Thursday, 8 February 2007

BA slaps £240 charge on extra bag

British Airways passengers are to be forced to pay up to £240 more for carrying an extra bag on flights.

From Tuesday, BA passengers will pay an extra £240 for long-haul return flights, £120 on short-haul return flights and £60 on domestic returns if they take two bags on to the plane.

Many of the airline's passengers are only expected to learn of the new charges when they check in at airports next week.

The rule means that customers will be able to put a bag with a maximum weight of 32kg in the hold - reducing to 23kg from September 30.

They will have to pay the extra charges even if the combined weight of the two bags is below the limit.

BA's website said the new charging system aimed to introduce a 'single allowance system based on the number of bags that can be checked in'.

It said: 'Our vision for London Heathrow Terminal 5 is to create the best possible airport experience before you fly. 'With this in mind we have announced a new simpler checked and excess baggage policy, which will come into effect on 13 February 2007.'

According to the Daily Telegraph, BA confirmed that its sales staff were instructed not to tell customers in advance when they booked their tickets.

A BA spokesman told the paper: 'They will tell people if they ask about baggage policy. But it is on our website.'

Now that sort of trading has got to be illegal or, at the very least, morally wrong. I think, if customers are not told about the charge beforehand, they should not be expected to pay extra.