Qantas will change international baggage allowances from counting number of bags to counting their weight, bringing them in line with Emirates, as the Qantas-Emirates alliance starts up on 1 April.
Qantas' and Emirates' Platinum, Gold and Silver frequent flyers will receive extra allowances on top of the basic limits — but many of the Red Roo's passengers and QFF members will see their overall luggage weight reduced under the new system.
Business class passengers see their allowances more than halved, from 96 kg split over three 32 kg bags to a limit of no more than 40 kg in total.
The changes take effect on 31 March, for all passengers who book flights on or after 26 February.
"To enable a more seamless experience as customers travel on the joint network, Qantas will move from a piece and weight system, to a weight system, for all international flights — excluding those to/from the Americas," the airline says in a statement.
"As part of this alignment," Qantas continues, "Emirates will increase its pre-purchase excess baggage discount to 30 per cent."
Instead of getting an allowance like 'two bags at 23 kg each' under old the piece and weight system, you'll get something like "32 kg" under the new weight-based model. (Yes, that's similar to the system Qantas used prior to its last change in May 2012.)
Those new limits for passengers who aren't frequent flyers or hold Bronze status:
- First class: 50 kg (down from 3 x 32 kg)
- Business: 40 kg (down from 3 x 32 kg)
- Premium economy: 40 kg (down slightly from 2 x 23 kg)
- Economy: 30 kg (up from 1 x 23 kg)
Extra weight allowances will be offered to Qantas Frequent flyers when travelling across the joint Qantas-Emirates network:
- Platinum: 20 kg
- Gold: 16 kg
- Silver & Qantas Club: 12 kg
Previously, Platinum members had an allowance of 4 x 32 kg bags in business or first, and 3 x 32 bags in economy and premium economy. Golds were allowed an extra 23 kg bag in premium economy or an extra 32 kg bag in economy, while Silvers (and Qantas Club members) received an extra 32kg piece in premium economy or economy.
However, Qantas revealed in a statement that "Qantas Frequent Flyer Customers booked on the piece system (pre 26 February 2013) and travelling from 31 March 2013 will still have their additional Frequent Flyer allowances honoured on both QF and EK services (‘EK services’ are limited to international flights between and within Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and Australia)."
Here's that Qantas luggage allowance table in full (click here for larger version):
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About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.