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easyJet blocking use of overhead bins for most passengers from February

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easyJet has changed its baggage policy for travel from 10th February.

If you want to put a bag in the overhead locker, you may be out of luck. Don’t think that you will be excused because you have an existing booking.

easyjet new overhead locker rules

Historically, easyJet has offered more bundled fares compared to its rivals. When Ryanair and Wizz Air reduced the free cabin allowance to a small item only, easyJet was still letting you take on a larger, wheeled cabin bag.

This is about to change. From 10th February, easyJet will be aligning its cabin bag policies with Ryanair and Wizz. You will only be allowed to take a small cabin bag onto the aircraft which must fit under the seat in front of you.

You can see the new policy on easyJet.com here.

The new easyJet cabin baggage allowance

Here is the new easyJet cabin baggage policy which will come into effect from 10th February 2021 for bookings made from today.

easyJet new cabin bag allowance

All passengers can bring one small cabin bag on board for free, with a maximum size of 45cm x 36cm x 20cm including any handles or wheels. This bag must fit underneath the seat in front of you (ie. backpacks, handbags, laptop bags etc).

Customers who booked Up Front or Extra Legroom seats will get one additional, larger cabin bag included in their fare. This must be 56cm x 45cm x 25cm or smaller, and can go in the overhead locker. This could be a duffel bag or wheely bag, for example.

easyJet Plus (see our review of easyJet Plus here) and FLEXI fare holders will also be able to bring a larger bag.

Anyone who has not booked an Up Front or Extra Legroom seat will be charged £55 each way to put their larger bag in the hold. It will not remain in the cabin.

luggage baggage suitcase

Can I pay for the larger cabin bag?

Sort of. Like Ryanair or Wizz Air, easyJet offers a ‘Up Front’ seating which includes the additional, larger bag as well as Speedy Boarding and use of the easyJet Plus bag drop.

There are typically between 42 and 63 ‘Up Front’ seats on an easyJet flight and we are told you can upgrade from £7.99 each way.

The other option is to purchase easyJet Plus for £215 (more info on that here) or buy a FLEXI ticket.

It is not possible to pay for just the larger cabin bag; it must be part of a larger bundle. If you turn up at the gate with an overhead bin bag it will be taken from you, placed in the hold and you will be charged £55:

What about hold luggage?

As before, you can add hold luggage, with options in three different sizes: 15kg, 23kg or 32kg. Here are the prices between Gatwick and Berlin. Note that these prices are ONE WAY, so for a return trip you are paying twice:

easyJet hold luggage prices Berlin

Yes, it costs over £40 return for a 15kg checked bag, or £70 for 26kg.

What about existing bookings?

If you were to look at this page on the easyJet website announcing the new baggage allowance changes, you’d think that existing bookings had been left out in the cold.

This does not appear to be the case. According to the official press release, anyone who booked an easyJet flight prior to today with travel dates after 10th February will be given the ‘Hands Free’ product free of charge, which lets you check in your larger sized cabin bag.

For clarity … if you have already booked a standard ticket (ie not ‘Up Front’ or ‘Extra Legroom’) you are stuffed. You cannot get your bag into the cabin even if you are willing to pay. It must be checked in, albeit for free.

Conclusion

Like all airlines, easyJet is facing some difficult conditions at the moment. The airline suffered a £1.27 billion pre-tax loss for the year until 30th September and its capacity has shrunk by almost 50% in the same time.

Nonetheless, easyJet is removing one of the key benefits that set it apart from its low cost rivals Ryanair or Wizz Air, and opens some clear water from British Airways. I have always preferred booking easyJet over Ryanair or Wizz thanks to its baggage policy.

That won’t be the case from 10th February and will affect what flights I book.

There also appears to be some strange logic at work here. Since the only people who can put something in the overhead locker are sitting in the extra legroom seats at the front or centre of the plane, the lockers in the rear half of the plane will be empty!

Details are on easyJet.com here.

Comments (137)

  • Julian says:

    I still distinctly remember TUI (or Thomson) as then were suddenly without warning deciding to enforce their ridiculous charter airline 5kg hand luggage weight limit and having to go to the loos and wear numerous shirts and t-shirts and my jacket stuff its pockets with cameras and chargers etc to avoid a £70 charge to put the roll on cabin bag in the hold. Then when I reached security at Gatwick they demanded I take several of the extra layers off to search me properly. So I duly put them all back in the cabin bag and its weight was not checked when boarding at the gate.

    But all of it is a disgusting and odious intrusion in to our personal freedoms that makes getting on a plane more like a visiting a prison. And there is no safety basis to any of it but simply an intention to scam and add hidden extra charges, this being the entire basis of the creation of the fake Low Cost Airlines.

