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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)

  • Alex says:

    Do we think this is leading to a potential removal of overhead cabins? Would it save on weight or anything like that? Not sure if it has any structural integrity complications to remove them?

    • Rhys says:

      I doubt it.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      No. Its just about the money and reducing the volume of stuff put in overhead lockers.

      When airlines started chatting for hold baggage, it worked too well. Many people just carry it on which is why its a scramble for space so often now.

      • mvcvz says:

        So one can simply chat for hold baggage? Wish I’d known, as I’ve always paid charges for mine.

  • mvcvz says:

    I rarely find myself required to fly on Easyjet, so have no dog in this particular fight. I nevertheless entirely support the principle. Irrespective of whichever airline or cabin in which I fly, I invariably find myself surrounded by unmitigated, selfish tossers who have somehow managed to board carrying two, three or even four times the permitted amount of cabin baggage. As someone who adheres to rules and almost always carries significantly less than the permitted maximum, I am sick to the hilt of being required to manoeuvre my single, small backpack to accommodate their crap. Indeed, the only time I was ever threatened with being removed from a flight was when I promised to break the arms of a f**kwit if he didn’t immediately remove his disgusting sticky hands from my baggage (in BA business if anyone is interested).

  • Al says:

    Unless I’ve missed it in the EZY explanation, I don’t see anything to back up the dramatic claims in the headline that use of the overhead lockers will be blocked. What it seems to say is that your ‘free’ item of cabin baggage must be capable of fitting underneath the seat. If it’s capable of fitting underneath the seat, it’s almost certainly capable of being squeezed into the overhead lockers around all the bigger bags.

  • Tom says:

    OT: Is AMEX going to do ‘shop small’ this December?

  • Sam says:

    There is an assumption here. Just because the bag is ‘small’ doesn’t mean people wouldn’t put them in the overhead bin. Say people in the aisle seats want more legroom then they will put their bags to the locker. So, the overhead bins will certainly not be ‘empty’ in the rear half of the cabin. Unless you were addressing this in a sarcastic way.

  • Pierre says:

    Is a similar issue a risk for all easyJet flights from mid February?
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-54477819
    If a few empty rows at the back create an imbalance, 100% of the hand luggage at the front could surely have a similar effect, no?
    Also, there is a risk that if a large proportion of people book up front on a flight that has a low load factor, the remaining ones will not be enough to balance the flight…

  • Rachael Bhella says:

    It may have been said but for 7 pounds you can go hands free , which is cheaper than paying for a small suitcase checked in or for 4 of you is £ 16 pounds Inc 4 small cases

    • Rob says:

      …. and a great way to get a soft holdall destroyed.

    • Lady London says:

      i really do not see why someone travelling in a group or ‘family’ gets to pay one third of the price to check their piece of hand luggage that I have to pay.

  • Tony says:

    I wonder how well this will be enforced after an initial intro period. I travel on Wizz to Poland 4-5 times a year and pay £10 – £12 extra for priority which includes 2 cabin bags. The only enforcement I’ve seen by Wizz for those without priority but with 2 bags is to allow the first X number of passengers in the queue to take the bags on and then tag the remaining non priority passengers’ bags for the hold. Wherever you sit on the plane the lockers are always full with large bags but according to their stated policy they should be mostly empty.

    • Lady London says:

      It will be enforced.
      Too much money has been lost by airlines so ancillary charges will be enforced. It’s been where the profit has been made by airlines for many years now anyway as well.