'Irregular Baggage' Rules OR Tambo Airport

June 2019 - The OR Tambo International Airport has announced that it will be extending its 'Irregular Baggage' Rules over the months of June and July.

The 'Irregular Baggage' restriction was put in place in March 2019 as part of a soft launch phase aimed at preventing blockages and breakdowns in the baggage handling system caused by these bags, as per the International Air Transport Association (IATA) guidelines.

The restriction is for round bags, bags with long hanging straps and those without flat surfaces.

Irregular baggage rules OR Tambo International Airport

Says OR Tambo International Airport General Manager, Bongiwe Pityi, "OR Tambo Airport handles around 35K bags every single day. Currently, irregular baggage like duffel bags without a flat bottom or big backpacks with long straps only account for about 1% of this amount of baggage."

However, "...sometimes it's one bag that causes these jams," says Pityi.

Passengers with "irregular" bags, will be offered the option of having their baggage wrapped to give it a flat side at approved wrapping stations. Alternatively, passengers can remove the straps or tape the straps flat, incorporating a flat surface in the process.

Global best practice indicates that large international airports are increasingly adopting acceptable baggage standards. Most recently, Terminal 1 at Dubai International Airport instituted the same kind of baggage rules.

"We very much appreciate that these new baggage rules will potentially create inconvenience or additional cost for some passengers, so this is not a step we have taken lightly," says Kris Reddy, Assistant General Manager at the OR Tambo International Airport.

"We have investigated this matter over about a year and considered a variety of alternatives. Bags must have at least one flat surface, and bags with longs straps will also not be allowed at check-in counters," Reddy continues.

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.

Acceptable Baggage Rules

  • 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.

To Comply:

  • 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. (Wrapping charges are the same for regular and irregular baggage.)
  • 2. No additional cost for insertion of a flat surface base.
  • 3. All costs required to make an irregular bag compliant to the requirements must be paid by the passenger.

Acceptable Check-In Baggage at OR Tambo International Airport

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