Easyjet is changing its size restrictions for hand luggage as more travellers opt to avoid paying to check in a bag. Would you buy new luggage to fit the rules or take a chance on a bigger bag?
Recently EasyJet announced that from July 2, anyone travelling with hand luggage would need to make sure their bag meets the no-frills airline’s new cabin bag rules. The only way passengers will be able to guarantee their baggage is allowed in the cabin is for it to be no bigger than 50 x 40 x 20cm.
Travellers can still bring along luggage meeting the current size permitted – 56 x 45 x 25cm – but if the flight is busy, you could be asked to put your bag in the hold.
Why change the rules?
More travellers are choosing the cheaper option of flying with just hand luggage. EasyJet’s new size rules have been prompted by overhead locker space on flights becoming increasingly limited as a result.
I know that on a recent flight from Glasgow to London Gatwick, while sitting at the departure gate, volunteers were being asked to come forward and offer to put their bags in the hold. With a full flight, luggage space on board would be limited. It was a late flight on a Sunday night, and people were eager to get to connecting trains as soon as the plane landed. Very few passengers were coming forward.
From July 2, if an EasyJet flight is busy, only those with bags meeting the new size restrictions will be guaranteed to be stored in the cabin. That covers the overhead lockers as well as keeping your bag under the seat in front of you. Anyone else could risk having their bags taken from them and put in the hold – though not at any additional cost.
Will I buy a new suitcase?
I still need to measure my trusty suitcase. It’s the one that comes with me when I fly to Scotland to visit family at weekends and when I’m off on short city breaks to Europe. The suitcase has done me well over the years, it’s still in good nick, and I wasn’t planning to replace it any time soon.
That said, I regularly travel with EasyJet. If I do find myself having to wait at a baggage carousel to pick up my hand luggage, I may have to reconsider. When you travel on the last flight of the day and need to catch public transport to get you to your final destination, you don’t want to be wasting any time hanging around inside an airport.
EasyJet says that Delsey and Tesco sell bags that fit the new size rules, but the team at Which? Travel has not tested these. We have put three fitting suitcases through their paces from Flylite, Samsonite and Tripp, costing from £35 up to £108. A Best Buy bag is currently on offer at £50, which is a fairly good price.
But do I really want to buy a new case when there’s nothing wrong with my old one – other than not fitting the new EasyJet hand luggage rules?
[UPDATE 2 JULY 2013] – EasyJet’s new cabin baggage restrictions came into force today, meaning that only passengers with hand luggage no bigger than 50 x 40 x 20cm will definitely be able to keep their bag with them in the cabin.
Yet despite the new tighter restrictions, our latest research found that 40% of passengers will fly with a bag that fits EasyJet’s previous larger allowance, and risk having their bag put into the hold on busy flights.