If you’re flying with dive gear on budget Filipino carrier Cebu Pacific, you’ll want to take advantage of their new Prepaid Excess Baggage facility to avoid a lot of grief at the check-in desk
A quick followup to my Beating Excess Baggage Charges For Scuba Gear on Budget Airlines post – Cebu Pacific have recently introduced a prepaid Excess Baggage allowance. Cebu Pacific have been running very cheap flights from Bangkok to Manila for the last couple of years, but they are very strict on their baggage allowance of 15kg. If you are travelling with scuba gear, you will get quite heavy excess baggage charges – so much so that it can wipe out the point of flying with a budget carrier. Indeed, Cebu Pacific will weigh your hand luggage as well as your checkin bag and total them up – so if you have camera gear in your carry on, beware.
Cebu Pacific’s prepaid Excess Baggage allowance allows you to get 20 per cent off what you would pay at the check-in desk, and it also means that you don’t have the hassle of the staff messing around with the excess paperwork. See this page on the Cebu Pacific website for full details – the Prepaid Excess Baggage allowance info is halfway down the page.
However, it’s important to check a variety of airlines and take the excess baggage charges into account. I am going to the Philippines later this month, and to get from Bangkok to Cebu I’ll need to go via Manila. Looking on flight comparison site Kayak, I can get a Philippines Air flight via Manila for just under $500 US. That seems quite expensive compared to Cebu Pacific, until you add on the cost of taking 30kg of luggage – even with the prepaid excess baggage, it works out almost as expensive to fly with Cebu Pacific, and with all the hassle of leaving Bangkok at midnight and having to wait around in the domestic terminal at 5am. (Done it before – not fun).