Pay for luggage in advance to avoid extra costs

Sunday October 8 2017

Always pack light and tight. FOTOSEARCH

Always pack light and tight. FOTOSEARCH 

By SARA BAKATA
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The downside of flying a low-cost airline is that you get to pay for checked-in baggage. This can sometimes be as high as the cost of the ticket making nonsense of the low-cost element.

Normally, low-cost airlines offer a maximum of 10 kilogrammes per passenger for free and this is usually a carry-on bag. Any checked-in bag is paid for, thus the name prepaid baggage.

Prepaid baggage is baggage that is paid for in advance by the passenger before their flight. It is the baggage over and above your 10kg free baggage allowance.

It is prudent that when flying low-cost, you keep your baggage to 10kg or ensure to prepay when booking. This is because baggage paid for at the airport is double the prepaid baggage rates.

The region’s low-cost liner, Jambojet has revised downwards its prepaid baggage and increased baggage allowance to 32kg with effect from October 2.

This means for 0-25kg prepaid baggage will now cost Ksh750 (about $7.5) from Ksh1,000 (about $10).

Baggage weighing 21-26kg will cost Ksh1,750 (about $17.5) from Ksh2,000 (about $20), while upwards to 32kg will now cost Ksh2,750 (about $27.5) from Ksh7,800 (about $78).

For those who had already paid for their baggage in advance in booking before October 2, their baggage will remain as it is and will not attract any extra baggage fees as the baggage rates are effective from the date of purchase, that is, October 2.

On the flipside though, those who had already paid before the reduction are not eligible for refunds since the new rates came into effect at the time of purchase, which is October 2.

All excess baggage charges remain the same, at Ksh400 (about $4) per kilo.

But the best way of avoiding paying for baggage is to pack light and small. All airlines use the same standard size of on-board carrier bag.

Pack as much as possible in this bag and then have a separate, smaller pack for your electronics, which can also act as the handbag for those who must have one. This should be a size that can be stored under the seat rather than in the overhead bin.