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Virgin changes baggage rules

11 Sep 2009 by Sara Turner

Virgin Atlantic is falling in line with British Airways and cutting its economy class baggage allowance on transatlantic flights from two to one bag per passenger (see online news July 31). The new rules will come into place for new bookings after November 25.

Other conditions, which Virgin claims will simplify its existing baggage rules, mean that most economy passengers, regardless of the route, will be allowed to take one bag, Premium Economy passengers will be able to check in two bags, and Upper Class passengers will have a limit of three bags. The weight limit under the free baggage allowance is 23kg per bag.

However, economy passengers travelling between Heathrow and Nairobi, and Heathrow and Lagos, will be able to check in two bags if travelling in economy. The airline will also continue to offer all passengers one additional bag weighing up to 23kg that contains sporting equipment, such as a golf bag, scuba diving equipment, or surfboard. The current rules vary by destination, with limits set by weight or number of bags.

In addition, Flying Club Gold Card holders are entitled to an extra bag on top of their usual free entitlement, so for Gold Card passengers travelling in Upper Class, the checked-in baggage limit will be four bags. Passengers wanting to check-in extra luggage will pay per bag, although if this fee is paid online before arriving at the airport it will cost £32 per bag, cheaper than the £40 payable at the airport.

The current limit on transatlantic and Caribbean routes, as well as flights to Nigeria and Kenya, for economy passengers is two pieces of free luggage per passenger, each weighing up to 23kg, while premium economy flyers can check-in two pieces of luggage per passenger, each weighing up to 32kg. Upper Class passengers can take three pieces of luggage, each weighing up to 32kg. The new rules mean a lower weight limit on these routes.

Flights to South Africa, Australia, Asia, Mauritius and Dubai currently have different limits in place. There is a weight limit for checked-in baggage, but no limit to the number of bags passengers can check in. Economy and premium economy passengers on these routes are currently allowed 23kg each, while Upper Class passengers are entitled to 30kg each. Under the new rules, passengers to these destinations will benefit most.

Ryanair also recently changed its baggage policy, adding 50 per cent to the cost of a checked-in bag – for more information see online news September 7.

Report by Sara Turner

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