We’ve seen almost all airlines adapting to this trend in the past: Light fares that do not include any checked luggage. This used to be a unique feature that only low-cost carriers dared to promote. But nowadays even renowned airlines charge extra for everything more than a carry-on bag on a personal item. But what is now standard on flights especially to North and South America, as well as Africa, somehow didn’t make its way to connections from Europe to Asia. Checked luggage has been included for the majority of connections to countries like China, Japan, or Indonesia.
But, once again, things are starting to change. Quietly and almost without being noticed, SkyTeam members KLM and Air France expanded their Light fares to flights from Europe to Asia. With immediate effect, the airlines will force travelers to pay a hefty surcharge if they want to check-in some luggage.
No Price Reduction for Light Fares
We checked the latest pricing for the Light fare and – quelle surprise – couldn’t spot any reductions compared to the old one. So, in the end, we can probably agree that KLM and Air France are just trying to increase prices for most passengers secretly.
The Light fare includes only one piece of hand luggage, with a weight of up to 12kg. Now, you could add one checked bag to your booking for prices of around €50 per one-way flight. This would add up to €100 for a round-trip. So it is better to opt for the Standard fare if you’re planning on bringing your bigger bags both ways. You can decide to “upgrade” during the booking process on KLM.com or airfrance.com for prices of €80 per return flight.
Luckily, as of now, KLM and Air France (alongside some low-cost carriers) are the only ones switching to Light Fares on flights to Asia. But once the door is open, others might see their chance as well. It can’t be ruled out that competitors such as British Airways or Lufthansa won’t jump aboard this train as well. Not exactly a bright future for those traveling to Asia with more than just a cabin trolley.