Pricewatch: Readers’ queries
This week’s problems include Aer Lingus’s weight-allowance policy and Vodafone’s customer service
Despite the fact our reader had checked in another bag and paid €20 for it, she was not entitled to any extra weight on top of the basic allowance of 20kg, regardless or how many bags she paid for
Aer Lingus’s baggage policy weighing heavily
Susan Byrne contacted us about an issue she has with Aer Lingus. She is moving to London, so was keen to bring a few bags with her. “A friend had moved to London some years before, and had flown with Ryanair and booked two extra bags – and with each extra bag got an extra 15kg – so I thought I might also book in an extra bag on my Aer Lingus flight,” she says.
She checked in one bag as she booked the flight, but as she was wanted to bring her bike with her she rang the airline to book it in, “and while I was on to the customer representative I asked if I could book in another bag as it would be good to bring some extra stuff. He said ‘fine’, so I booked in another bag online a few hours prior to the flight.”
When she arrived at the airport, the woman checking her in said that, despite the fact she had checked in another bag and paid €20 for it, she was not entitled to any extra weight on top of the basic allowance of 20kg, regardless or how many bags she paid for.
“I later discovered that I could have checked in an extra nine bags, but that I would not have got any extra weight. The supervisor who told me that I would have to pay €270 in excess charges told me that this happens ‘all the time’.”
She feels this is unfair for two reason. “Firstly because I had checked with a customer representative before booking the extra bag, and secondly because this is not made clear on the website when booking the extra bag. Aer Lingus are making money on customers’ assumption that if you book an extra bag, you get extra weight.”
She thinks the airline should have a pop-up window explicitly stating that an extra bag does not equal extra weight. “I have emailed customer services and await a reply,” she says.
The airline told us it is working on a new baggage model, which will be launched on aerlingus.com in December.
“The new model will be clearer and more transparent for the customer when booking extra bags and or extra weight. The format will include pop-ups with a list of options and associated pricing,” a spokeswoman said.
Flights cheaper after the sale
Michelle Hughes wants to know if airlines are allowed to lower their fares after a sale. “Last week I took advantage of an Aer Lingus sale, which promised up to 50 per cent off flights,” she writes.