1 in 4 passengers forced to check hand luggage into the hold

Passengers forced to put hand luggage into the hold because airlines say they don’t have space in the cabin could miss out on compensation if valuables go missing, warn Which?…


Which? a product and service review organisation asked more than 7,000 passengers about the 11,000 flights they had been on in the last year and found that over a quarter (26%) of Ryanair passengers, and nearly one in seven (15%) easyJet customers, unexpectedly had to check in their cabin bag at the gate on their most recent flight​.

There are a range of hidden problems that people may not be aware of when they put carry-on luggage into the hold. Which? found these included:

  • The wait at the luggage carousel for belongings can mean missing an onward connecting flight, but airlines are not required to pay you compensation for consequential loss as a result of this type of delay.
  • Which? also heard from travellers whose cabin bags were damaged in the hold, or didn’t arrive at the destination at all.
  • Airlines also regularly fail to remind passengers to remove valuables when handing over cabin luggage, and may refuse to accept responsibility when ​valuables go missing from luggage that they forced passengers to put in the hold.
  • To make matters worse, the ‘big five’ travel insurance companies – Aviva, Axa, Churchill, Direct Line and LV – all told Which? that valuables placed in the hold are excluded from their policies.
  • While customers have for years been encouraged to travel with hand luggage only, most plane cabins simply don’t have room for all that hand luggage, despite claims from airlines that passengers will only need to check in bags on exceptionally busy flights. Ryanair’s Boeing 737 planes, for example, have 189 seats, but its overhead bins fit just 90 cabin cases. So even if the plane is just over half full, some passengers could be left with no option but to hand over their cabin bag.

Rory Boland, Which? Travel Editor, said:

“Plane cabins are not designed to hold a large number of small suitcases so you should ​be prepared to part with your​ carry-on​ bag​​.

“If you have to put a bag in the hold at the last minute, try to ​remove wallets, keys, laptops and other ​valuables.

“If items do go missing from your hand luggage that you had intended to keep with you, do make clear to the airline​ that you expect compensation.”


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One response to “1 in 4 passengers forced to check hand luggage into the hold”

  1. D Gadsden says:

    This morning on Easy jet flight ES4VLDN i took my expensive computer in my holdall because I was told, that was all the baggage I could carry in the cabin,
    I knew I couldn’t meet my connecting train if I placed my luggage in the hold, so when i was told i had to place my bag in the hold I said, no this is not a good idea, surely you have to ask my permission?
    Remember i have never ever placed my work computer in a hold, as i tried to explain this to the very rude stewardess, i was told i am blocking the stairs, and if i didnt put my luggage in the hold i would not be allowed to fly.
    So to my utter shame i let her take my bag as, i knew wouldn’t be able to get another flight to visit my aging mother.
    I was so angry about this situation, i thought i need to calm down, ill get my wash bag where i have medicine for high blood pressure, this was in my Holdall in the hold,
    I am not a pushover yet i was totally bullied and pressurized into this situation, which led me wonder if they are doing this to more vulnerable people, the stewardess was not interested i n the slightest about the content of the it was company policy.
    So then when i retrieved my bag the DVD player on the side was broken, two handy policemen witnessed this as Aberdeen doesn’t have any easy jet staff, so i missed my connection, and got to my mothers 5 hours later with a broken computer, so i started writing this whilst i was waiting for the easy jet operator, i have not been able to get hold of anyone from easy jet, and now apparently my insurance is invalid, if any one else has experienced anything similar please get in touch, as i cant believe this is legal and they can get away with this.

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