Baggage Charges May Stop People Buying Souvenirs

St Mary's Airport

Fears of excess baggage fees are dissuading some visitors from spending on gifts to take home.

Ann Mumford says a number of people have said they won’t buy bulky RNLI charity Christmas card packs or gifts from craft fairs as they’re worried they’ll have to pay more at the airport.

But Scilly’s transport providers say they are doing all they can to encourage repeat souvenir sales from islands businesses.

Dave Page says British International Helicopters charge £2 per 1lb over the passengers’ limit in both directions. He says artists’ claims that sales have been lost because of carriage costs fears don’t give the whole picture and he suspects that the luggage limit is being given as an excuse not to buy because budgets are tight.

The helicopters let passengers send over baggage in advance of their flight, so there is not a problem if their flight is busy on the day. And Dave says many galleries use this facility. 18 pictures were sent this way last Saturday.

Jackie Hayman of the Steamship Company says they don’t charge excess baggage to passengers leaving on Skybus or the Scillonian III.

Ann Mumford says she appreciates staff can be flexible but there is a lack of consistency, with some visitors getting charged and others not. She feels a definite, fixed policy would be the best way to avoid doubt.