Extra Baggage Costs in Europe

Flying to Europe this summer and concerned about excess baggage charges or fees?  Remember that the 2 pieces of luggage system that applies to most carriers to/from the USA and Europe does not apply if you also happen to take a flight within Europe on your trip.

For example, if you’re flying from San Francisco to Venice on Lufthansa or United with a change of planes in Frankfurt, and you just bought one ticket for the entire round-trip, you’re OK.  The 2 bags per passenger applies.  But say you’re on a cruise from Venice to Athens and you want to stop in Munich on the way back.   So you would have purchased a ticket from SFO to Venice with a return Athens/San Francisco.  No problem. Easy. Do it all the time.  But to stop in Munich, you’ll need to purchase a ticket from Athens to Munich. And that’s where the 2 piece system no longer applies and you go to the weight system of just 44 pounds, usually combined checked and hand carried luggage.

So here’s a rundown on what you might expect to pay.  The hyperlinks go directly to what is currently the airlines baggage information page. Sorry if the URL has changed by the time you’re reading this.

Generally

There is no more generally. Heaven aforbid there should be any standardization in international baggage rules. Too bad Southwest doesn’t fly everywhere.  First Class on Southwest to Paris – don’t laugh. It will probably happen as they’re the only airline that seems to know what they’re doing. Anyway:

Lufthansa

Sorry, but their new policy as of 01 June 2011 is so strange I haven’t figured it out yet.

Air France

If your bag exceeds 23 kg/50 lb, then you pay either Euro 55. At least it’s not the usual 20 kg/44 lb!

If you’re above 32 kg/70 lb, it might not be allowed.

Plus they let you take a carry on up to 12 kg/26.5 lb.

British Airways

If your bag exceeds 23 kg/50 lb, then you pay 40 British Pounds.

Plus they let you take a carry on, also  up to 23 kg/50 lb.

Note: Air France calculates 23 kg at 50 pounds and British does it as 51. I would have figured the French for being more lax.

TAP Air Portugal

If your bag exceeds 20 kg/44 lb, then you pay Euro 15 per kilo over.

Plus they let you take a carry on up to 6 kg.

Olympic Airlines

If you’re flying between the Greek Islands, note:

You’re allowed to check 2 bags totaling 20 kg/44 lb. If you go above that they charge Euro 2 per extra kilo.  But they don’t wear much on those islands anyway.

And you can carry on 1 bag up to 8 kilos.

Josh Friedman is a travel agent specializing in luxury travel for small groups and individuals – particularly ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations and food & wine inspired journeys.  Based in San Francisco, and with clients throughout the USA and abroad, his business is focused on 24/7 personalized service to the sophisticated leisure and business traveler. Business services include high-touch reservations, exclusive hotel and airline offers.  His relationships with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful business or leisure trip. 

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