If you are going to be flying from the United Arab Emirates on Air India or Air India Express from July 1, 2015 onwards, you can expect to face a limitation in the weight of your carry on luggage that you may bring aboard for no charge, with the maximum being lowered to 8 or 7 kilograms. And any duty free purchases must be included within that weight restriction.
We learned about this in a report written by SAJILA SASEENDRAN, who was referencing a statement made to Khaleej times by a senior representative of the airline, and published recently on the Avation Pros website. Here are highlights:
If the hand baggage — including duty free items — weighs more than the free allowance, a fee of Dh60 per excess kilo will be charged at the gate, said Prem Sagar, manager of Air India and Air India Express Dubai and Sharjah.
So far, UAE passengers flying on India’s national carrier and its budget airline used to enjoy the luxury of carrying duty free items above the free allowance of carry-on baggage for free. However, very often this used to go up to several kilos and had become a concern in overloading the aircraft, the official said.
“Officially, the allowances are the same, which we have already published on our website and our tickets,” said Sagar. “Now, we are going to strictly implement it by checking the hand baggage after the passengers purchase products from the duty free shops as well.”
The baggage weighing at the gates policy will begin with flights from Sharjah on July 1. “There could be a delay of a few more days to start it in Dubai,” he said.
Justifying the move that is introduced at the peak time of summer travel from the UAE, Sagar said most other airlines flying to India have already been charging excess carry-on baggage at the gates.
“Passenger hand baggage is usually assumed as 7 or 8 kgs whereas there are people who sometimes carry 10-15kgs extra. Imagine an aircraft overweighed by two tonnes. That’s not something good for the aircraft’s safety,” he said.
“It is basically to dissuade people from carrying too much of excess weight and ensure that the weight is properly recorded for the safety of the aircraft.”
“It’s not that we are not in favour of passengers buying duty free items. If the passengers are planning to buy more duty free items, it is better not to keep many items in their hand baggage and end up paying extra.”
He claimed that the airlines were not looking at making money out of the new policy. “In fact, we are also spending money to take the facility from our ground handlers.”
“We have sent advisories to the travel agents and we are trying to spread awareness to the passengers. Notices will be prominently displayed at the check-in counters. Check-in agents will also remind passengers about the strict implementation of the rules,” he added.
Subject to security regulations, some add-ons are exempted from carry-on baggage weighing. These include ladies’ hand bag, overcoat or wrap, rug or blanket, camera or binoculars, books, infant feeding items and carrying basket, collapsible wheelchair or a pair of crutches or braces for passengers dependent on them, walking stick, foldable umbrella, laptop and medicines required during flight.
To read the full article online, please go to: http://www.aviationpros.com/news/14023710/air-india-passengers-to-face-stricter-rule-on-hand-baggage.
As additional airlines all around the world continue to tighten up their allowances for carry-on luggage as well as enforcing their size and weight rules more stringently, it becomes increasingly important for any travelers who do not wish to be delayed or face additional charges to check ahead of time with their airlines to make sure the hand baggage they plan to carry on will meet and not exceed the posted rules of the air carrier.