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Anyone else was ripped off by Blue Air from Bucharest?

London, United...
Level Contributor
2 posts
21 reviews
Anyone else was ripped off by Blue Air from Bucharest?

I flew from London Luton to Bucharest and back, and I had one of the most awful experiences. On the flight back, we were allowed at check in to take our hand luggage on airplane, but at the gate, they have weighted it and didnt allow us to get on the flight, before paying 50 euros for 3 kg overweight on one of the bags. Instead of weighing at the check in before security, they left it on purpose to do it at the gate, Moreover they said it's 50 euros but took 250 RON, which translated in pound is even more.

Has anyone experienced this and complained to Blue Air?

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
10,857 posts
94 reviews
1. Re: Anyone else was ripped off by Blue Air from Bucharest?

Yes, their Webpage clearly states that if your carry on weighs more than 7kg., It will be weighed at the gate, and you'll be charged 50 euro. I am not sure what you could legitimately complain about.

Leeds, United...
Destination Expert
for Leeds, Bradford
Level Contributor
24,593 posts
378 reviews
2. Re: Anyone else was ripped off by Blue Air from Bucharest?

"Has anyone experienced this and complained to Blue Air?"


And what would be the basis of your complaint if your hand luggage was overweight?

Liverpool, UK
Level Contributor
23,113 posts
36 reviews
3. Re: Anyone else was ripped off by Blue Air from Bucharest?

It appears you didn't abide by the cabin baggage limit - not sure why this is considered a rip off.

Another first time post rant.

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
16,344 posts
16 reviews
4. Re: Anyone else was ripped off by Blue Air from Bucharest?

Clearly the OP isn't a regular (or even occasional) reader if he thought he'd get a bunch of sympathethic ears in this forum :)

London, United...
Level Contributor
2,840 posts
334 reviews
5. Re: Anyone else was ripped off by Blue Air from Bucharest?

Having flown over 20 return flights London to Bucharest, I'll tell you exactly why they don't weigh it at check-in: - because so many people hide/don't show all of their carry on at check in.

I flew British Airways, and was amazed every flight to see people complain at the gate when they were made to check things into the hold because they had up to 3 carry on bags/heavy bags. They hated the "check it or don't fly" message, even though they weren't being made to pay extra.

I'm quite sure it's the same on the return OPT-London journey.

On that route, you simply can't trust people to not somehow "aquire" extra carry on between check in and gate - so well done to the airline for cracking down on this.

Edited: 11 September 2012, 18:54
Watford, United...
Level Contributor
5,038 posts
13 reviews
6. Re: Anyone else was ripped off by Blue Air from Bucharest?

Consider it a 'stupid tax' and ensure you know the rules next time.

Bangkok, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
15,854 posts
71 reviews
7. Re: Anyone else was ripped off by Blue Air from Bucharest?


I have to agree with the others.. They state what the limit is, and they enforced it..

Therefore, *so long as* the calculation of your bags weight was accurate, there's really no basis for claim..

As to the notion they deliberately waited to do it plane-side? Don't buy that argument..

Why? Two main reasons.

#1) Staffing resources.. Most carriers have FAR more staff and clock time to deal with this issue back at the main check-in area (land-side) as compared to the boarding gate where staffing is usually much fewer and the timeline much more compressed..

So from a timeline and resources position, they'd be far better off to look at, weight, and if necessary, charge for your excess/overweight cabin bags land-side as you would (presumptively) have arrived before check-in cut off time, and the airline has more staffing to take the time to address this.

#2) Operational.. This says that checking bags GATE-side is substantially more manual labor intensive.. VERY few airports and gates are set up for any form of automated baggage movement from the gate to the ramp/loading area..

In most cases a gate-checked bag need to be moved to the ramp one-by-one by a person. Some airports have an exterior bag slide, but even then, at the base of the slide, someone from the ramp will physically need to move from the base of the slide to the aircraft..

By contrast, if you took these bags LAND-side you could and would move them via the airports or airlines automated baggage system which uses far less (not none, but far less) manual labor than does a gate checked item.

In some extreme cases it can also cause issues with the flights "weight and balance" calculations. Most airline formulate what's known as the load plan based on numbers of bags, and weight based on what shown in the system just after counter check-in closes-- therefore all checked bags are now in the system and "known".. Therefore an accurate load plan created..

Each cabin bag that is turned into a new checked bag, must be added into this formula, and in some limited cases can drive weight and balance issues or even a possible "weight restriction" issue.

So, when it's said and done, the staffing resources and operational realities say the the carriers optional answer is to address the land-side and not plane side...

The reason many don't is as noted in #5... Land-side you can "hide' excess baggage.. be that handing it a non-traveling friend to hold while you check-in.. you can also add things post-check-in that then pushes you over your allowance.. therefore, by screening at the gate, does insure that everyone be examined under the same conditions.

The *only* part that gives me some pause is the claim that you were charged 250 RON versus 50 EUR.. By that I mean so long as it's presented that it is a passenger OPTION to be charged in either RON or EUR, then I think you had that right to specify the currency.. However, I also recognize that in many cases, when costs are paid (on the ground) they are commonly expressed in the local currency..

So, to me, this one I think needs better clarification.. Was the 250RON versus 50EUR shown or held out as YOUR choice? or was it listed as a relative comparison so that passengers could get a 'feel' for what the 250RON equivalency would be?

Travel Safe,

Edited: 11 September 2012, 19:23
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
514 posts
24 reviews
8. Re: Anyone else was ripped off by Blue Air from Bucharest?


Just reply to the travel ,no need to be attacked. Advise him next time to read the fine prints blue prints whatever. I do travel very often in Europe and you are right you must read very careful their policy.

Thank you

London, United...
Level Contributor
2 posts
21 reviews
9. Re: Anyone else was ripped off by Blue Air from Bucharest?

Some answers:

- exactly the same lady who checked us in, has charged us at the gate. We haven't bought any extra stuff in the duty free or similar. No warning or anything related to luggage size was said at check in. This is not good customer service. Yes, maybe the website fine print mentioned that you could be charged at the gate too, but I have not experienced any other company which does it only there and checking only selected passengers.

- i asked to be charged in euro, and suddenly they didnt have some machine or similar, that could do it in euro. So there was no choice unlless you give them in cash. This is not written anywhere: if euro, you need cash, if card, then RON and will cost you more than 50 euro.

- the bag in question has been put in a separate place than rest of the luggage (together with the other bags that had same problem), and I have received a luggage slip, that clearly stated the luggage needs to be picked up at the stairs

- I havent mentioned, but seats I have reserved and paid for, were already given to someone else when I checked in. Fortunately I was one of the first arrived, and they could give me someone else's seats in the next row. If i would come later, I would probably get row 20 instead of 2, though I have paid for it.

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
16,344 posts
16 reviews
10. Re: Anyone else was ripped off by Blue Air from Bucharest?

I don't see the relevance of any of the things you mention. You had too much luggage and you were asked to pay the relevant fee, end of story.