SAA baggage policy change

                                                                                15th Anniversary

South African Airways Moves to Piece Baggage Concept

As an airline that keeps track of developments within the aviation industry that could positively influence the way our customers feel about flying with us, we are introducing changes to our baggage policy.

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.

The move to piece concept will benefit passengers in the following ways:

  • Simplicity – Baggage rules are clear, easy to understand and easy for the airline to enforce;
  • Transparency – It will enable passengers to easily identify which charges, if any, will apply to their baggage;
  • Convenience – Easier for passengers connecting onto Star Alliance or other carriers;
  • Competitiveness – Excess baggage charges will be far more competitive;

Excess baggage charges have till now been applied if a passenger’s baggage exceeded the maximum weight limit. These charges were applied per kilogram above the weight limit; however, this led to SAA becoming uncompetitive on excess baggage charges in certain markets. Moving to a piece concept baggage policy ensures that SAA is competitive on excess baggage charges in all markets. Weight restrictions will still apply; however, excess baggage is now charged at a flat rate per piece, rather than per kilogram.

Under the piece concept, excess baggage charges will apply for:

  • Each piece of baggage over and above the passenger’s baggage allowance;
  • Each piece of overweight baggage;
  • Each piece of oversize baggage;

The excess baggage will be charged at a flat rate per rule broken, per piece. This means that if a piece of baggage is both overweight and oversize, two excess baggage charges will apply. Weight/size restrictions apply to all baggage pieces, including additional pieces over and above the baggage allowance.

Excess baggage rule – weight

An excess baggage charge will apply for each Economy Class bag weighing over 23 kg, but less than 32 kg. The one exception is for travel to/from South America, where an Economy Class passenger is permitted to take two pieces of baggage that each weigh no more than 32 kg.

SAA cannot check in any bag weighing more than 32 kg, for both Economy and Business Class passengers. This is due to baggage handling restrictions at airports, and as such is beyond our control. Any piece of baggage weighing more than 32 kg will either have to be repacked (in order to weigh 32 kg or less) or will have to be taken to the SAA Cargo counter and checked in as cargo. Cargo rates will apply.

Excess Baggage Rule – Size

An excess baggage charge will apply for each piece of baggage that exceeds the maximum dimensions as stipulated in SAA’s baggage policy. The maximum dimensions are 80 cm x 60 cm x 18 cm = 158 cm (62 inches).

Excess Baggage Rule – Number of Pieces

An excess baggage charge will apply for each piece of baggage over and above a passenger’s baggage allowance. These additional pieces must still adhere to SAA’s weight and size restrictions. An additional excess baggage charge will apply for any additional piece of baggage that does not comply with these restrictions.

For detail on baggage allowances for each market under the new piece concept baggage policy please refer to the table below. For excess baggage charges please visit flysaa.com or contact your nearest travel agent.

Routing Business Class Economy Class
 Domestic (within South Africa)  1 piece at a maximum of 32 kg (70 lb)  1 piece at a maximum of 23 kg (50 lb)
 Worldwide – USA / Canada  2 pieces at a maximum of 32 kg (70 lb) each  2 pieces at a maximum of 23 kg (50 lb) each
 Between Africa and South America  2 pieces at a maximum of 32 kg (70 lb) each  2 pieces at a maximum of 32 kg (70 lb) each
 Between Africa and Europe / UK  2 pieces at a maximum of 32 kg (70 lb) each  1 piece at a maximum of 23 kg (50 lb)
 From Blantyre / Lilongwe to London  2 pieces at a maximum of 32 kg (70 lb) each  2 pieces at a maximum of 23 kg (50 lb) each
 Between Africa and Asia / Japan  2 pieces at a maximum of 32 kg (70 lb) each  2 pieces at a maximum of 23 kg (50 lb) each
 Between Africa and Australia / New Zealand  2 pieces at a maximum of 32 kg (70 lb) each  1 piece at a maximum of 23 kg (50 lb)
 Between Africa and Africa: except Libreville / Douala and Lagos  2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each  2 pieces at a maximum of 23kg (50lb) each
 Between Africa and Libreville / Douala  1 piece at a maximum of 32kg (70lb)  1 piece at a maximum of 23kg (50lb)
 Between Africa and Lagos  3 pieces at a maximum of 32 kg (70 lb) each  3 pieces at a maximum of 23 kg (50lb) each
 Between South America and Australia/ NZ  2 pieces at a maximum of 32 kg (70 lb) each  2 pieces at a maximum of 23 kg (50 lb) each
 Between South America and Asia / Africa  2 pieces at a maximum of 32 kg (70 lb) each  2 pieces at a maximum of 32 kg (70 lb) each

 

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