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Air Transport - passengers advised to check in all luggage


In a report for PA media by Neil Lancefield, airline passengers are being “strongly encouraged” not to take any hand luggage on flights as part of measures to slow the spread of Covid-19. Travellers should check in all baggage before boarding flights, according to new Department for Transport (DfT) guidance.



Image - Steve Parsons via PA media


Airlines generally charge additional fees for putting luggage in the hold. Checking in a 15kg bag for an easyJet flight from Gatwick to Glasgow on Monday costs an additional £23.99. British Airways is charging £25 for putting a 23kg bag in the hold for passengers with the cheapest fare on a flight from Heathrow to the same destination on the same date.


The DfT guidance states: “You are strongly encouraged to check in baggage to the aircraft hold and minimise any hand baggage. This will speed up boarding and disembarking, and minimise the risk of transmission.”


A separate document for airlines calls on them to use “communication and incentive policies” to minimise hand luggage. Other advice for passengers includes wearing face coverings in airports and remaining seated as much as possible during flights. Airlines are being encouraged to extensively clean aircraft, increase the availability of hand washing and hand sanitiser, and reduce face-to-face interactions between staff and passengers.


British Airways and UK airports have an excellent record in handling passenger's bags but the risk of loss and damage at airports elsewhere are well-known with property checked in at airports around the world (Kevan James).