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Norwegian unused bag fee included + gate check penalty

Norwegian unused bag fee included + gate check penalty

Old Nov 20, 19, 1:10 am
  #1  
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Norwegian unused bag fee included + gate check penalty

Mrs. sjefenole traveled on a Low Fare + ticket which included a checked bag, however she decided to try her luck and bring the bag on board rather than check it, and upon bag weighing at the gate she was asked to check it and charged a fee (NOK 1500), even though she hadn't used her free checked bag allowance.
Is this common practice? Or can it be disputed since she paid for something she didn't receive?
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Old Nov 20, 19, 1:40 am
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I have a horrible suspicion that Norwegian would say she CHOSE not to use her checked bag allowance..... and instead "opted" for the gate check fee.....
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Old Nov 20, 19, 2:45 am
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Yes, Norwegian does this. It also happened to me when the cabin bag was 1 inch bigger than the limit (I knew it would fit as I traveled with the same bag a million times... at the end I just took a plastic bag and dumped my few things into that, leaving the old empty suitcase at the gate.)
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Old Nov 20, 19, 11:04 am
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Did Mrs. sjefenole mentioned anything regarding her free bag allowance when she was being charged NOK1500? If she did, what did the agent said? Numerous travelers opt out of bag allowance because the ticket is cheap. the moment to argue this was there, going back for a refund might be too problematic. As the second post suggest, which appears to be the truth, she opted not to take advantage of said allowance.
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Old Nov 20, 19, 8:55 pm
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Yes that seems fair to me. The customer cannot just decide they want their 'hold' luggage to be brought into the cabin free of charge.
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Old Nov 21, 19, 4:22 am
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She tried her luck and lost. Think of it as a fine for trying to cheat the system.
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Old Nov 21, 19, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by ft101 View Post
She tried her luck and lost. Think of it as a fine for trying to cheat the system.
I don't think she tried to cheat the system. I suspect all she was trying to do was avoid baggage claim at her destination.

I think she's been screwed over. The question is, how much aggravation is the OP willing to go through to try and get his/her money back.
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Old Nov 21, 19, 11:23 am
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Originally Posted by USA_flyer View Post
I don't think she tried to cheat the system. I suspect all she was trying to do was avoid baggage claim at her destination.

I think she's been screwed over. The question is, how much aggravation is the OP willing to go through to try and get his/her money back.
The issue is if you want to avoid baggage claim, you need to ensure your contract with the airline allows her the cabin bag she wants.

"Or can it be disputed since she paid for something she didn't receive?"
​​​​​​She paid for a bag in the hold. She didn't use this allowance is not the airline faults. Disputing, in my opinion, would be a waste of time.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 4:02 am
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Originally Posted by USA_flyer View Post
I don't think she tried to cheat the system. I suspect all she was trying to do was avoid baggage claim at her destination.
That's the (poor) reason for her trying to cheat the system in my view. YMMV.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 4:41 am
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Is it mentioned somewhere in the rules that checking the hold luggage that was paid for HAS to happen at the check in desk? I would argue that one can check that luggage at the gate as well, especially seeing that they do have the facilities to support that.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 10:39 am
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
Is it mentioned somewhere in the rules that checking the hold luggage that was paid for HAS to happen at the check in desk? I would argue that one can check that luggage at the gate as well, especially seeing that they do have the facilities to support that.
https://www.norwegian.com/us/booking...s-of-carriage/

10.6.1 and 10.4.1
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Old Nov 22, 19, 11:43 am
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Gate checking fees for oversize handluggage are quite common, are they not?

I'm not aware of any airline that charges such fees making reference to whether or not a checked luggage allowance was included and used or not in order to determine whether the fee is waived - that would defeat the purpose of having the fee in the first place. Baggage checking should take place at check-in, observing the baggage check-in deadlines, and not at the gate [even though you instead wish to take your bag as carry-on in breach of the advertised baggage guidelines].

The purpose of the gate checking fee is to prevent customers from delaying the flight by delaying the boarding process (and the baggage loading process) with oversize bags not allowed into the cabin. If the worst that happens is that the bag is taken from them (at no fee) then that passenger is going to do the same again the next time - it incentivises them to try bringing check-in bags as carry on again next time.

