One of the more interesting developments over the years has been the advent of hand baggage only fares. You can save a little bit of cash by not bringing a large case with you when you travel.
This has brought its own problems, with overhead space on board aircraft now at a premium. Ryanair state they will only take the first 100 cabin bags on board, otherwise they’ll be checked in free at the gate. Other airlines have similar policies.
Free Check-In For Hand Baggage
Huge signs are up at London Heathrow Terminal 5 at check-in B15 and B16 encouraging people to check-in their hand baggage before going through security. This means less bags needing to be manually processed at the gate.
For the passenger, it means a much nicer security experience. Less baggage means less faffing about at the screening checkpoint, and time saved for everyone.
This is really handy for people who might have picked up something on their trip that they wish to bring home. Purchased a bottle of vodka and only have a hand baggage fare? No problem, check-in that hand baggage and you can actually get to drink it!
Now if there was only some way to do this when you were transferring between flights. That way if you are lucky enough to get a gift from your cabin crew, you get to actually take it home too.
Hand baggage only fares came about mainly because budget airlines were undercutting full service airlines fares on sites like Skyscanner. Once you added baggage and what not, the fares would be similar if not higher, so this was a competitive response and nothing more.
Being able to check your hand baggage for free before you go through security is a good move. It saves a lot of time at all the subsequent points in the journey. It also prevents customer frustration at the gate where the people handing over their luggage to go in the hold get to board first, before all the people with status, which isn’t particularly great.
What do you think of hand baggage and being able to check it for free? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.