Last May, Dutch airline KLM brought in baggage charges for its short-haul flights. This was quite a risky move since it put the aircraft into low cost carrier territory without necessarily having the prices to match.
KLM’s plan had a big loophole as I explained in April 2013. You didn’t pay the baggage fee if you were a member of its Flying Blue loyalty scheme. It didn’t matter what level you were! It didn’t matter if you only signed up five minutes ago. If you had a Flying Blue account then you were exempt.
Things are now changing. I’m only surprised that it took them so long to do it.
For tickets booked after October 1st, base level members of Flying Blue will receive a 50% discount on the first piece of luggage. This means you pay €7.50 if you prebook before arriving at the airport or €15 on the day. They will no longer get a suitcase for free.
You can pay this charge with Flying Blue miles if you want but the value is laughably poor. 1,500 miles waives the €7.50 fee and 3,000 miles waives the €15 fee. I don’t recommend this.
There are still some people who don’t pay:
Passengers with fully flexible economy tickets
Short-haul tickets booked on miles (either Flying Blue or a partner)
Flights to Italy, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia or Belarus, or passengers travelling on and/or transferring to intercontinental KLM flights
Flying Blue elite members