Debenhams has revealed budget flight passengers escaping the British weather are picking the pockets of airlines thanks to a loophole in the baggage rules.
Rather than pay expensive charges for stowing suitcases in the hold of the plane, canny holidaymakers are using their free hand luggage allowance and “wearing” the rest of their baggage, according to fashion retailer Debenhams, who have seen sales rise of coats and jackets with multiple pockets by as much as 135% over the holiday period.
After cramming what would be excess baggage into pockets, customers could gain a whopping ten pounds to their original body weight; saving themselves from the extortionate fees.
Debenhams is putting the new trend down to reports from the shop floor that customers prefer to pack heavier items such as books, cameras and electronic net books, into large pocketed garments, rather than pay fees up to £40 return, charged by some low-cost airlines for cases stowed in the hold.
As a result sales of Debenhams J by Jasper Conran jacket with seven pockets have gone up by 135% and the Maine New England parka jacket which has six pockets has also seen sales leap by 29%.
Research found that the biggest sales of the multi pocket jackets came from Leeds, London, Newcastle and Aberdeen, closely followed by Dublin.
Vicky Hewitt, spokeswoman for Debenhams, said: “Our sales assistants have even reported some customers coming in with specific items like net-books and paperbacks, to check if they will fit in the pockets before they buy the coat or jacket.
“With the right jacket and trouser combo you can gain up to 11 handy pockets to tuck away holiday essentials; but beware when reaching into pockets so those extra undies aren’t spotted on the floor of Terminal 5.”
Passengers can pay dearly for going over the luggage weight limits, for instance BMI charges £7 per kg, Thomson up to £15 per kg and Ryanair £20 per kg, for excess baggage.
Multi-pocket jackets available at Debenhams include: J by Jasper Conran grey jacket with seven pockets; Maine New England taupe short parka jacket with six pockets; and Red Herring four pocket plum quilted jacket.