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Consumer: easyJet bids to clear air over family's bill for excess luggage

By Claire McNeilly

Classroom assistant Deirdre Brennan (26) and her 28-year-old husband Gerard, a lorry driver, got a costly shock at the airport.

The couple and their two children, one-year-old Ella and Caitlin (6), had originally bought tickets with easyJet from Belfast to Alicante on August 6.

However, when her father – who lives in Spain – took ill, they brought their holiday forward, paying an extra £231 to swap flights to August 3.

"We had already paid £691 for the original tickets and we thought the amount to change flights was excessive," said Deirdre, who lives in Dunmurry, just outside Belfast. "But then to add insult to injury we were charged an extra £55 at check-in because our bag was a couple of kilos overweight. The easyJet employee that was checking us in was extremely rude, which upset me most of all. Her exact words were "£55 or you can't travel today".

"I was standing there holding the baby at 5am and I was completely mortified because it happened at the front of a large queue of people.

"And to make matters worse, the lady at the check-in desk beside us was asking other customers if they wanted to put any bags in the hold free of charge."

Deirdre added: "I can't see how in one instance people are allowed to put bags in the hold for free and yet charge a family of four travelling with an infant – who has no baggage allowance – £55."

Deirdre said they usually book flights with easyJet at least twice a year but that this experience would make her think about using the airline again.

An easyJet spokeswoman said the company had been in touch with the Brennans directly to apologise for any inconvenience experienced at the airport and to clarify its pricing system around excess weight and flight changes.

"If an item of baggage weighs more than 20kg, then an excess fee of £11 per kg is applied," she said.

"Excess weight can be purchased in advance at a cheaper rate and we encourage all passengers to check the weight of their bags prior to travelling. Prior to boarding, staff approached some passengers to put their hand luggage into the hold free of charge as the flight was full and overhead locker space was limited.

"When a booking is changed an admin fee of £35-£40 per person is applied plus the difference in the cost of the flight."

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