Flight over on Air Baltic air from London to Riga was ok..no extra bag charges on the way over. No problems really at all other than that they did not open the check in counter until 45 minutes before departure which meant there were nearly a hundred people running to get to the gate to make the departure time. It was a very long run! You better be athletic to fly Air Baltic! Apparently, at London Gatwick the staffing is provided by a 3rd party company and it is clearly lacking in all details.
The real problems began on our return flight from Riga to Reykjavik Iceland. . . .
We had the Same exact hand baggage and same contents as on the outbound yet at the return gate in Riga we were literally accosted by two female attendants who demanded that we put our carry-on baggage through their size and weight scale. By the way, they did this with many passengers; several had the same issue we did. These other passengers were yelling about the inconsistency as they were on their return flights also. One woman was crying about the abuse she experienced at the departure gate.
We had two bags that were over weight by less than 1 kg only combined. The blonde female attendant militantly yelled at us, "you are overweight, you must pay 120 euros NOW!" We could have rearranged the contents in the bags if we had less pressure but she just kept repeating it and yelling the same thing over and over. The two attendants kept moving toward us crowding us and pointing us to the nearby desk where "we must pay right now!" It was insane and abusive. They are so militant that I could not think straight. It was terribly embarrassing and intimidating. Consequently, we just paid the 120 rather than taking the few moments to rearrange the contents to be under their weight limit. We had even planned for this as we had an extra empty backpack should we run into such issues but alas the super intense militant pressure from these two female attendants was too disorienting for us. Here we were in a foreign country being yelled at by two attendants with hostile dispositions. All forethought suddenly is forgotten in such a moment.
In addition to the militant behavior of Air Baltic's staff, their policies are incredibly inconsistent for international travelers. Air Baltic knew we were flying to the USA via their partner, Icelandic Air, which doesn't have such crazy small weight restrictions (Air Baltic's weight restriction is 8 kg for a combined max weight for both handbag and carry on! To meet that test is tough. It is the most restrictive handbag/carry-on limits I have ever encountered and I travel a Lot on business).
To add insult to injury they misplaced our bags on the return flight. Hopefully, we will get our bags today . . . .
My advice is to pay the price and book a reputable airline and save yourself all the hassles and intimidation you will experience with Baltic air! When you add up all the additional costs you pay to Air Baltic for seat assignments, check baggage, carry-on baggage, hand baggage, in flight drinks/snacks, you will be paying more than what you could have paid flying a reputable airline.
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