Avoid paying Excess Charges at the Airports

Brian McfaddenIrish pop star Brian McFadden took to Twitter yesterday to vent his anger at being charged an extra £150 when he arrived at Liverpool airport to catch a flight to Spain.

The extra charges were added to his ticket because the ex Westlife singer had not printed out his own boarding pass (£70) and had an extra four kilograms in his luggage (£80).

McFadden was so furious that he launched a series of tweets in which he called the chief executive of Ryanair a ‘scumbag who exploits hard-working people’.

McFadden berated the fact that check-in staff asked him to pay the excess fees by tweeting: ‘had so much i wanted to say about my ryanair experience today but ill keep it simple.

MICHAEL O LEARY (sic) you’re a scumbag who exploits….hard working people and tricks them out of their money with your ridiculous loop holes.’ He then went on to challenge the fact that O’Leary had turned the fortunes of Ryanair around by ‘stealing from your own people!’.

Brian McFadden Tweets

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McFadden was on his way to play golf in Spain, after he had performed a DJ set in Liverpool, but he was so incensed that he decided not to fly with Ryanair, instead deciding to take a train to London to catch a flight with a different airline.

It cost the singer more by traveling in this way, but he did not seem to care, stating that changing his plans ‘cost more in the end but its (sic) the principle of it’.

Michael O'Leary

Surprisingly the airline did not appear to follow the maxim that all customers are right, and issued their response by way of airline spokesman Robin Kiely, who told the MailOnline: “We’re surprised that Mr McFadden, having agreed to print his boarding card, couldn’t manage this super-complex task, which is accomplished daily by over 80million passengers annually.”

And if you are in any doubt as to the airline’s attitude to their customers, their outspoken chief executive Michael O’Leary has previously spoken about people who do not like paying the excess charges because they have not printed out their own boarding passes as ‘idiots’ who should ‘b***** off’.

O’Leary classified passengers who turn up for flight without their passes as ‘stupid’ and it is right they are charged £60 a time to have one printed at the check-in desk because it is their ‘**** up’.

Ryanair Boeing 737-800 EI-DHF

So what are the rules for budget airlines and how can you avoid paying excess charges. Well you have to be very organised as each airline has different rules for boarding and taking on luggage, and some have only recently just changed.

RYANAIR FLIGHTS

Hand luggage

All passengers, except infants, are allowed to take on board one free item of cabin baggage (handbag, briefcase, laptop, shop purchases, camera, etc).

Max weight – 10kg

Dimensions – 55cm x 40cm x 20cm

Luggage that is checked in

Luggage cannot weigh any more than 32kg and the dimensions cannot be any larger than 81cm x 119cm x 119cm. Each passenger can check a total of 2 items paying the checked luggage fee during the online reservation process, there are differing prices for low and high seasons, and for bags 15kg or 20kg. Bags exceeding the weight limit will be subject to extra fees per kilogram (£20 per kilo).

Ryanair Online Check-in

All Ryanair passengers are required to check-in online and print out their boarding pass from 15 days up to 4 hours before the scheduled flight departure time. Passengers that have not printed their boarding pass at least 4 hours before flight departure must go to the check-in counter at least 40 minutes before departure to collect their boarding pass. A Boarding pass re-issue fee will be applied of £70.

EASYJET FLIGHTS

Hand luggage

As with Ryanair, all passengers, except infants, are allowed to take on board one free item of cabin baggage (handbag, briefcase, laptop, shop purchases, camera, etc). If your bag does not fit the allowed dimensions, or if you have too many bags there is a £25 fee at check-in and a £40 fee at the boarding gate.

Max weight – 10kg

Dimensions – 55cm x 40cm x 20cm

Luggage that is checked in

Passengers can pay extra to check one bag up to 23kg. Bags passing the maximum weight allowance are subject to extra weight charges. Bags exceeding the weight limit will be subject to extra fees per kilogram (£7 per kilo if paid online, £11 per kilo if paid at the airport). No bag over 32kg will be accepted due to strict flight regulations. It is best to check bags and buy extra weight online as charges at the airport are considerably higher.

easyJet Online Check-in

Check-in is available online from 30 days to up to 2 hours before the scheduled flight departure. If you only have hand luggage you can go straight to the security check point with your printed easyJet boarding pass. If you need to check a bag you can drop it off at the check-in counter at least 40 minutes before flight departure.

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