In short: Etihad Airway’s excess baggage charges are extortionate, verging on daylight robbery. DO NOT PAY THEM!
Our plan for the move all along has been to just take 3 or 4 extra suitcases with us as we didn’t have quite enough stuff to warrant the hiring of a shipping container.
Before my work purchased the plane tickets on our behalf, I did a bit of shopping around to find out what sort of prices airlines were charging for excess baggage. It turns out that the majority were fairly expensive, but reasonable enough to pay for the service.
When our tickets were eventually booked for us, the ticket receipt said that we were to be traveling with Virgin Australia. I headed over to check out their prices for extra luggage and found that they charge £40 for your first extra bag weighing a maximum of 23kg, and then £90 per bag thereafter. Very reasonable I think you’ll agree.
However after phoning Virgin to discuss this, I discovered that while the flights were sold under Virgin’s name, they were actually operated by Etihad and that extra baggage allowance had to be under their rules and fees. A bit of a weird arrangement, but nothing alarming so far.
So I headed off to check out Etihad’s excess baggage fees, only to discover the most utterly ridiculous charges… Etihad are trying to charge £46 per 1kg of extra baggage!!!
So for an extra 23kg bag, that’s £40 with Virgin or £1,058 with Etihad!
Or to put it another way; With Etihad, it’s cheaper to purchase another full fare adult plane ticket than it is to check in just one extra bag!
I contacted Etihad to ask they explain how they can justify these costs.
Their first response to me was long winded, simply reiterating their pricing structure, however included an intriguing statement:
“…our guests have to abide by the baggage policy of the airline for many reasons including, but not limited to space, safety and cost.”
This makes no sense, especially when I can buy another seat on an Etihad plane (which comes with the standard allowance of one check-in bag and one carry-on bag), for far less than it would cost me to take just one extra check-in bag with me! I’m pretty sure taking up an additional seat on the air craft, along with an extra suitcase and check-in item would take up far more room that just throwing one extra suitcase in the hold!
So if you’re traveling with Etihad and want to take extra luggage with you, don’t pay them for the privilege. Consider getting it sent over by a courier or specialist baggage company instead – you’ll save £1,000s!