There is no need for passengers to be anxious or concerned that they will be turned away from check-in at OR Tambo, says Bongiwe Pityi-Vokwana, General Manager of OR Tambo International Airport.
Pityi-Vokwana confirmed the irregular baggage restriction announced last week is currently in a soft-launch phase. This phase will run until the end of May and is aimed at raising awareness amongst passengers and check-in staff, as Airports Company South Africa works together with the airlines to implement the new rule.
The restriction is for round bags, bags with long hanging straps and those without flat surfaces. These types of bags are the largest sources of jams in the baggage handling system, causing shut downs, delays and inconvenience to passengers and airlines, says Pityi-Vokwana.
She says overall the process is going well, "check-in agents are the ones that required the training, and they are now able to let passengers know what type of baggage is not allowed at the airport. They can now let passengers know what to do when they arrive at the airport and they have the restricted baggage".
Passengers can remove the straps, cellotape the straps flat or have the bags wrapped, incorporating a flat surface in the process. For now, travellers won't be turned away.
Global best practice indicates that large international airports are increasingly adopting acceptable baggage standards - most recently Dubai. Passengers should note, this rule only applies to passengers departing out of OR Tambo International Airport. The normal rules for hand luggage are still applicable.
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The acceptable rules are:
1. Only regular-shaped bags will be allowed at check-in counters.
2. Bags must have at least one flat surface to be accepted.
3. Bags with long hanging straps will not be accepted for check-in. Passengers will be requested to secure or remove straps before checking in.
4. Round bags will not be allowed at check-in counters.
1. Passengers can visit a baggage-wrapping station at OR Tambo International Airport to wrap their bags at a standard cost of R90 per bag.
2. The cost of wrapping an irregular bag is no different from the normal cost of wrapping a regularly-shaped bag.
3. Should a passenger’s bag require the insertion of a flat surface base there will be no additional cost, the cost remain at R90.
All costs required to make an irregular bag compliant to the requirements will be for the passenger’s account.
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