Does baggage rage exist?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

image003According to the ferry umbrella body, Discover Ferries, baggage rage exists. To coincide with National Ferries Week, they have issued survey results to show that baggage costs and rules enforced by airlines irritates and annoys us. The answer they suggest is to use a ferry but then you’d expect that wouldn’t you?

Removing my cynicism for a moment, this is a grievance amongst most passengers. We object because someone has too much and has taken most of the overhead locker above our seat. We moan because we are forced to pack everything into one bag on certain airlines. We moan because the only way to get all the luggage we feel we must take is to wear half of it. And we moan because the drop-off points for luggage are now longer than the check-in queues. we also moan because industry-wide baggage sizes don’t exist. What I can take on a transatlantic flight is unacceptable on a short-haul no-frills carrier.

According to the survey, top of the “baggage beefs” that annoy us most are those sky-high airline charges for suitcases in the hold – with 44% putting this top of the list. This was closely followed in second place by 41% of respondents saying their greatest rage is that baggage allowances are simply too low, with 33% moaning most about often not being allowed a handbag in addition to a cabin bag – a figure that rose, understandably, to 45% among women. Fourth in the greatest “Baggage Rage” stakes, cited by over 32%, were those exorbitant excess charges for straying over your allowance, very closely followed in fifth place by nearly 32% of the sample hating getting caught out by extra charges for not booking in luggage correctly online. The final straw – voted for by 26% – was the double whammy of weight restrictions and some charges among airlines for cabin bags.

The survey also explored how you might instinctively react if your airline bag was found to be 3kg overweight at check-in. 45% said they would transfer some clothes to their partners’ bag and hold up the queue, while 38% would take some clothes out and simply wear them for the journey. 33% would promptly pay up the extra fee, while 19% would jettison any heavy toiletry items and leave them behind. The more emotional 4% amongst us simply start to cry, while another 4% would turn on the check-in attendant, and 3% would have a row with their partner!

Having been behind four people last week who did tried to re-pack and who delayed those behind or – in one case – spread themselves and the baggage contents over the floor as they re-packed, I have sympathy with airline staff. Rules are rules even if we dislike them. But people will still try and get away with that extra toblerone bar or whatever those strange shaped things are!

Being connected to ferries, the survey finally asked what family favourite items would you take on holiday by ferry, that you cannot by air? Top of the list, voted for by 29%, would be “comfort clothes” for all the family, from dressing gowns and slippers – to even onesies! Next, most important for 25%, would be the children’s bikes, ahead of extra family waterproof clothes at 21%. Fourth, at 20% would be the pet family dog, with most ferries equipped to take pets. Children’s sports gear is next most popular at 19%, and a child’s carrycot or car seat receiving 18% of the votes. Seventh are the kids’ favourite toys or game consoles at 16%, and only then does the dad or mum’s golf clubs get a look in at 10%. For Britons, that most revered item of teapot and tea came ninth at 9%, with nearly 8% highlighting family ski gear at number ten.

I take tea with me in hand luggage and have for years. The problem comes when the bags split and it certainly made one customs man wonder what I had in my pockets on one occasion!



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