First I noticed it on Ryanair, then EasyJet, and now this week on my Monarch flight, it was the same. With every airline competing for giving the most flexible allowances on hand baggage; more/unlimited weight, bigger sized bags, multiple bags and also allowing to bring a duty free, it’s getting easier for the hand luggage only travellers. This is great for the customers, but there seems to be a couple of inevitablilities.
With more and more people opting to travel with only their hand luggage, and with the bigger sizes the airlines are allowing, there isnt enough cabin storage space to fit everyone’s bags in. Now, when waiting at the gate ready to board, the desk staff are asking for volunteer’s who don’t mind putting their hand luggage trolley bag into the main hold itself, in order to creat more space in the cabin.
In my experiences so far, this actually means you are allowed to carry more bags/weight without being charged. If you volunteer to have your bag stowed in the hold, you are told to take out any electronics such as iPads and Kindles (the things you’d want with you on the plane anyway), so you are allowed to then put these items into a handbag/rucksack and take on board with you, so long as you stow them under the seat in front of you and not in the over head compartments.
So in theory you are now allowed an extra bag with extra weight (if you’ve bought a little too much at Duty Free, or you didn’t realise your handbag was meant to fit into your case etc). If you are travelling hand luggage only, letting your bag travel with the main cases could cause you a slight delay while waiting for them in baggage reclaim, but if you are travelling with a checked in bag too, it will make no difference!
I volunteered my case this week on my Monarch fight to Portugal, so not only was I able to take out my rucksack and take that on board, (giving me a total of 3 bags), they also upgraded me to Priority Boarding as a way of saying thank you for the cooperation.
Most flights are now asking for anyone willing to let their bags go in the hold, so you can almost count on this and plan in advance for it and take a a few extra bits. I would advise though making sure everything does fit and is within the weight limit just in case – nothing worse than being stung with airport luggage charges!