The Scandinavian Star Alliance member SAS joins the low-cost airlines in charging for hand luggage. Since December 14, customers of the cheapest SAS Go Light fare are only allowed to take one personal item on board, with the dimensions 40 x 30 x 15 centimetres; a regular piece of hand luggage costs extra. The surcharges are currently still relatively moderate. On the Berlin-Stockholm route, for example, hand luggage (50x40x23cm / max. 8 kg) costs €12 extra in each direction. Flights to Asia and North America are (still) excluded from this change.
SAS naturally describes this as if it were done for the benefit of the customer:
On 14 December 2021, we will be adapting our SAS Go light ticket for passengers who want to travel light and get the lowest fare possible. The fare will only include an underseat bag, which means that you can choose to add another piece of hand luggage on board or checked bags, only if you need to.flysas.com
You can find the complete hand luggage rules here.
In this context, it is also interesting that the prices for these flights were of course not adjusted downwards but simply remained the same.
After Ryanair, Wizzair and other low-cost airlines such as Eurowings went ahead as “honorable” pioneers, members of the large alliances are now apparently not afraid of limiting customers even more when it comes to luggage. It’s probably just a matter of time before other airlines follow suit. If you consider that, for example, meals are no longer included with Lufthansa on European routes and checked baggage costs extra, a step towards chargeable hand baggage would in principle reduce the advantages over the low-cost airlines to a minimum. Of course, the aviation industry has not had a golden age right now, but the whole thing is quite sad, really.