Some good news today. British Airways has announced it will delay its controversial baggage checking policy which was due to start on October 11 (see Online news June 15, June 22 and July 19).

BA’s planned baggage policy, which would limit the maximum weight allowed per piece of luggage, elicited a flood of emails from readers with the vast majority being opposed to the scheme.

In a statement today the airline says, “The new cabin baggage restrictions have an impact on what must be checked in, so this delay will allow us to discuss a long-term solution with the Department of Transport and [airports authority] BAA.”

In other news, BA says it lost £40 million during last month’s terror alert at UK airports. That sum covers the cancellation of almost 1,300 flights between August 10 and August 17. The airline says the extra costs were incurred in accommodating delayed passengers in hotels, paying the cost of catering and dealing with mishandled baggage.

But UK plc will continue to suffer so long as the stringent restrictions on carry-on baggage from UK airports remain in force. Some travellers on multi-sector trips may be inclined to drop the UK from their itineraries while overseas passengers transferring at British airports may be enticed to consider alternative routings using the likes of KLM, Air France or Lufthansa via Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt or Munich.

In a statement, BA admits that “the recovery of premium [first and business class] and non-premium [economy class] traffic is lagging due to the limitations of carry-on baggage.”

If BA is affected other UK carriers like Virgin Atlantic and Bmi must also be in the same boat. With other European countries not following suit and with UK airlines losing an important source of revenue for how much longer will the UK be able to keep its stringent rules for carry-on baggage?

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