EasyJet tightens hand luggage allowance — but it isn’t all bad

Dec 2, 2020

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EasyJet announced on Tuesday some significant changes to its hand luggage policy.

As of 10 February 2021, the hand luggage limit for passengers buying the airline’s lowest airfare will be a bag of no larger than 45 cm x 36 cm x 20 cm which must fit under the seat in front. The new rule applies to all bookings made as of 1 December 2020. For those who have already bought EasyJet flights which are due to depart after 10 February, passengers will have the option to either check a piece of hand luggage into the hold for free or amend their booking to an up front or extra legroom seat.

Related: 14 packing hacks for travelling with just a carry-on

Until now, the European low-cost giant has been the most generous with its hand luggage allowance. The tighter restrictions which come into force next year are in line with ultra-low-cost carriers like Ryanair and Wizz Air who already charge for larger carry-on cases that require overhead storage.

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How does EasyJet compare? Well, EasyJet frequent flyers will be pleased to know that the airline’s new under-the-seat bag size restrictions are the most generous, coming in a few centimetres larger than Wizz Air at 40 cm x 30 cm x 20 cm and Ryanair at 40 cm x 20 cm x 25 cm.

Let’s see how this works out when you go to make your next EasyJet booking, using the popular leisure route of Gatwick (LGW) to Barcelona (BCN) as an example.

The basic fare for a one-way flight is £25. As per the announcement and the advisory on EasyJet’s website, you can opt to pick an extra legroom or up front seat, the cheapest of which starts at an extra £16 each way and entitles you to a large overhead cabin bag with dimensions of 56 cm x 45 cm x 25 cm.

(Screenshot courtesy of EasyJet)

Is it worth it? We think so as you get more than just hand luggage allowance. Unless you don’t mind being assigned a seat at random, the standard cheapest seat for selection is £8, so you’d only have to pay an extra £8 for an up front seat, dedicated bag drop, speedy boarding and you’d be able to bring a larger piece of hand luggage as well as your under-the-seat piece that everyone is entitled to.

Alternatively, you could pay £18 for a 15-kilogram piece of hold luggage, meaning you would be able to take liquids of more than 100 ml and not have the hassle of lugging a case around the airport with you.

(Screenshot courtesy of EasyJet)

That said, if you really do travel light and you’re not bothered where you sit, then the £25 one-way fare is going to be your best option.

The new rules are set to make the boarding process easier for passengers, who will now be guaranteed space for their hand luggage. If you’ve travelled low cost in the last couple of years, you’ll know it can be a game of Russian roulette to see whose bags get selected to be checked into the hold, meaning you could be separated from things you need onboard with you like snacks, baby care items, medication — the list goes on.

“Punctuality is important to our customers and we know that if they have their bags placed into the hold at the gate due to the limited space onboard this can cause flight delays, and it can be frustrating for them too. Our new policy will improve boarding and punctuality for everyone, as well as give our customers certainty of what they will have with them onboard”, said Robert Carey, Chief Commercial and Customer Officer for EasyJet.

EasyJet Plus cardholders and FLEXI fare will continue to have additional large cabin bags included but this will be subject space availability onboard.

Featured photo by Daniel Ross/TPG

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