It also makes the gate agents' job more difficult, when other passengers, having witnessed one person having their bag taken without charge, then demand to have their bag gate checked for free too. And the passengers who dutifully checked a bag will see that others get to have their check-in bags checked "for free" at the gate - meaning they will try the same next time, too.

All told, any such exception means that the policy breaks down, and increases the number of passengers bringing oversize luggage in an attempt to get it onboard.

The fee is to stop passengers bringing oversized bags to the gate. If an included checked baggage allowance didn't incentivise you to use it, and check the bag, then clearly a further incentive is required - hence the gate checking fee.

Note that, in assessing the gate checking fee, they will move you up to the much higher excess baggage rate if you have already used your checked baggage allowance - so at least you know that the fee could, in other circumstances, have been higher!

While we all like to get away from the airport as quickly as possible upon arrival, if your luggage is likely to be refused on board, and you have a checked luggage allowance that you otherwise won't benefit from, it's just better to check it in from the beginning.
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Last edited by irishguy28; Nov 22, 19 at 11:56 am
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Old Nov 24, 19, 3:58 am
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Originally Posted by prgboy View Post
Yes, Norwegian does this. It also happened to me when the cabin bag was 1 inch bigger than the limit (I knew it would fit as I traveled with the same bag a million times... at the end I just took a plastic bag and dumped my few things into that, leaving the old empty suitcase at the gate.)
I do "love" the "I know it fits" argument. It does not really matter whether it fits or not, as the airlines have set their rules. And the rules are the rules.

However, I do have to say kudos for the approach to the situation.
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Old Nov 27, 19, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Gate checking fees for oversize handluggage are quite common, are they not?

I'm not aware of any airline that charges such fees making reference to whether or not a checked luggage allowance was included and used or not in order to determine whether the fee is waived - that would defeat the purpose of having the fee in the first place. Baggage checking should take place at check-in, observing the baggage check-in deadlines, and not at the gate [even though you instead wish to take your bag as carry-on in breach of the advertised baggage guidelines].

The purpose of the gate checking fee is to prevent customers from delaying the flight by delaying the boarding process (and the baggage loading process) with oversize bags not allowed into the cabin. If the worst that happens is that the bag is taken from them (at no fee) then that passenger is going to do the same again the next time - it incentivises them to try bringing check-in bags as carry on again next time.

It also makes the gate agents' job more difficult, when other passengers, having witnessed one person having their bag taken without charge, then demand to have their bag gate checked for free too. And the passengers who dutifully checked a bag will see that others get to have their check-in bags checked "for free" at the gate - meaning they will try the same next time, too.

All told, any such exception means that the policy breaks down, and increases the number of passengers bringing oversize luggage in an attempt to get it onboard.

The fee is to stop passengers bringing oversized bags to the gate. If an included checked baggage allowance didn't incentivise you to use it, and check the bag, then clearly a further incentive is required - hence the gate checking fee.

Note that, in assessing the gate checking fee, they will move you up to the much higher excess baggage rate if you have already used your checked baggage allowance - so at least you know that the fee could, in other circumstances, have been higher!
An interesting and plausible rationale for the fee but it is just that: plausible. One could equally argue that the rationale for a higher fee at the gate is to incentivise passengers to buy a baggage allowance in advance rather than try their luck at the gate. In such a reading, there is no reason to charge at the gate for luggage which is in the passenger's allowance.
In any event, our respective speculations at what may or may not be the rationale behind the fee are neither here nor there. What matters is what is in the CoC. And the CoC is anything but clear on that. In EEA jurisdictions, if an airline is going to charge a fee in a given situation, it must do so in a clear and unambiguous manner. Norwegian is anything but clear on this, not even in the small print of the CoC, let alone in the booking process. They should state explicitly in its rules that the fee will be charged even if the baggage is still within the passenger's allowance if they are going to charge in that situation. The CoC does not do so. Personally, I would dispute it if I were imposed the fee in the situation where the bag I attempted to bring onboard was still within my allowance.
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