer Lingus to match Ryanair (in one sense). However, they do spend a lot of time, effort and money trying to convince consumers they are different to Ryanair. I'm am unsure how this will help with that differentiation.

    1. henare

      Eh. Maybe. But someone with any smarts would understand that it is always OK to suck a bit less than Ryanair...

  6. Angela

    It is annoying and I guess they see that Ryan Air gets away with it so they might as well, however, Ryan Air's flights are much cheaper than Aer Lingus most of the time.

  7. Chicago Chris

    On one hand it's annoying because I used to sneak by with a heavier bag and now they're guaranteed to weigh it and charge overweight fees.

    On the other, it's nice not to have to battle for overhead space. Many American airlines offer free gate-checking to final destinations, which can be handy. Of course, we're now just a stone's throw from charging from all bags and I'd be a fool to trust that won't happen.

  8. Milo

    I can see 2 possibilities here:

    1) Fares are commissionable but fees are not, so it is advantageous for the airlines to shift as much fare as possible to fees. Rather than charging a $200 commissionable fare that covers carry-on and checked bags, they charge $100 commissionable fare and requires paying a $100 fee to cover carry-on and checked bags.

    2) The majority of flying public is so stupid and math-challenged they can't figure out...

    I can see 2 possibilities here:

    1) Fares are commissionable but fees are not, so it is advantageous for the airlines to shift as much fare as possible to fees. Rather than charging a $200 commissionable fare that covers carry-on and checked bags, they charge $100 commissionable fare and requires paying a $100 fee to cover carry-on and checked bags.

    2) The majority of flying public is so stupid and math-challenged they can't figure out the total cost of trip on their own without being spoon fed.

    I hope for humanity's sake it is the former, but I fear the latter is closer to the truth.

  9. Sally

    What about a personal item? Can you bring your purse on board?

  10. TKerrCA

    Soon they will be charging "resort fees" on long flights ...

  11. Christopher O'Reilly

    I am disappointed with Aer Lingus starting to go down the slippery slope towards Ryanair. I thought you were better than that. The fares are very expensive anyway they should cover a cabin bag.

  12. robbo

    And they wonder why they are in receivership, never flown with these people before, never will, especially now. What is it with the Irish when they are in the airline business? Do they take a moron drug. Clowns!

    1. John C

      They are owned by IAG. Not Irish owned and not in receivership.

  13. Phil Johnston

    Rip-off merchants. Already they charge an admin fee on top of an inflated fare. Not allowed in USA. A bit of competition sooner the better.

  14. Sam G

    Their main (and only competitor on most routes) is Ryanair who does exactly this. If Ryanair charges £20 + a £6 fee for a flight and Aer Lingus charges £26, Ryanair will look better on Skyscanner and a % of people won't be smart enough to realise the total cost is the same. So this makes sense and of course educated travel blog readers like us know to check all these things :-) and compare...

    Their main (and only competitor on most routes) is Ryanair who does exactly this. If Ryanair charges £20 + a £6 fee for a flight and Aer Lingus charges £26, Ryanair will look better on Skyscanner and a % of people won't be smart enough to realise the total cost is the same. So this makes sense and of course educated travel blog readers like us know to check all these things :-) and compare like for like.

    The other thing is aircraft simply cannot hold a large carry on per person and on routes like the UK most people don't check a bag and boarding can be a nightmare which causes friction and delays. By doing this there should be less people trying to carry on bags and boarding should go smoother. Ryanair only allows 90 "priority boarding" slots for this reason

  15. Trevor

    As if there are not charging enough praying testing flying is is just a big cash spin for the airlines , we all had the cross to bear for covid 19

  16. Maureen

    Aer Lingus will do anything for a penny. What about older folks, or anyone for that matter, who want to keep presription medications and other important essentials with them? To charge for carry on's is a money grab. Shame on you.

  17. Jacob

    I actually like the idea. As long as the check bags remain free. So many small delays (that add up during the day) seem to be caused by excessive baggage in the cabin. Really slows down the boarding processes. This I bet will make boarding and deplanning much smoother and more civil and allow planes to get back in the air quicker, perhaps? It is a convenience to bring on a bag and conviences usually cost more. I am probably the only one that thinks this. LoL

  18. Charlie

    I support any policy that reduces the amount of carry-on luggage. I wish all the airlines would impose more limits on carry-ons. But I also wish they would go back to free checked luggage.

  19. Abby

    What is the issue? Check your rolling bag and get on with it. So tired of seeing passengers with larger or multiple carry on bags that hold up the boarding process or take more than their alotted space. Passengers need to keep in mind they aren't the only ones on the flight and flying isn't a right it's a service you pay for.

Featured Comments Load all 22 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Jacob

I actually like the idea. As long as the check bags remain free. So many small delays (that add up during the day) seem to be caused by excessive baggage in the cabin. Really slows down the boarding processes. This I bet will make boarding and deplanning much smoother and more civil and allow planes to get back in the air quicker, perhaps? It is a convenience to bring on a bag and conviences usually cost more. I am probably the only one that thinks this. LoL

TKerrCA

Soon they will be charging "resort fees" on long flights ...

Milo

I can see 2 possibilities here: 1) Fares are commissionable but fees are not, so it is advantageous for the airlines to shift as much fare as possible to fees. Rather than charging a $200 commissionable fare that covers carry-on and checked bags, they charge $100 commissionable fare and requires paying a $100 fee to cover carry-on and checked bags. 2) The majority of flying public is so stupid and math-challenged they can't figure out the total cost of trip on their own without being spoon fed. I hope for humanity's sake it is the former, but I fear the latter is closer to the truth.

Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT