Malaysia Airlines reverses baggage ban after protests

Malaysia Airlines reverses baggage ban after protests

Protests on social media have forced Malaysia Airlines to reverse a plan to ban passengers from checking in luggage on certain long-haul flights.

The airline said on Tuesday night that it had temporarily banned checked-in luggage on Boeing 777 flights from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam and Paris due to heightened safety concerns.

Malaysia Airlnes did not give details, but safety issues have led to longer routes to the continent, involving strong headwinds and consequently more fuel being used up.

But the carrier said yesterday that it had restored its normal checked-in baggage allowance of up to 30kg for economy class, 40kg for business class and 50kg for first class after the decision prompted protests on social media, the Financial Times reported.

Malaysia Airlines confirmed it was using a different route from other carriers based on its risk assessment.

“Malaysia Airlines uniquely has been using a routing via Egypt which has been up to two hours longer than other carriers. The length of the route combined with strong head winds, limited the airline’s ability to carry baggage and cargo,” it said

The airline’s daily risk assessments came under intense scrutiny following the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine in July 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

The route across eastern Ukraine was one of the most direct between Europe and Asia, minimising airlines’ fuel bills.

The carrier said on Tuesday it could only accommodate one cabin bag of up to 7kg for economy passengers and two bags of up to 14kg for business and first class passengers. Bags that were checked in would arrive later, it said.

The downing of MH17 was one of two disasters suffered by the airline in 2014. In March, flight MH370 carrying 239 passengers and crew vanished while travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.


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