Flybe Edinburgh passenger saw pilot hit with £50 excess bag fee

Fed-up Flybe customers have told of their own excess baggage charge horror stories - including one who watched a pilot get stung with the fee.

The Scotsman reported on Tuesday how passengers on an Edinburgh to Birmingham flight staged a mutiny after accusing staff of overzealous enforcement of the levy.

Flybe staff at the airport threatened to call in the police unless passengers paid up.

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Now more travellers have come forward to tell how they too have been hit with the £50 fee for having bags too big to take in the cabin.

Flybe's excess bag charges have angered passengers at Edinburgh Airport
Flybe's excess bag charges have angered passengers at Edinburgh Airport

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Tsjerk Hoekstra said he and fellow regular passengers suffered a “rude experience” at the hands of gate staff on Monday’s flight to Exeter.

“The staff literally trapped people arriving at the gate with their measuring box, even WHSmith plastic bags had to be measured, I should have recorded it - it was so ridiculous,” said Mr Hoekstra.

“Anything peeping out a little was being charged £50.

“Even an airline pilot had to stump up the £50 as well as families with young children.

“The funny bit was that the plane couldn’t leave because of “luggage inconsistencies”. It was a disgrace for Flybe, for Edinburgh Airport and for Scotland.”

Regular business traveller between Edinburgh and London City, Malkit Chopra, has been left so infuriated by Flybe, she switched to rival carrier BA.

She told how while waiting for a return flight south a few weeks ago, Flybe staff at Edinburgh suddenly appeared with a cardboard cutout luggage measurer.

Miss Chopra even bought a tape measure so she could measure the suspiciously small-looking cut-out and watched, as on her next trip, staff rowed in front of her over whether to charge her or not.

“The next time I flew with Flybe as I waited in the queue to board the flight back to London, the gentleman who was checking my boarding pass and passport eyeball checked my luggage and said it was fine.

“But just at the side counter was an interruption from a female colleague who turned around to him and was not happy with what she had just heard he’d said to me.

“They talked and he said ‘it’s fine’ however, she was fuming and you could see she would have overruled.

“I just walked off as quickly as I could so as not to be stopped. It was just insulting beyond belief.”

Miss Chopra added: “You see the Flybe staff at the boarding gate preying on passengers or anyone who looks vulnerable because they know they’ll catch passengers out ready to hit them with the announcement.”

Miss Chopra said she submitted her experience on a customer satisfaction survey after using the same carry on luggage trolley each week with no previous problems.

She added: “It is true they are holding people to ransom this behaviour is outrageous and has left me frustrated and furious with Flybe.

“What fundamentally needs to happen is Flybe stop their bullying tactics. You can’t imagine an airline behaving this way in this day and age. They must be stopped.”

A spokesman for Exeter-based Flybe said its passengers are allowed two pieces of cabin baggage - one item no bigger than 55x35x20cm and a smaller handbag or laptop case.

He added: “Flybe can confirm that our ground handling agents across the network are enforcing our established baggage policy that has not changed since being introduced in 2016. This makes it fair for everyone and also speeds boarding.

“Any hand luggage which fails to comply with the stated dimensions and that does not fit into the metal or cardboard sizers will be charged accordingly.”