British Airways is to introduce changes to its baggage policies to make them easier for air travellers.
It is a move to reduce queues at airports and bring them in line with Department for Transport recommendations and requirements of the UK’s main airport operator, BAA.
The new guidelines will mean changes to hand, checked and excess baggage allowances and will be phased in from early July across the airline’s global network.
Martin George, commercial director, said: “Making the airport experience simpler and speedier for our customers is one of our key objectives as we move towards the opening of Heathrow airport’s Terminal 5 in March 2008.
“We have created new policies which are easier to understand and will reduce queuing time at airports.
“As a package, our new baggage allowances remain comparable to or more generous than our current policies and our main competitors.”
Changes to the amount of hand baggage air travellers can carry on board British Airways’ aircraft will be introduced from July 5, 2006. All passengers will be able to carry one standard-sized bag and one briefcase, laptop computer bag or equivalent on all flights.
The maximum size of the bag must comply with Department for Transport, BAA and International Air Transport Association requirements (56cm x 45cm x 25cm). Weight restrictions will be removed but flyers must be able to lift their bag unaided into the overhead lockers of the aircraft. The briefcase, laptop computer bag or equivalent must fit under the seat in front of the passenger.
Changes to the airline’s free checked-in baggage allowances will consolidate two existing policies, which are based on the number of bags or total weight and depend upon route and class of travel.
A single allowance system for checked-in baggage will be introduced from October 11, based upon a set number of bags. The number of bags that can be checked-in will vary according to the class of travel and route. The maximum weight for any checked bag will be reduced to 23kg to comply with health and safety recommendations.