Popular cheap airlines Ryanair, Flybe and easyJet were named among the airlines charging higher fees for luggage than the cost for a person to fly abroad and back.
An investigation by The Mail on Sunday found that airlines are charging additional costs to take anything more than hand luggage on board.
However, these extra charges are not revealed until late into the booking process, with travellers first lured in by 'bargain' flights, before discovering there are additional costs to take a suitcase.
Once customers have begun their online booking , they are typically asked late into the process if they want to 'opt in' and pay extra for any bags that are too big to fit into the overhead locker.
Airlines are increasingly turning to additional charges to boost their income, with research revealing the world's top 20 airlines saw a 110 per cent increase in revenue from luggage fees between 2014 and 2018.
Last year, airlines reportedly took a huge £22.2 billion in luggage fees.
Customers are typically asked late into the booking process if they want to 'opt in' and pay extra for any bags (Photo: Shutterstock)
The investigation discovered five different airlines flying passengers to Europe which can charge more for extra bags than the cost of a ticket.
Customers who fly with easyJet to Faro from London Southend would be charged £48.57 for a return flight, only to later be landed with an additional cost of £69.23 to take a bag into the hold.
The cost of a £29.98 trip to Copenhagen with Ryanair from London Stansted jumped up in price by £50 to check in a 20kg suitcase.
Similar deals were also being offered by Flybe, Level Airlines and Vueling.
A Ryanair spokesman said: "Our baggage policy is transparent and beneficial to customers.
A spokesman for easyJet said: “The fact that a hold bag can be more than the fare is more reflective of the great value fares that are available. 50 per cent of our passengers pay on average less than £50 for their flight.
“For those customers who choose to take a hold bag we provide choice and flexibility – a smaller 15kg bag starts from as little as £8.99 or for those needing a bigger bag of 23kgs from £13.99.
"Many passengers choose not to add a hold bag and for them easyJet has one of the most generous cabin bag allowances with no weight limit.”
The investigation uncovered these additional charges for apparent 'bargain' flights, with baggage fees costing more than the ticket fare:
Return flight from London Stansted to Copenhagen - £29.98Baggage cost - £50.00Total price - £79.98
Return flight Doncaster Sheffield to Belfast - £43.98Baggage cost - £43.98Total price - 89.98
Return flight London Luton to Amsterdam - £46.98Baggage cost - £68.19Total price - £115.17
Return flight from London Southend to Faro - £48.57Baggage cost - £69.23Total price - £117.80