Budget passengers wrongly charged for hand luggage

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The Independent Travel

Passengers on the budget airline bmibaby may have been wrongly charged up to £60 because of hand-luggage measuring discrepancies, it emerged yesterday.

People flying on the airline can take bags on board for free if they are no bigger than a certain size. But an investigation by the BBC's Watchdog programme discovered that gauges at departure gates in at least three airports were too small for bags of the permitted size to fit inside.

Now bmibaby is to replace a number of measuring gauges. One of the airports was at East Midlands, the airline's main base. One passenger, Kirin Somaiya, 29, said he had flown with bmibaby from the airport and was told his hand luggage did not fit in the gauge, so he had to pay extra for it to be stored in the plane's hold. But when he got to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, he found his bag fitted into the gauges easily.

In response, bmibaby said that some of its gauges had been designed with curved edges, meaning that a piece of hard baggage which was exactly the same size as the maximum-allowed dimensions would not be able to fit inside.