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bubbles
08-19-2008, 01:26 PM
I wanted to warn as many people as possible about the new baggage restrictions with First Choice airlines. We booked for our holiday to Mexico about a year ago and at the time of booking we were told that as long as we showed our cert cards and insurance certificate for the dive gear when we booked in we could have an extra 10kg each. I, fortunately, insisted they put this in writing. Even so when we got to check in at Gatwick I was told that the baggage allowances had changed and as of the 25th July (our date of travel was the 26th July) that all extra dive gear was chargable at 6 a Kg which left us with 180 bill. :eek: I said to the man on reception that we had permission in writing and waved the letter under his nose to which he replied 'there were no exeptions'. I told him that even though the restrictions had just changed they should either have phoned those they had written to warning them or be honouring the letter! In the end another airport official made a phone call and said that under the circumstances they would honour it! I am very thankful to her.

I realise many airlines are following suit as regards luggage allowances but feel it is very misguided, particularly as many of the destinations they travel to do attract divers. I much prefer my own equipment as it is of better quality than much of the rental stuff on offer and + you know it has been well cared for/serviced. In addition to which as I am very small I need and extra small BCD which many dive centres don't provide - without this my tank rolls and bouyancy is affected! With the industry having such a hard time in this ecconomic climate - should they not be trying to attract customers rather than inconvinence them?

I hope that airlines will be more sympathetic to divers in the future. First Choice is a strange name for this company as they have obviously forgotten people do have a choice and as such we will not be travelling with them again even though we have been loyal customers in the past!!!!

I encourage as many other divers as possible to shame the mean airlines and let as many of us know which are the good airlines who are helpful to divers. Please post your recommendations on this site so that we can all be well informed of current regulations from the various airlines.

Happy travelling. :)

The Publisher
08-19-2008, 02:51 PM
I find the whole baggage charge thing odd. It seems nit-picky. Why not just raise your regular airfare prices to cover your fuel expenses?

And demanding someone show you your cert card and equipment insurance? I don't insure my equipment as it is covered under my homeowners insurance policy-like I am going to drag THAT around with me!

With Philippine Air, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Air, the carriers I use all the time, they never check to see if my equipment is dive equipment, I can usually go 2-3 kilos over the limit, and I never get hassled.

Next trip I will have a 3rd equipment bag, I will let all know how much Cathay charges for a 3rd bag.

From Wiki; First Choice Airways is a charter airline of European tour operator TUI Travel PLC, based in Crawley, England. It flies to more than 60 destinations worldwide from 14 UK and Irish airports.

The long haul services are sold only by internal companies such as First Choice Holidays, Eclipse Direct, Sunsail, Sovereign, Hayes and Jarvis and Unijet.