Budget Airlines in Europe Can Charge for Luggage
The European Court of Justice recently ruled that it is legal for budget airlines such as Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) to charge extra for checked luggage. These low-cost carriers are known for charging extra for a number of items that are usually free on other airlines, so look for total costs to increase if you fly in Europe on anything other than the legacy carriers.
Ryanair's charges for checked bags can run to more than $100 during holiday seasons. Some people may be able to travel with carry-on bags only, but I find it pretty near impossible given the security restrictions on what you can carry on.
Here in North America we are used to paying extra for checked luggage on most airlines, and while Air Canada and West Jet held out against the trend for a long time, they too have recently instituted extra fees for checked baggage. The bottom line is, I suppose, that you need to add some extra money to your travel budget to cover the fees, or plan to travel with just a carry-on.
In a post a while back I mentioned that Czarist Prime Minister Peter Stolypin was assassinated at the Opera House in Odessa, Ukraine, pictured below. I need to correct that, since I lately learned that the event took place at the Kiev Opera House. That information is contained in a new book on ``The Romanov Sisters`` by Helen Rappaport, a compelling if rather sad tale. It is about the four Romanov girls who were killed, along with the rest of their family, at Ekaterineburg in 1918.