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10 tips for avoiding those excess baggage fees

A new survey has revealed that Irish people paid over €17 million in fees in the last year.

Image: Packing image via Shutterstock

MOST OF US have experienced the fear when watching the numbers climb on the scales at the check-in desk, silently praying that you won’t have to take that fifth pair of shoes out of your suitcase.

A new study has shown that a total of €17.5 million in excess baggage fees was paid out by Irish people who struggle to pack lightly in the past year. The survey, conducted by lastminute.com, shows that an an average of €46 per person was paid for those heavy cases.

The survey was carried out to remind people that charges for your regular check-in bags have now increased for Aer Lingus and Ryanair flights, as of 1 June up until September with costs varying depending on the weight of the bag, the destination and the time of year you fly.

Despite the large number of people already paying the fees, over half are unaware of the charge increase for the summer period, with only 12 per cent knowing the exact increase.

Not surprisingly, busy families with children are caught out by excess fees the most.

To help with this, lastminute.com has these ten handy tips for avoiding paying extra on top of the now increased baggage fees.

  1. Invest in new lightweight luggage: modern luggage is made from lightweight material and is significantly lighter than its older counterparts. The initial investment will pay itself back after a few trips.
  2. Increase the space in your case with vacuum packing bags – these clever bags shrink your clothes to allow more space for bulkier items.
  3. Use mini travel bottles for all your toiletries rather than taking up valuable space with bulky packaging. Or even better, buy them at your destination.
  4. Whenever there is no size or weight restriction on hand luggage (some airlines do offer this, so check) pack all heavy items in your carry-on bag. Cameras, books, and shoes are ideal to carry with you and to lighten up your hold luggage.
  5. Wear your jewellery – if you are bringing your finest jewels for fabulous evenings out, wear the heaviest items on the plane.
  6. Do your research – you don’t need to pack a hair dryer and towel if the hotel supplies them.
  7. Buy an e-reader: Holidays can provide a great time to catch up on reading. An e-reader can store thousands of books as opposed to squashing in two or three heavy paperbacks into a case.
  8. Think about shipping any bulky souvenirs or large purchases back home – you won’t need them immediately and waiting a week or two can save a lot of money.
  9. When packing is complete and the suitcase is full, remove a few items that will no doubt be superfluous on holiday. You can always wash a few T-shirts when abroad. Check last year’s photos and check what you wore compared to what you took – you’ll be surprised.
  10. Err on the side of caution when weighing your bags at home or in the hotel as sometimes theses weight checks can differ from those in the airport.

Check-in baggage fees for Aer Lingus have now increased by €5 for all flights and Ryanair have added another €10 for most flights so make sure you bear this in mind when booking.

Read: This is everything* you need to know about bringing your pet on holidays>
Read: 53% drop in rate of mishandled luggage in last six years>

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