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New Baggage Restrictions in South Africa

12th April 2019 News, South Africa
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In order to increase operational efficiency and on-time performance for luggage processing, O.R. Tambo International Airport has embarked on an awareness campaign through a soft launch to enable departing passengers to comply with acceptable baggage restrictions.

Round bags, bags with long hanging straps and those without flat surfaces are the largest sources of jams in the baggage handling system, causing shutdowns, delays and inconvenience to passengers and airlines.

Global best practice indicates that large international airports are increasingly adopting acceptable baggage standards.

The acceptable baggage rules are:

  • Only regular-shaped bags will be allowed at check-in counters.
  • Bags must have at least one flat surface to be accepted.
  • Bags with long hanging straps will not be accepted for check-in.
  • Passengers will be requested to secure or remove straps before checking in.
  • Round bags will not be allowed at check-in counters.

To comply:

  •  Passengers can visit a baggage-wrapping station at O.R. Tambo International Airport to wrap their bags at a standard cost of ZAR 90.00 per bag.
  • The cost of wrapping an irregular bag is no different from the normal cost of wrapping a regularly-shaped bag.
  • Should a passenger’s bag require the insertion of a flat surface base there will be no additional cost, the cost remain at ZAR 90.00
  • All costs required to make an irregular bag compliant to the requirements will be for the passenger’s account.

*Note: This rule only applies to passengers departing out of O.R. Tambo International Airport. The normal rules for hand luggage are still applicable.

Please see below examples of acceptable and unacceptable bags.

Please take note that the same restrictions are still in place from a light aircraft perspective for onward travel from O.R. Tambo International Airport. There will be some additional flexibility in Botswana however strict rules still are in place in Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Should guests travel with a bag that does not meet the O.R. Tambo requirements, they will need to have it wrapped in Johannesburg – regardless of onward destination. Should they travel with a bag that DOES meet the OR Tambo requirements, but not the light aircrafts in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, then storage facilities will need to be booked and sufficient repacking of bags on the other end.

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