Penny pinching practices make one reader wonder if there’s more to the new baggage charges than meet the eye?

Thomas Cook, as we reported on 5th March, introduced new charges for luggage on all their flights.

In a statement on their website the company said:

“For all flight only bookings, booked from the 4th March 2009, no free allowance will be provided for checked in luggage (Hold luggage).

Passengers will still receive 5kg of hand luggage free on all flights.

Any passengers wishing to check in luggage, up to 20kg, can do so for a small fee of £8 or Euro 10.

If passengers have not pre booked hold luggage before they travel they will be charged per bag at check in.”

One reader contacted us to tell us that the reality of the new baggage charging policy is more akin to ‘penny pinching’ and that the actual administration of the new charges has left many passengers wondering if they will ever travel with the company again.

“I checked in to my flight with Thomas Cook flight number TCX 117 on Friday 20 March. My flight was due to leave at 8.00am from Manchester.
At check in the Thomas Cook staff were seen to be carefully weighing every item of luggage and, even if the items were only 1kg over, passengers were being forced to pay excess baggage charges.

Hand luggage was being specially scrutinized and weighed. If any items exceed the 5kg or the dimensions it had to be placed in the hold at an additional charge.
Any passengers wanting to take more than 1 item of hand luggage in the cabin was being forced to pay £40.

The arguments between Thomas Cook and passengers were loud and aggressive. The situation wasn’t helped by Thomas Cook staff being rude, intransigent and showing little respect for their customers.

I have travelled with other no frills airlines with similar policies but the way Thomas Cook is implementing these new charges smacks of desperation and makes me wonder if this penny pinching a sign of a financial problems we don’t yet know about?”

This is just one of the many money making schemes that Thomas Cook has implemented over the last few years that include:

  • Extra charges if you want to sit together with your partner;
  • Meal charges;
  • Seating with leg room;
  • Seating placed closer together;
  • Charging in Euros if travelling from outside the UK; and
  • Unavoidable credit and debit card charges.

So next time you fly Thomas Cook stay one step ahead and make sure your luggage is within the weight limits.