20 January 2010
In preparation for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the Airports Company South Africa and domestic airlines are to implement stricter hand luggage restrictions in order to reduce flight delays at the country’s three main airports.
The new restrictions allow for one travel bag and one laptop per economy class passenger and two bags and a laptop for business and first class passengers. The weight of each bag may not exceed 7kg.
Total dimensions of each bag may not exceed 115cm (56cm + 36cm + 23cm). Compliance with these requirements will be verified at security checkpoints at OR Tambo, Cape Town and Durban international airports.
Implementation of these restrictions at OR Tambo International Airport will be with effect from 20 January 2010, with implementation at Cape Town and Durban international airports from 6 February 2010.
Increase in hand luggage
With passingers now being able to check-in at home or though the self-service kiosks, there has been a huge increase in hand luggage. In many instances the hand luggage cannot fit into the cabin, meaning it has to be manually loaded into the hold of the aircraft, resulting in flight delays.
“During the World Cup especially, we cannot afford to have flights departing late. Acsa and the airlines are of the view that introducing the hand luggage restrictions will significantly improve flight operations. Acsa will make additional resources available to assist the airlines,” said Acsa communications manager Solomon Makgale in a statement this week.
“We fully understand that this will require an adjustment in passenger behaviour, however, we are confident that passengers will cooperate and give us the necessary support.”
Improved travelling experience
According to the statement, recent surveys done locally and abroad showed passengers as indicating that on-time performance by airlines was one of the most important considerations when travelling – and that compliance with the new restrictions would enable more efficient processing of passengers to that flights can depart on time.
“In this way, the airports and airlines will operate more effectively for the benefit of passengers, with improved adherence to schedules,” said Makgale. “The ultimate goal is to provide an improved and predictable experience for passengers using our airports.”
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