Air France/KLM to Offer Transatlantic Hand Baggage Fare


By Demola Ojo

Air France KLM has announced plans to adopt hand baggage only (HBO) fares on transatlantic routes from next year. A new range of economy fares has gone on sale for flights departing Europe from April 10, 2018.

There will be three main economy tariffs for flights between Europe and USA/Canada. These are:

Light – essentially an HBO fare (checked luggage is charged at €50 per piece) ;Standard – some flexibility with one piece of luggage included; Standard Plus – a range of more flexible fares plus one piece of checked luggage.

Note that while these tariffs apply from all of Europe to North America there are limited restrictions in the reverse direction.

This is because all traditional airlines are facing intense price competition from long-haul low-cost carriers (LCCs).

A typical economy passenger will choose a flight based on what’s termed the headline price. HBO tariffs enable traditional carriers to quote lower lead-in prices.

TAP Air Portugal and Aer Lingus have both started offering HBO fares on transatlantic routes. US carrier Delta and Italian flag carrier Alitalia (which operate joint ventures with Air France KLM) are also set to launch HBO fares.

Industry watchers are waiting for carriers like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and the Lufthansa Group to follow.