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Montevideo, September 23rd 2018 - 03:11 UTC

Airlines operating in Brazil allowed to charge for pax' luggage: lower fares?

Wednesday, December 14th 2016 - 08:16 UTC
Full article 7 comments
Within Brazil, passengers can check one piece of luggage weighing up to 23 kg for free. For international flights leaving Brazil, two suitcases at a maximum of 32 kg. Within Brazil, passengers can check one piece of luggage weighing up to 23 kg for free. For international flights leaving Brazil, two suitcases at a maximum of 32 kg.
Starting March 2017 airlines in Brazil can decide what kinds of baggage services to offer and how to price them. Starting March 2017 airlines in Brazil can decide what kinds of baggage services to offer and how to price them.
Another new rule increases from five to ten kilos the maximum weight for carry luggage inside the aircraft Another new rule increases from five to ten kilos the maximum weight for carry luggage inside the aircraft

The Brazilian government authorized airlines operating in the country to charge for passengers luggage, among other rules that are scheduled to become effective on 14 March 2017. The new rules were approved unanimously and made public on Tuesday by the country's air transport regulator National Civil Aviation Agency, ANAC.

 Passengers currently enjoy free checked baggage services on all domestic and international flights. On flights within Brazil, passengers can check one piece of luggage weighing up to 23 kg for free. For international flights leaving from Brazil, passengers can check two suitcases at a maximum of 32 kg.

Most countries only allow one baggage of up to 23 kg on international flights, if any at all on domestic flights. In fact, most other countries do not even require airlines to offer free baggage check-in on domestic flights. Besides Brazil, only Mexico, Venezuela, China, and Russia have rules for mandatory luggage services.

But starting March 2017, airlines in Brazil will be able to charge for baggage. Furthermore, passengers won’t necessarily need to pay for a baggage of 23 kg. Instead, each airline can decide what kinds of baggage services to offer and how to price them.

ANAC hopes that the new rules will allow for greater flexibility in market prices. According to the Aviation Regulations Secretary, 41 million people traveled in Brazil without luggage last year. Without the mandatory baggage check, flights should get cheaper. Affordable prices open up the possibility of air travel to more Brazilians.

While aviation officials are not certain exactly how far prices will go down, they believe that simply knowing how much baggage each passenger will check allows flight staff to separate out space in the holder for commercial cargo, thus bringing down the prices paid by passengers.

Another new rule increases from five to ten kilos the maximum weigth each passenger can carry with him inside the aircraft. ANAC also reduced to a maximum seven days the time for the return of luggage lost in domestic flights and 21 for international flights. Once time limit expires the airline will have a maximum of a week to compensate the passenger for lost luggage.

The Brazilian Institute for Consumer Rights (Idec) is not entirely convinced. Due to the lack of regulations on the new baggage fees, a new system of prices may end up simply confusing customers, and not necessarily translating into cheaper flights. Idec has since demanded the aviation agency reinforce consumer rights in its latest set of rules.

Categories: Politics, Tourism, Brazil.

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  • Jack Bauer

    “While aviation officials are not certain exactly how far prices will go down, they believe that simply knowing how much baggage each passenger will check allows flight staff to separate out space in the holder for commercial cargo, thus bringing down the prices paid by passengers”.

    That sounds like a lot of BS.....first of all, 'experience' tells me fare prices will not go down ; second, how in hell are they going to know, before the psassenger has checked-in his baggage, how much space will be left for commercial cargo...or does that mean they are going to hold the plane after passengers have boarded, while they do the calculations and then start loading the commercial cargo ??

    Dec 14th, 2016 - 08:49 pm 0
  • DemonTree

    No, passengers have to book and pay for their bags in advance, and there are fines if it weighs over the allowed amount, so the airline knows beforehand how much cargo to load.

    As for prices going down, depends if you get some Ryan Air style cheapo airlines that have worked out how to cut costs.

    But I thought you'd be in favour of this since it's removing government legislation and letting airlines decide how much to charge for what luggage?

    Dec 15th, 2016 - 12:27 am 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    “No, passengers have to book and pay for their bags in advance,...” Ok, tks for the clarification. Still find it a bit impracticable, but I suppose things will eventually sort themselves out.

    I am in favour of free competition, allowing airlines to fix their own rules (some better, some worse than today's options), not a government agency (ANAC) imposing rules on all airlines and leaving the passengers with no options. In other words, just the opposite of “removing government legislation”....the only thing airlines will probably get to have a say in, is 'how much they will charge'....but knowing that things work like a cartel, differences will be minimal.
    I do think however that airlines should definitely control the carry-ons, as many passengers are being allowed to abuse the system...if you are near the last to get on a flight, rarely will you find any space in the overhead bin, and if you do, it's miles away from your seat. Not very convenient on a long-haul, overnight flight.
    Besides, I've never seen any airline (far less a govt agency) operating in Brazil, honour claims that prices (of fares) will drop due to the removal of other benefits, until now taken for granted. In the not-so-distant past, there were no boarding costs, no costs for issuing the ticket, no paying for drinks and meals, no one-sided clauses allowing huge fines for changing dates or cancelling.....none of these impositions resulted in benefits for passengers, so I don't believe rates will drop now just because they'll be able to charge for baggage. For the passenger, it's always been a lose-lose situation.

    Dec 15th, 2016 - 04:49 pm 0
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