Low-cost carrier Norwegian is implementing a new hand baggage policy that will see some customers charged for placing luggage in overhead bins in aircraft cabins.

As of today, passengers booking the airline’s LowFare ‘basic’ price point will only be allowed to bring one carry-on item weighing up to 10kg that fits under the seat in front of them. Those who wish to stow luggage in the overhead compartments will need to pay between £5 and £9 up to four hours prior to departure. These customers can also choose to pay for a checked bag or choose a higher fare type during booking.

LowFare+ passengers can bring one overhead bag and an underseat item, but the combined weight for both cannot exceed 10kg. This is in addition to the checked baggage allowance of up to 23kg included with their ticket. If overhead bins are full, customers’ hand baggage will be checked at the gate free of charge. Norwegian said customers can secure overhead space by purchasing Priority Boarding.

All other passengers – those on Flex, Premium, or Premium Flex tickets – can bring one overhead cabin bag in addition to the underseat item with a maximum combined weight of 15kg. These customers also have two checked bags with a maximum of 23kg each included in their fares.

Bookings made prior to 23 January will not be affected by the new policy.

Norwegian claims the change is needed to ensure flights depart on time.

Cecilie Nybo Carlsen, VP of product management for the airline, added: “Norwegian’s business model is based on giving our customers freedom of choice and that is also the basis of this new policy.

“It’s important for us that everyone has a good travel experience when they fly Norwegian. It is a common misperception that there is enough room in the cabin for all passengers to bring an overhead cabin bag. Now, with the new policy in place, our goal is that boarding will be smoother for our passengers, we can avoid spending time rearranging carry-on baggage in the overhead lockers and help ensure that our aircraft depart on time.”

Norwegian joins other low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and Wizz Air in restricting carry-on items for the lowest-paying customers in an effort to speed up the boarding process.

According to research, airline revenue from baggage fees increased 110 per cent between 2014 and 2018.


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