Surprise! Additional luggage fees on a budget airline ruin family holiday

Yikes. How much were you charged recently for late checked baggage fees?

All but some of the larger legacy or national airlines charge for checked in luggage these days and arriving at the airport check-in, without having paid for your checked luggage, when you booked the cheap seats online, will likely provide an unhappy surprise.

So HOW unhappy?

Have a guess how much a family of 4 Mum and Dad and 2 children, and 4 normal size bags?

The flight was from Hanoi to Jakarta on Air Asia, with a transit at KL on the way.

Of course the fine print is quite clear about these additional luggage costs and it has become a common part of budget and low-cost airlines’ business models these days. The added costs can often end up more than the cheap seat you bought – food, insurance, luggage, seat selection, premier check-in, etc. There can also be taxes and credit card processing fees.

But THIS was a nasty surprise for the family of 4.

4 pieces of luggage, 2 flights, about 5 hours total in the air…

A whopping US$1,300!!!


Of course the added costs were A LOT more than they had paid for the 4 family members to fly from Vietnam to Indonesia.

There wasn’t a lot of sympathy for the family online with most people saying something along the lines of ‘read the fine print’.

Still, the family’s contribution would have covered most of the plane’s fuel bill for the journey.

Advise for newbies on budget airlines. 1) You get what you pay for 2) Assume that you need to pay for many of the things you might have got for free on older and national airlines 3) Arrive at the airport a bit earlier to allow for long check-in queues (sometimes) 4) And read the fine print about excess and un-paid luggage check-ins.

SOURCE: Straits Times

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Tim Newton

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He joined The Thaiger as one of its first employees in 2018 as an English news writer/editor and then began to present the news on The Thaiger's YouTube channel in 2020.