IRELAND. Irish carrier Aer Lingus has announced that it will no longer allow passengers to carry airport shopping bags separately as part of their hand baggage. The move, which could have a big impact on airport retail particularly at Irish and UK airports, means that passengers must fit all shopping within their one item of hand baggage, to a maximum of 10kg.
In a statement Aer Lingus said: “The introduction of the new carry-on baggage policy follows a recent review…with the objective to reduce delays and frustration caused by cabin baggage storage issues during boarding.”
GATE8 COMMENT: While Aer Lingus’ move is motivated primarily by passenger convenience, it comes at a time when European legislators are increasingly recognising that such policies contravene passengers’ rights. Last year Spain made it illegal for carriers to refuse to allow passengers to bring their airport purchases onboard separately from hand baggage , or to charge them for bringing purchases onboard.
The European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) has reported that some southern European airports with significant numbers of holiday travellers have experienced sales decreases of more than -70% as a result of carriers’ one-bag policies. It estimates that passengers spend between +25% and +30% more on travel retail on intra-EU routes where carriers do not enforce a one bag rule, and +50% more on routes leaving the EU.