New Aer Lingus fee for baggage that is checked in by passengers for short-haul flights.

Aer Lingus is to charge for baggage that is too big to qualify as hand luggage. Travellers on short-haul flights booked over the Internet will be charged 4 euro per checked-in bag. The charge for a bag checked-in at the airport will be 8 euro.

The fees are to dissuade passengers from bringing unnecessary baggage. This will enable the airline to facilitate quick and easy access through airports, ensuring quicker turnaround times.

Aer Lingus commercial director Enda Corneille, says the company is being transparent with customers,

It's a modest fee, if you are not checking in luggage, you avoid the fee.

With privatisation on the horizon Dermott Jewell of the Consumers' Association of Ireland believes profit margins are important for Aer Lingus. The introduction of baggage fees,

Will endear them without doubt to prospective shareholders, but it will do nothing for their reasoning in relation to consumers.

Earlier in 2006 rival Ryanair took the decision to introduce luggage check-in charges. Passenger Tom Brennan has always tried to support Aer Lingus however the baggage fees are a step too far. Another passenger is equally unimpressed with the charges,

Why should we have to pay for our suitcases? Part of travelling is bringing your bags with you.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 1 August 2006. The reporter is David Murphy.