For years now travellers have complained airlines are cleaning up with baggage charges. But from today, passengers flying from Dublin Airport will have additional cause to moan.
From today anyone carrying toiletries through the departure gates will have to pay €1 for two plastic security bags to display their perfumes, deodorants and aftershaves. Previously, the airport had supplied the see-through bags free of charge.
But following moves by various other European airports to charge for the bags, which were introduced following the September 11 attacks, anyone travelling from Dublin will now have to pay €1 for two bags if they haven’t brought their own and have liquids they want to take through departures.
Yesterday, Michael Kilcoyne of the Consumer Association of Ireland said the decision to charge for the bags was another example of the ‘Rip-off Republic’.
Mr Kilcoyne said: “It’s outrageous, because I'm not sure of the need for these bags in the first place. And now they’re charging a euro for them? Ridiculous.
“It is further evidence of the rip-off culture, and one that is extremely prevalent at the airport as we all know,”
The charge has been introduced in a number of airports across Europe, including Shannon and in Britain, although airports such as Heathrow and Gatwick have not added it.
Last night, the Dublin Airport Authority defended the move.
A spokeswoman said: “We are one of the last European airports to introduce a charge, and we felt it was time to end the free bags.”
In the British airports, and in Belfast, £1 buys four of the bags at a vending machine.
At Dublin Airport, €1 will buy two of the bags at a machine. The Government levy on plastic shopping bags is 22 cent.
“We didn’t decide on the charge, that is the vending company,” the DAA spokeswoman said.
“People can avoid the charges, just as you can with many of the airlines’ charges, if they are prepared in advance, by having a bag that complies with the regulations.”
She added that she expected some criticism of the new charge but that “nobody had given us plaudits when we were handing them out for free”.