Biz-Community (Cape Town)

South Africa: SAA Introduces Baggage Piece Concept for All Flights

South African Airways (SAA) is introducing a new check-in baggage policy in response to varying customer requirements in each of its markets.

The policy aligns with most of the larger Star Alliance member carriers ensuring a transparent and consistent set of rules across SAA and other Star Alliance network.

From 5 September 2012, SAA will move to a checked baggage policy that restricts the number of pieces of baggage a passenger may check in, rather than the total weight of the passenger's checked baggage. Each of these pieces will be subject to weight and size restrictions. The new policy describes the number of baggage pieces a passenger may check-in, as well as the weight restrictions for each piece, according to route and class of travel.

Excess baggage, i.e. additional items, or where the baggage exceeds the weight and or size allowance, will be charged at a flat rate per piece of luggage. This is a change from the current policy where excess baggage is charged per kilogram.

In addition, and to comply with airport loading equipment limits, SAA cannot accept any check-in items weighing more than 32kg. Any items exceeding this limit will either have to be repacked into separate bags or checked in at the SAA Cargo counter and flown at cargo rates.

The new policy, which contains simple explanations and identifies routes where variations are applicable, may be viewed online at www.flysaa.com. It also forms an important part of the Terms & Conditions of all SAA tickets, including flights purchased online.

Passengers travelling on multi-sector/multi-carrier tickets and SAA code-share partner flights, i.e. tickets purchased from SAA for a flight with an SA flight number, but operated by another airline, should check with the other airlines to see which baggage policy is applicable.

The policy will apply on tickets for all flights operated by SAA, i.e. flown using an SAA aircraft and crew. For tickets involving joint international transport services (code share) provided by SAA and foreign airlines the free baggage and excess baggage charge policy have been adjusted and will be based on the policies of the predominant carrier for the trip.

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