This has come out the blue, but it seems KLM is taking a different approach to luggage than its sister company Air France, by actively charging for luggage on short haul segments
So on KLM flights booked on or after 22 April 2013, a luggage fee will apply. This will be
- €15 Paid in advance/Online
- €30 at the Airport
Per item of luggage.
Now the fun part – how to get out of it -
- You are a Flying Blue member – Flying Blue Elite members too will be able to bring 1 suitcase for free.
- You are travelling on a corporate or a BlueBiz account.
- You book a fully flexible ticket (booking class Y or B) within Europe.
- You are flying to Belarus, Georgia, Italy, Russia, Turkey or the Ukraine. Or on an intercontinental KLM flight – including if you will be flying within Europe as part of an intercontinental journey.
Hand Luggage will remain free (1 bag and 1 accessory), but will be strictly enforced at gate at the full 12KG. Bags must also meet the dimentions of 55x25x35 cm – of face a €30 luggage charge at the gate.
The changes are listed at http://www.klm.com/travel/gb_en/campaigns/baggage/index.htm?wt.seg_3=HP_wide_1stbag
KLM is dressing this up as paying for services you don’t need, and will attempt to reduce the headline fares. I on the other hand call shenanigans as its a way of the airline to raise revenue, in a vain attempt to fight the Low Cost Carriers who have been biting at Air France-KLM’s feet.
Speaking of which, Air France has adopted the “mini” fare concept – again, luggage in advance is €15, bookable online – but they also separate those who want luggage and miles into its own fare category.
The big questions now are these:
- With the first major European Legacy Airline to start charging for hold luggage – who is next
- And can KLM make these changes stick?
This for consumers and non frequent fliers will be ones to watch. For those who are Flying Blue Members – they can rest easier… for now.