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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)

  • Graeme says:

    It’s not being done quietly – I received an e-mail about it today!

    The usual disingenuous nonsense about it helping to improve punctuality and – laughably – “giving certainty” to passengers.

    • Toppcat says:

      Agreed – it isn’t being done too quietly…

      • Julian says:

        It only not being done quietly with people who already hold tickets for flights so would complain and perhaps file Chargeback disputes if they weren’t proactively informed.

        You can be sure that with new bookings the practice will very much be kept hidden at the point of booking and you will only be reminded about the new odious restrictions too late when you receive the online check-in email…………

        None of the likes of Expedia, Skyscanner etc tell you how much hand baggage is included with a ticket or let you search by any option other than the minimum free baggage provided either in the cabin or the hold.

        • Brian W says:

          You don’t know what you’re talking about…….literally. Go try doing a dummy booking, it’s there in black and white through the booking process.

          The 3rd party screen scrapers are not relevant to the claim that EasyJet are keeping this quiet or under the radar.

          Your post makes no sense.

  • Ali B says:

    A truly odious practice as they know the reason people carry hand luggage is for speed of exit at their destination.

  • Chris L says:

    This is a real shame. Easyjet successfully managed to fill in the space in the market between the likes of Ryanair/Wizzair and the full service carriers. It sounds like they now want to join the race to the bottom, meaning I for one will be less inclined to book with them, having used them on many occasions in the past.

    • Bagoly says:

      Very true.
      Some time during Covid they have also drastically cut the usefulness of the Flexi fare, from -7 to +21 days to -1/+1 in line with Ryanair.
      Is this following of Ryanair really driven by Covid, or because Lundgren is in charge rather than McCall?
      When travelling with a suitcase, BA is now typically cheaper for me (even without having Silver), as well as using jetbridges rather than boarding in sometimes rain and cold.
      So I am switching to BA for my main route.

      • Chris L says:

        My worry, as I think others have mentioned, is that this will now give BA license to make further ‘enhancements’. Whether it’s really Covid or using Covid as an excuse, I get times are tough for airlines, but if they lose their loyal customer base and their position in the market, their long-term outlook could be worse. For me, the Easyjet brand has stood for cost-effective, reasonable service, whereas Ryanair has stood for ‘we’re cheap, so shut up and sit down in your pre-paid seat’.

      • Heathrow Flyer says:

        Lungdren is an ex-TUI man. His game his easyJet holidays. I’d say this is probably from the Peter Bellew school of thought (ex Ryanair and now COO of easyJet).

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Bellew took the helm longer term.

      • Lady London says:

        Plus BA tends to fly from better airports with decent facilities.

        I can see Gatwick’s facilities not improving or even declining for years now. And it’s hard to choose whether the awfulness of Stansted or Ryanair itself is the reason for avoiding them.

  • Jody says:

    I just put a comment in the chat about this!

    It will affect me a lot – I have medical equipment that I need to take with me that is quite bulky. I can fit enough of it plus my clothes etc for a weekend trip in what was the normal hand luggage size case perfectly, and that was one of the reasons for using Easyjet (have 3 bookings with them next year). The hands free is no good for me, I can’t fit my medical equipment in the little bag they give you. I can’t risk it going in the hold in case it doesn’t make it to the other end, and it won’t fit in the smaller bag you’re now allowed to take.

    Supposedly you’re allowed to take medical equipment for free, however that means I have to rely on the good nature of the person at the gate, and it is embarassing having to discuss it in public (I have to do this with BA too, as they stopped you being able to phone and add on medical baggage).

    So, I guess I’ll have to phone the contact centre and see where I stand, or pay up for an up front or extra legroom seat. If I was aware of that at the time of booking that would be one thing, as I could make a decision as to whether I wanted to book or not, but to introduce it when I’ve already booked stinks in my opinion. They should allow all existing bookings to retain the hand luggage size they had when they booked. Seeing as you have to show the email you have received to get the free ‘hands free’ service, surely they could honour your hand luggage size by doing the same thing?

    • Anna says:

      It sounds as though this might constitute disability discrimination – I’d love to hear what easyJet would have to say about that.

      • Jody says:

        I asked them once about medical baggage, as supposedly you can take it for free and it doesn’t count towards your baggage allowance.

        I was told they needed a letter from my GP or consultant no more than 3 months old. My consultant I see once a year (and this year was supposed to be a telephone consultation but it was cancelled because she was ill, and have heard no more about it). When I enquired at the GP surgery I was told requests could take up to 8 weeks and would cost £30.

        I do have a letter that is very detailed about what I need to carry and why, but it’s way over 3 months old. I will need to carry this equipment forever, so while I might get away with requesting an updated letter from my consultant every few years, I certainly can’t get one every 3 months, which is what I’d need for next year.

        However, it’s not been an issue previously because we tend to only do 2 or 3 night trips with easyJet, so can fit all my equipment and clothes in one case (or sneak a few bits in my husband’s if necessary!).

        • ChrisBCN says:

          Personally I would get a letter electronically and change the date on it myself… The hurdles they have given you are unfair.

        • Adam says:

          Hi Jody. i’m a GP and it really is not acceptable that it should take eight weeks to get a letter from the practice. I also do not charge for this kind of letter as it is because of medical necessity and not of choice..

          • Jody says:

            If only you worked at my practice!! Things might be different now at mine, but I doubt it. There is a list up of everything they charge for, and medical letters are part of that. I guess they see it as extra admin (which obviously it is) so have decided to charge to try and put people off. Why it’s up to 8 weeks though I have no idea. Also, I would basically have to dictate the letter to my GP, the surgery I’ve had is pretty unusual, and apart from the fact they sign off my prescription requests each month (I order from an external specialist supplier) they would have very little clue as to how I deal with things on a day to day basis, and what I would need to take with me and why.

            It doesn’t say anything on the easyJet website about the medical letter needing to be dated within 3 months, so I guess when I speak to the contact centre I’ll have to push that.

            As an aside, I normally use special assistance at Luton, which is where we take our easyJet flights from, and that tends to mean we bypass the gate, so would be interesting to see there (I can’t imagine they would stop me at the plane door, although I guess stranger things have happened!).

    • Lady London says:

      I do not believe they can change their terms after you booked.

    • Lady London says:

      Medical equipment is exempt Jody. See the Martin Lewis explanation.

  • Carl says:

    Easyjet were the only one of the low cost carriers I was still willing to book. Still though, I’m sure they’ll do just fine without my business just as Ryanair and Wizz do.

  • Pete says:

    How long before BA go down this path? They could be market-leading among “full service” airlines in at least something! 😛

  • Optimus Prime says:

    Race to the bottom! If Alex Cruz were still around, he’d start considering this…

  • bill says:

    i was hoping flight club memberswere exempt from this but havent found anything to give me such hope. its wierd that the overhead lockers in the rear of the plane will be empty. surely theres money to be made by charging for the first 90 or so large cabin bags like ryanair do. (not that i agree with it) but this just seems wierd

    • timmy says:

      Flight Club has become useless for me. Haven’t had any benefit from it at all.

      The call centre staff are rude and not good.

    • Alan says:

      Must also complicate loading the plane, if they end up with a packed front section and empty rear section the plane won’t be able to get off the ground at the end of the runway.