BA reduces transatlantic luggage allowance

In a week when the BA has said it will cut routes (see online news July 28), economise on catering (see online news July 29), and admitted a record first quarter loss, the airline says it will introduce a new baggage policy from this October. The news, still not officially announced, has been posted on the carrier’s website

It means that for bookings made from October 7, economy class passengers flying on most transatlantic routes will see their free checked luggage allowance reduced from two pieces to one. This brings the transatlantic routes (where there been a two piece rule in force for many years) in line with other long-haul destinations.

At the same time BA will make some changes to its excess baggage rates.

What is confusing is that the new rule does not cover every route – see below. To satisfy market demand it seems BA will let the two-piece rule remain on routes where passengers are known to take a lot of checked luggage.

It’s believed that only Delta and Northwest currently have the one-piece rule on flights to and from the US. But given BA’s dominant position in the transatlantic market other rivals may follow suit.

For more informationvisit

Report by Alex McWhirter

BA baggage policy changes for bookings made from October 7, 2009

  • Customers travelling in World Traveller on flights to and from the Americas* (except Brazil) will have a free allowance of one bag weighing no more than 23kgs. This means that the World Traveller allowance will be the same for the majority of British Airways routes

  • World Traveller customers travelling to and from Brazil, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and on through-checked journeys between India and the USA, Canada and Bermuda will retain a two-bag free allowance of up to 23kgs per bag

  • Gold and Silver Executive Club cardholders will be entitled to two pieces of luggage on all routes when they travel in World Traveller, Euro Traveller and Domestic

  • There will be a reduction in charges for the first bag in excess of the free allowance on longhaul

  • The cost of extra bags on UK domestic routes will be brought in line with other shorthaul European services at £35 per bag

Heavy bag charge for bags between 23kgs and 32kgs will increase from £25 to £30. The special bag charge for items that exceed the maximum dimension will no longer apply.

* Americas routes affected: USA, Canada, Bermuda, Argentina, Mexico and the Caribbean

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  • Reduced baggage allowance from BA is still the main reason why I’ve jumped boat to BMI. They’re just not getting any better are they!?

  • I am not sure your report actually sets out the full, balanced picture.

    The only people affected by this are non-status economy passengers. That is those on the very least expensive tickets, who shop on price rather than any other consideration.

    Gold and SIlver cardholders will not be affected by this change, as they are still allowed 2 pieces in World Traveller.

    You also failed to mention that these changes have *increased* the baggage allowance (from one checked bag to two checked bags) for ALL Gold and SIlver cardmembers on UK Domestic flights.

    In addition, BA retains one of the most generous checked baggage allowances for Club World and First passengers – 3 x 23kgs per person, not including you hand baggage allowance. In practice these per piece weight limits are not always strictly enforced for Gold and Silver cardholders.

    flyingruby makes a strange decidion to switch loyalty to bmi, an airline which actually has a MORE RESTRICTIVE baggage policy in economy, with only 20kgs checked in weight permitted .

    On most bmi premium economy or business fares, the restriction is between 30-40kgs; bmi Silver and Gold card holders do get a additional 20kgs in addition to this, however this is still LESS than the standard weight allowance offered by BA to anyone ticketed in a premium cabin.

  • Hello Vintage Krug.

    Thank you for your comments. The points you raised are covered in the second half of the news item which was taken directly from

  • It is a shame after booking a flight from Phoenix to Uganda which costs more than the flights to Kenya, Nigeria or Ghana that I found out about this crappy new luggage policy . . . maybe BA should think about satisfying market demand for Uganda also – last time I checked Ugandans are known to take a lot of checked luggage . . . maybe they can make allowances based on the ticket price rather than make us subsidize other passengers – I wish I had booked Emirates and will spread this news so other passengers can stay away from this airline!!

  • I fly to Jamaica often because my immediate family resides there. I therefore travel for no less than three weeks each time and as such require more than one checked luggage. It was bad enough when the luggage allowance allowed was lowered from 32kg to 23kg, I am now being forced to pay for an extra suitcase that I would not ordinarily pay for because BA has suffered a loss and Virgin claims they are doing its users a favour.
    This new policy is grossly unfair, and is in effect forcing the public to pay for extra luggage. It is purely a means of making money from the public, many of whom like myself have to travel on long haul flights to visit loved one’s.
    Both British Airways and Virgin flights which this new policy applies to should be boycotted, you may as well approach a chartered airline!!!!!!!

  • And does BA and Virgin intend to reduce air fares as part of this new policy to compensate for te fact that individuals will have to pay fora second cheked luggage?

    Will you be paying for the second checked luggage on the returing leg of your journey also

  • I agree with baileyray, I too travel to Jamiaca for no less than 4 weeks and 1 free piece is not sufficient. 2 pieces should be freely allowed for long haul flights because no one travels long distances for short periods.

    Now the next question is will the fare be reduced? Something needs to be done for long haul flights. Why are teh big shots so merciless on the poor?

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