Easyjet "Hands Free" option

Old Jun 25, 17, 12:00 pm
  #1  
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Easyjet "Hands Free" option

Had been considering checking my rollaboard into the hold while booking a recent Easyjet flight. Price during online booking IIRC was going to be 15 pounds or so. Decided to lug it instead. At the airport I noticed that a "Hands Free" service was being offered in the check in area. I checked the bag in for 4 pounds, and it came with priority handling to boot. Bargain!

My question is whether there is ever any point to paying the online checked baggage fees on Easyjet for a bag that meets cabin size requirements. Is the Hands Free option always available?
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Old Jun 25, 17, 1:35 pm
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You can normally check your bag for free at the gate - assuming the flight is fairly full.
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Old Jun 25, 17, 5:41 pm
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Just go to the gate and ask for your cabin bag to be checked in. This would be done free of charge.
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Old Jun 26, 17, 12:20 am
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Thanks for the responses. I'm familiar with gate checking, but using the "Hands Free" option I was able to check my bag in at the check in counter, and I didn't thus need to bring my bag through security and haul it to the gate. It was essentially the same as traveling with checked baggage, except that I paid a lot less for the service than Easyjet charges for it online. I'm wondering if anyone who travels regularly on Easyjet knows whether this is always offered.
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Old Jun 26, 17, 12:33 pm
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This is a new policy so it might not be available everywhere.
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Old Jul 4, 17, 4:31 pm
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I've just done some searching on internal systems and newsletters.

By the looks of it, it is available on French, Spanish, Swiss, Portugese flights as well as Gatwick and Bristol flights.

As far as I can tell, it is not a replacement for hold luggage, but merely a expeditious and convenient method to get your luggage at your arrival airport quicker.

"HANDS FREE

Following the very positive uptake of Hands Free in France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Bristol, with good feedback from both our customers and the Ground Crew, we will now offer all customers departing LGW the opportunity to upgrade to the Hands Free experience.
With Hands Free, customers travelling with or without a hold bag can drop off their cabin bags at Priority Bag Drop to be placed in the hold. For a small fee, all their bags (including hold bags if any) will be marked as priority and then delivered fast at arrivals, before anyone else’s. With this, customers will also enjoy a hassle-free experience at the airport (no need to unpack at security and carry a trolley bag through the airport) and will enjoy priority boarding (right after Speedy Boarding).

Prices are 4/€5/CHF6.- for an individual or 10/€12/CHF15.- for a group of 3 to 6 people (“Family Bundle”)."
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Old Jul 4, 17, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Grando View Post
Thanks for the responses. I'm familiar with gate checking, but using the "Hands Free" option I was able to check my bag in at the check in counter, and I didn't thus need to bring my bag through security and haul it to the gate. It was essentially the same as traveling with checked baggage, except that I paid a lot less for the service than Easyjet charges for it online. I'm wondering if anyone who travels regularly on Easyjet knows whether this is always offered.
The difference is that Hands Free is only available for cabin sized bags. If you turn up with full sized trolley bag, you will be charged hold bag fee.
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Old Jul 5, 17, 5:02 pm
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Interesting policy, but I doubt it will last. It allows a family of three to check in 3 cabin size bags. As there is no weight limit for Easyjet cabin size bags, each of these bags can easily weight 10-12 kilos. That is 30 to 36 kg for 10 euros. -
way less than a normal checked bags would cost. However, I doubt that a gate agent will have a way to know if they have checked these bags or not, meaning they can also bring another cabin size bags with them.
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Old Jul 6, 17, 3:02 am
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Originally Posted by alexanderrr View Post
However, I doubt that a gate agent will have a way to know if they have checked these bags or not, meaning they can also bring another cabin size bags with them.
That could probably be indicated on the BP, but even without it, there will be a baggage tag and gate agents would easily know, whether they will enforce it or not is another story.
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Old Jul 6, 17, 12:24 pm
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While in some ways the concept seems ripe for abuse, maybe it's a win-win. Easyjet gets to collect a bit of revenue by checking luggage at the check in counters that would sometimes otherwise be checked free of charge at the boarding gate on busy flights. I liked the service as I preferred to get rid of my bag before security, but I wasn't going to check it in if regular baggage fees applied.
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Old Jul 10, 17, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by alexanderrr View Post
Interesting policy, but I doubt it will last. It allows a family of three to check in 3 cabin size bags. As there is no weight limit for Easyjet cabin size bags, each of these bags can easily weight 10-12 kilos. That is 30 to 36 kg for 10 euros. -
way less than a normal checked bags would cost. However, I doubt that a gate agent will have a way to know if they have checked these bags or not, meaning they can also bring another cabin size bags with them.
It's flagged on the boarding pass scanner when people board and T&C's are quite clear that if you turn up with another carry-on you will be charged as if you had a checked luggage. Not the best of ideas to try to game this one...

Basically the incentive for easyjet is to:

a) monetize on the fact that most flights are full and they end up checking hand luggage (they accept 70-75 bags per flight then the rest goes in the hold)
b) avoid delays and make the gate area more efficient in removing the need to check a large amount of hand luggage.

I suspect that as this grows it will apply only to extremely busy flights and the price point may change also.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 4:57 am
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Not sure what can be flagged on my mobile BP that I have received before checking in these bags, but I guess you know something that I do not.
My guess would be that even if there will be some code word linlked to my BP, it will probably the same as for checked luggage and really no one is going to delay the boarding because of this.
As for T&C - this thread is the only relevant link that google can find about this option. If you can show me the link to some official info - it would be very helpful.
If Easyjet wants people to use this option, I guess it this information should be available not only near check-in areas, as people with cabin baggage would not go there, since most of them have their BP printed in advance.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by alexanderrr View Post
Not sure what can be flagged on my mobile BP that I have received before checking in these bags, but I guess you know something that I do not.
Nothing needs to be flagged physically on your BP, but when scanned at the gate the agent would be able to know that you checked in a bag since it will be in your reservation...
Whether they will delay boarding or not is a different story, I don't think they will process it any different than if your bag is too big to fit the sizer e.g.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 3:46 pm
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I am sure that it is visible somewhere in the system, but when you put your BP next to a scanner -it will just scan it and let you go. If an agent will be looking at his screen for every single pax - whether he used this option or not - this will certainly delay the boarding, i.e. the opposite of what Easyjet wants to achieve with this option.
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Old Jul 12, 17, 3:31 am
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Originally Posted by alexanderrr View Post
I am sure that it is visible somewhere in the system, but when you put your BP next to a scanner -it will just scan it and let you go. If an agent will be looking at his screen for every single pax - whether he used this option or not - this will certainly delay the boarding, i.e. the opposite of what Easyjet wants to achieve with this option.
No, when you select hands free option a comment will be flagged in your booking and when boarding require confirmation from the gate agent to allow boarding. It's the same thing which happens if you have an exit row seat, booking with a high number of flights in it (I think above 12 or so).

The gate agent will have to confirm you don't have any hand luggage, otherwise charge you for it. The comment can't just be ignored, it has to be confirmed to allow you to board (and them to process the following pax). Also gate agents do look at their screens as they are supposed to check ID, seat number and speedy boarding/easyjet plus also.

The T&Cs are quite clear that you will be charged as if you showed up with a second piece of hand luggage, so the gate agent either collects the fee from the pax or refuses boarding, it's not much more complicated than that.

Note that the easyJet app actually advises users the day of the flight about the hands free option (at airports where offered), so it is being advertised both at airport counters and on the mobile app.

As hands free does come with priority boarding, it is meant that people who don't comply are found earlier in the process - thus more time to collect fees or offload them in case of non-compliance.
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