Hot on the heels of a welcome increase in free checked baggage allowance, which starts today, Qatar Airways has just announced the sting in the tail – a hike in the cost of excess baggage fees, which passengers pay to check in luggage above the new limits.
The airline, which had previously mentioned that an increase was coming when it announced the increased baggage allowance in all classes of travel last month, has just published the new charges on its website.
But so far, no public announcement has been made about the rates, which take effect today.
The airline’s new fees per kilo of excess baggage are, in most cases, significantly higher than the previous rates.
The rates vary depending on the passenger’s origins and destination, and also whether the extra weight is bought online in advance, or in person at check-in.
In August, for example, passengers traveling from Doha to Europe who paid online would have spent QR40/kg of excess baggage. The same passengers flying this month would pay double that – or QR80/kg ($22).
For travelers whose journeys originate from outside Qatar, the increase is even higher. For example, Qatar Airways passengers flying from Europe to Australia in August, paying online for excess baggage would have cost $13/kg, compared to $55/kg this month.
Costs haven’t been raised across the board, however.
There is no change to the charges for excess baggage for passengers flying to the USA, Canada, Brazil and Argentina. On these flights, excess baggage is calculated on a per-piece basis, and the costs for this remain the same – $200 USD per extra bag, and for economy customers only, a $50 charge for increasing one bag’s maximum weight from 23 to 32 kgs.
The airline’s website notes that additional kilos of weight can only be purchased in bundles of 5kg, and also that online excess baggage purchase is not available for infant tickets.
Although the airline’s increased hold baggage allowance theoretically means fewer passengers should go over their limit, the charges will still be a concern for travelers who regularly plan to exceed their allowance, including many who take advantage of discounted online rates.
Just as Qatar Airways’ checked baggage allowance increase allowed it to match the current policies of Emirates and Etihad, these changes to the airline’s excess baggage fees also bring it in line with its regional rivals, who charge similar rates, an airline spokeswoman has told Doha News.
She added that Qatar Airways has not increased its excess baggage fees for more than two years.
Details of the airline’s new charges and rules can be viewed here.
Will these higher rates affect you? Thoughts?
Credit: Photo by Highways Agency