Norwegian Air has announced it is changing its cabin bag policy with immediate effect, with new rules meaning that passengers will need to pay to bring a second piece of hand luggage on board.
Until now, the airline let passengers bring one bag on board to go under the seat, as well as a second carry on bag free of charge weighing no more than 10kg.
Under the new rules, passengers will be allowed to bring one bag on board as default, but this must be able to fit under the seat, measuring no more than 30 x 20 x 38cm and weighing no more than 10kg.
However, if you want to bring a second bag to put in the overhead locker, you're going to need to fork out extra cash.
The new policy is very similar to that of Ryanair's hand luggage rules, which also see passengers having to pay if they want to bring a second bag on board.
You will have three options;
- Pay £5-£9, depending on the flight route for a cabin bag which you can stow in the overhead lockers (for LowFare tickets). The total weight with your underseat bag must not be more than 10kg.
- Pay extra for a LowFare+, Flex, Premium, PremiumFlex ticket which include a second piece of hand luggage in the price (we explain the various ticket types below)
- Pay for checked luggage (the airline has upped the weight allowance from 20kg to 23kg following the new rules)
The new rules have already come into force, although the airline has said that passengers who booked their tickets before Thursday 23rd January won't be affected.
Essentially, if you opt for a LowFare ticket you'll need to pay extra if you need to bring a second bag.
As Norwegian does offer a lot of long-haul routes, it could be that for some passengers, travelling with one underseat bag would not be feasible.
The rules are also slightly different based on the ticket type you choose, so to make things a little easier, we explain each one below.
LowFare: You can bring one underseat bag, measuring no more than 30 x 20 x 38cm and weighing no more than 10kg. You'll need to pay extra for a second piece of hand luggage or if you want checked luggage. If you pay for an overhead bag, the total combined weight with the underseat bag must not exceed 10kg.
LowFare+: You can bring one underseat bag, and one overhead cabin bag. The maximum combined weight must not be more than 10kg. If the cabin is full, your bags will be checked at the gate free of charge. This ticket also includes one piece of 23kg checked luggage.
Flex/Premium/PremiumFlex: You can bring one underseat bag and one overhead cabin bag. The maximum combined weight must not be more than 15kg. This ticket includes two checked bags each with a 23kg allowance.
So why has the cabin bag policy changed?
Cecilie Nybø Carlsen, VP Product Management at Norwegian, said that passengers were bringing more overhead bags than the cabin space allowed, causing a slower boarding process as flight attendants had to re-arrange the overhead lockers.
She explained: "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.
"However, most of our aircraft carry 186 passengers and has space for around 80 overhead cabin bags.
"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."
You can find out more about the cabin bag policy on the Norwegian website.
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