17/04/2019

Trading Standards Probe Baggage Sizers At NI Airports

The Department for Economy's Trading Standards Service (TSS) has been inspecting the size of baggage sizers used by airlines at each of the three airports in Northern Ireland.

It follows complaints from consumers that some metal sizers were smaller than the airline's permitted size for cabin baggage, resulting in their luggage not fitting and the traveller being charged a £50 fee to have it placed in hold.

The TSS has measured the 47 sizers over the past few weeks, but found that all were in excess of the maximum dimensions permitted by each airline for cabin baggage. A spokesperson said: "TSS can confirm that the baggage sizers currently being used by airlines in Northern Ireland are accurately described and do not breach consumer protection laws."

Airline travellers are now being warned to check the size of their cabin baggage before heading to the airport.
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Michelle Craig, TSS Area Inspector, said: "Given the variation and complexity of luggage allowances across different airlines, it is unsurprising that this causes confusion for consumers. Some airlines have stated that they now intend to enforce their baggage size policy more strictly than they have done in the past. Therefore, it is important to be aware that the suitcase you have used to travel with previously, without any issues, could now be checked and no longer accepted by the airline."

TSS has issued the following tips for people to follow when flying:

• Make sure you know the airline's baggage allowance and policy before you fly, particularly the permitted baggage dimensions, and any fees applied for oversize baggage.

• Measure your cabin bag from its most extreme points (including handles and wheels) to ensure it is within the permitted baggage allowance for the airline that you are flying with.

• Weigh your baggage before going to the airport.

• Do not overfill your cabin bag as this could result in it not fitting in the sizer.

• If your bag is more than 0.5cms than the permitted measurements set by the airline, it is highly likely that it will not fit in the sizer.

• If you are not adhering to the terms and conditions of the airline's baggage policy you must be prepared to pay a fee which can range from £25 to £65.

• Finally, if you have had to pay a charge for an oversize bag on the outbound leg of the journey, be aware that the same bag may incur another charge on the return leg. It may be worth considering checking the bag into the hold online, in advance, as this may work out cheaper than paying another fee.  



(JG/CM)

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