    With BA already having copied the low cost airlines in every other respect short haul including no meal or drink and customers with the cheapest tickets travelling on their own short haul also being chucked in the back five rows in a middle seat (punishment for not having paid for an allocated seat and having bought the cheapest ticket) I would fully expect BA to copy these odious practices in due course in order to keep their fares amongst the apparent lowest through the useless likes of SkyScanner and Expedia (none of which let you do a flight search asking to have a hold bag of 23kg or to have a cabin bag of 10kg and/or with the previous larger standard dimensions) because otherwise they will fear losing sales.

    The Competition and Markets Authority and the CAA and the NTSB and their global equivalents) need to urgently investigate these disgusting practices that for 10 or more years have filled up the cabin and cabin bins with unsafe and unsustainable amounts of hand luggage. Especially bearing in mind that a number of plane crashes over the years have been caused by plane overweight situations.

    • Julian says:

      P.S. On thinking about it further I am sure the reason that Easyjet have been forced in to lockstep with Ryanair et all is because they were losing ticket sales because their flights no longer came top in the online flight search comparison engines.

      Unfortunately the majority of the Economy Class travelling public, travel infrequently and always buy the cheapest ticket not properly factoring in all the hidden additional charges they will then incur.

    • Mike says:

      Excellent post. I absolutely agree.

      BA need to stop 23kg hand luggage, this is completely unsafe and on many flights it’s obviously the case that the locker limits are exceeded. If the weight limit for the lockers are meaningless, then why print it inside of them? BA is the only airline I can think of which such an absurdly high limit for hand baggage. A 23kg bag ejected during a heavy landing or turbulence is likely to cause far more damage than a 5kg one. It doesn’t have to be the catch fails but when a pax is retrieving something and CAT hits.

      • Rhys says:

        Realistically you’re going to struggle to be able to fill a cabin bag with enough stuff to make it weigh 23kg though, so unless you’re transporting gold or (maybe) a suitcase full of books most cases don’t even come close to weighing 23kgs.

  • Matthew says:

    The least amount of cabin bags the better in my opinion. In every single aircraft evacuation people reach for their cabin bags to take with them down the chutes and delaying others escaping.

  • Julian says:

    So the regulators should clearly never have allowed the practice of encouraging most customers to travel with hand luggage only to show unsustainable (once most people started travelling hand luggage only short haul) low ticket prices to get going in the first place. Very Major Fail by the NTSB, CAA et al in my opinion……….

    But then what we can expect of bodies actively complicit in the scandal of the 737 Max and obviously in bed with the airlines and aircraft manufacturers to an unhealthy and worrying degree until a plane crash and many deaths spurs them in to doing the job they should have been doing all along.

  • Douglas Hepburn says:

    Very disappointing and short-sighted move by easyJet. They had managed to hold onto a place in the market that differentiated them from Ryanair and Wizz. Until lockdown I used to fly with easyJet quite often, I’ve totally avoided Ryanair and Wizz for years. I’ve already ditched easy and used the train instead on occasion, I can see that becoming a regular occurrence.

  • Alex Sm says:

    so, just wait for more stories of unbalanced planes just ‘miraculously’ avoiding the crash…

    • Matthew says:

      Why would they be unbalanced? They would put hold luggage and cargo towards middle/rear to compensate.

      • Julian says:

        Due to all the heavy bags brought on board by the Premium customers in the front of the plane and the weights in those not being tracked or forecastable.

        • Matthew says:

          They will make assumptions based on those paying to be at the front will most likely bring a carry on bag for the overhead lockers. Just like there are assumptions of weights for male and female passengers. But there will be some that weigh more and some that weigh less. EasyJet in the past never had a weight restriction for on board bags just size so they would have made assumptions and averages them too.

  • M Jones says:

    To my mind this is not about the pros or cons of too much or too little baggage on board. Nor the cost. What this is about is the sheer stupidity and mindset of an Airline that needs all the goodwill it can get at this troubled time. Easyjet are one of many airlines that withheld refunds, delayed vouchers, cancelled return but not outbound journeys and more. But instead of thinking “we need to sympathise with Customers and generate goodwill for the future”, they perpetuated an arrogant and delusional mindset that still believes that the world needs them more than they need the world. Airlines seem to believe that their cashflow, borrowings and costs are a matter for their Customers to provide. The world has changed… they are in for a rude awakening sometime soon!

    • Matthew says:

      They are just desperate for cash and this is one avenue to generate more I guess. They will lose customers I’m sure but another income stream is seen as vital in an effort to survive.

  • Voldemort says:

    I just feel sorry for the poor ground handling agent staff who have to police this nonsense.

  • Graham says:

    I don’t understand why it is being suggested the middle lockers will be empty. Yes the only “free” hand luggage for non-premium seat packages has to be small enough to go under the seat in front, but surely they will put handbags and laptop bags etc in the lockers, not actually under the seats unless the lockers become full?