TAP, Portugal’s leading airline, has announced that it will charge golfers for carriage of golf clubs on flights to Portugal from July 1, 2012.
TAP is the only airline currently not charging carriage fees for sports equipment. The decision is a major blow for golfers travelling to the Algarve and the Lisbon Coast, Portugal’s two leading golf destinations.
A TAP spokesperson told IAGTO, the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, that this was inevitable and the airline had held on for as long as it could without charging.
He said the situation became unsustainable given that all TAP’s competitors are now charging for carriage of golf equipment.
The news will disappoint regular travellers to the Algarve – Europe’s most popular golf destination which has over 30 golf courses – because budget airlines Ryanair and EasyJet are charging around £50 each way to take your golf clubs.
Passengers on easyJet this summer face a charge of up to £32 for a 20kg suitcase on a return flight, up from £28 last summer, while Aer Lingus has hiked its bag charge from £24 to £36 return.
£100+ to take your golf clubs
A recent Guardian Money survey of budget airlines’ add-on charges revealed that it can cost £100 to take your golf clubs, £110 to change the name on a ticket, £30 for extra leg room and £120 because your bag weighs 3kg over the limit.
With additional charges one of the major pitfalls of using a budget airline, using established carriers like TAP and British Airways is traditionally a preferred option.
TAP will start to charge golfers from July 1, 2012. Follow this link for full details of the TAP charges
Charges will start at EURO 20 for a set of golf clubs under 17kg and 35 EURO for a set over 35kg.
Portugal attracts over 400,000 golfers per year to play golf on the Algarve, at Estoril and in Lisbon.
TAP calls itself the “golf friendly” airline and being forced to charge for bag carriage is a significant blow to its reputation and commitment to helping golfers enjoy playing in Portugal.