It's easy to make a bags of it
YOUR CONSUMER QUERIES: A reader got in touch to say she is travelling to Madrid later this month for 12 weeks to complete a work-placement programme and is flying with Aer Lingus.
Initially, she bought an allowance for one checked-in bag for €15 per flight. The bag can weigh up to 20kg. She also has an allowance for a carry-on bag which can weigh up to 10kg. She realised he would need a larger allowance so bought an extra checked in bag assuming that it would give her a further 20kg. It doesn’t. Under Aer Lingus rules, all checked-in bags can only amount to 20kg together, unless you buy “extra weight”. The reader says this extra weight option allows people to buy an allowance of extra weight for their checked-in bag(s) on top of the 20kg maximum. The options are as follows: €27 for 3kg, €54 for 6kg, €81 for 9kg, €108 for 12kg.
“Going back over it when knowing the rules, I admit that I wasn’t firing on all cylinders,” she says.
“In hindsight and knowing the policy, the situation is fairly clear, however I think it should be worded ‘irrespective of whether a passenger opts to have one, two or three checked-in bags, the total checked-in bags cannot weigh more than 20kg altogether, unless extra weight is purchased’. This would have (hopefully) made it clear to me that buying the permission to check in an extra bag did not mean I was buying extra weight allowance. It should be stated ‘buying an extra bag does not mean buying extra weight’. I think that it’s so fundamental that it should be spelt out clearly.
“The approach of Aer Lingus in this doesn’t amount to false advertising, or misleading advertising, but it doesn’t correspond with what a person thinks of when considering ‘adding a bag’ in terms of air travel.”
UK headphones complaint finally gets a hearing:
A READER CALLED Lydia has had her head wrecked by a pair of Beats by Dr Dre Solo headphones from Dixon’s in Heathrow Airport.
Just three weeks of “very light usage” later, she noticed that one of the headphone pads was coming apart. “Having paid £128 (€165) for them, I was extremely unhappy with this. The information that came with the headphones said to contact Monster’s customer service line in the first instance if they were faulty. I spoke to a woman at Monster who didn’t seem to have any concept of the problem. In the end, I said I would just take them back to the retailer myself.”
So she brought the headphones into PC World in Dublin’s Jervis Centre. “A member of staff looked at them and instantly said yes, they were faulty, and that I could exchange them. However, when his colleague realised the receipt was from a UK branch, he said it couldn’t be processed in an Irish store because of the different currency.”
Staff said she should bring them to a store in Northern Ireland. “When I said this wasn’t practical, he went off to speak to a manager. He returned some time later with a computer print-out that showed they could not take back items bought from UK stores.”
She got home and called the Dixons Travel customer service number in the UK and spoke to a woman who “was adamant that an Irish store should be able to take the headphones back for me and do a swap. I explained the problem with it being a different currency and she said it still shouldn’t matter.