No round bags please! New baggage rules at OR Tambo International

25 March 2019 - 11:14 By Iavan Pijoos
New bag rules have been implemented at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
New bag rules have been implemented at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
Image: Acsa

OR Tambo International Airport implemented new bag rules on Monday, aimed at preventing blockages and breakdowns in its baggage handling system.

The airport's Samukelo Khambule said that round bags without a flat surface were the largest "source of jams" in the system.

"These jams can shut down sections of the baggage handling system, delay baggage delivery to aircraft and inconvenience passengers and airlines," Khambule said.

The new bag rule had been considered since early 2018.

Terminal 1 at Dubai International Airport recently instituted the same kind of baggage rules.

Khambule said a final decision was taken after extensive consultations with the Airline Operators Committee (AOC) and other bodies representing airlines.

The new baggage rules state that:

• Only regular-shaped bags will be allowed at check-in counters.

• This means bags must have at least one flat surface to be accepted on the check-in system.

• Round or irregular-shaped bags will not be allowed at check-in counters; and

• Bags with longs straps will not be allowed at check-in counters.

Khambule said passengers who failed to comply with the new rules would be offered the option of having their bags wrapped with one flat side at the airport.

Assistant general manager at the airport Kris Reddy said they hoped the new rules would not inconvenience passengers and be an added financial burden.

"However, a small proportion of irregular bags that cause breakdowns in the baggage handling system creates far greater inconvenience for the majority of passengers.

"It is our view, and airlines and other stakeholders now agree, that changing rules for irregular bags will improve the overall level of service to all passengers," he said.


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