Many airlines have tricky baggage policies, but not many are as confusing and as expensive as Lion Air and Wings Air, two airlines that are part of the Lion Air Group. They have always been a low-cost carrier and have had pretty strict baggage policies, but just recently, they changed their baggage policy to not include checked baggage at all.
Beginning January 2019, Lion Air and its subsidiary airline Wings Air announced they will no longer provide free checked baggage on any flights. What that means is that any bag you bring that exceeds the amount they allow for carry-on baggage and their carry-on baggage limits are as follows:
Each customer can bring a single carry-on bag. Carry-on bags must be under 23 x 34 x 48 cm and under 7kg. Each passenger may also have 1 personal item. “A personal item may consist of a handbag/pocketbook, overcoat/wrap/blanket, camera/binoculars, an umbrella, reading material, or a wheelchair.” All checked baggage is extra and can be purchased online here.
If you are flying with Lion Air or Wings Air and you need additional luggage, you will have to pay. How much you have to pay is where it gets really confusing. These two airlines make it very difficult to buy baggage upgrades via their website. You can pay for extra carry-on baggage at the airport, but it will cost you a lot of money. The best way to avoid paying that a big fee is to buy it in advance.
Buying baggage allowance in advance is tricky though. The airline website is the only place you can buy baggage allowance once you have booked your trip, and they don’t accept most credit cards. So, your only option is to go to the airport at least 4 hours before your flight. If you purchase baggage allowance on the day of your flight you will be charged a huge fee of around $10 USD per kg or around 140,000 IDR per kg. That means a 20kg bag will cost you $200 or ~2,800,000 Indonesian Rupiah.
The better option is to purchase Lion Air Baggage online with buybaggage.com and for a domestic flight you would pay $54 instead of the airport counter price of $202, about a 70% savings by purchasing online in advance. If you prefer, you can still go to the airport at least 4 hours before your flight and pay the same price.
Many customers have been confused by the Lion Air website, saying “How do I purchase baggage for Lion Air”. Other customers have been enraged by the extremely expensive prices that Lion Air and Wings air charge at the airport. If you check TripAdvisor you will find hundreds of reviews saying that people got charged over $400 on their trip flying with Lion Air or Wings Air even though their original ticket cost just a fraction of that.
If you’re going to fly with Lion Air, just make sure you understand the baggage policies as outlined above and make sure if you do need checked bags that you purchase the baggage allowance in advance as outlined above. If you do that, you can still fly with these airlines without having to pay any other crazy fees, which can make your trip very cheap because they do offer some of the cheapest flights in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. I hope you found this article helpful and it helps you on your next trip!