Man wears all his clothes to avoid baggage charge

Emma Woollacott
Matt Botten wearing all his clothes.
Matt Botten wearing all his clothes.

No airline passenger feels happy when they're told that their bags weigh too much and that they'll have to pay a surcharge. But most of us feel we have no choice but to pay up.

Not so Matt Botten, from Cardiff, who was horrified to be told by EasyJet that he needed to fork out an extra £45 for his flight from Gatwick to Reykjavik over the weekend.

Instead of forking out the cash, he took his bag to the nearby Wetherspoons and started unloading the contents and putting them on.

Kitted out in several layers of t-shirts, jumpers and trousers, and with a pair of shoes sticking out of a pocket, he headed back to security.

He got through without having to pay the £45 surcharge - although he had to put up with extended questioning from security staff.

"You'd probably think it would be massively difficult to get all this on - and you'd be entirely correct. I upset three tables' worth of people in Gatwick Wetherspoons donning this get-up, one of which, resultantly, had a crying child on. Like all great endeavours though, you're always going to get some collateral damage," Matt, 32, told the Crawley News just before takeoff.

"I am very hot. The sad reality is I'm going to be taking everything I own OFF in a vacuum sealed environment with 200 other people."

Matt isn't the first person to try this trick - indeed, boy band member James McElvar did the same thing last summer on an EasyJet flight to Glasgow. Unlike Matt, though, he didn't have the sense to take everything off once he was on board, and passed out from heat exhaustion.

Earlier this month, TravelSupermarket carried out an analysis of the baggage policies of the major airlines flying into and out of the UK, and found that Middle Eastern airlines tend to be the most generous. The big worldwide carriers come next.

And of the low-cost airlines, says TravelSupermarket, EasyJet is actually one of the best.

"The highest costs are with Ryanair, who will charge up to £2.33 per kilo for a 15kg bag on selected routes, such as those to the Canary Islands and Greece. Their highest cost is £90 return for a 20kg pre-booked bag in summer on their longer flights such as Tenerife," says the site's travel expert Bob Atkinson.

"The lowest charges are with a new-entrant to the UK: Norwegian – it charges from 35p per kilo on short routes, such as those to Spain. EasyJet charges from 65p to £1.20 per kilo for all routes and offers great value."

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