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North_Wind: 22. September 2007
Just a short warning to others thinking of travelling with Virgin and taking a kitebag.
In August this year I travelled with a friend from London Heathrow to Nairobi in Kenya to kite at Nyali beach. Nowhere on the (paper) ticket or in the accompanying flight details (warnings about getting to the airport on time, vaccinations etc.) did it mention the luggage allowance. As I have previously had my kite bag taken by British Airways for free under their sports bag policy I thought Virgin would be the same (or might charge £15 each way like Ryanair).
Oh no. Turned out you were allowed ONE bag on the flight to Kenya to a max of 23kgs. I took two bags - a medium sized sports bag and a medium sized board bag. Weight-wise I was c. 19kgs over. To carry the kite bags Virgin took £460 ($930) off me in excess baggage one way and £121 ($245) off my friend. The supervisor at terminal 4 even mocked us as he did it.
I have had a huge row with them since I got back and they refunded 80% of the combined charges + loss (my friend threw away a bag) but not the remaining amount we are out of pocket. As our economy tickets were c. £875 ($1750) each return in the first place I think this is a total rip off and stands in stark contrast to BA's policy of allowing always and everywhere (on top of your luggage allowance) one kitebag up to 32kgs, for free.