All the most important about the new rules for baggage on airplanes in Kazakhstan

Air Astana has introduced new baggage rules. Now, instead of the Weight concept system, when the total weight of luggage was taken into account, the Piece concept system (unit concept) was introduced – the amount of luggage is considered. Tengri Travel reveals the details of the new rules.

The changes, which became known in early August, caused considerable excitement among airline passengers. If earlier it was possible to take several bags, the main thing was to keep in total weight, but now in many cases you have to limit yourself to one, but large, which is not always convenient. However, as Air Astana employees emphasized at the presentation in Almaty, the maximum weight is now raised from 20 to 23 kilograms in the economy class and from 30 to 32 in the business class.

Who concerns the new rules?

As representatives of the airline emphasize, the rules for hand luggage remain unchanged. The situation for traveling with family also does not change: as before, you can take a laptop to the cabin, and a stroller to the luggage compartment, in addition to the bag. The weight of free hand luggage remains the same – 8 kilograms: in this case, economy-class passengers will be able to carry one bag, and business-class passengers – two.

In addition to hand luggage, the cabin can be transported free of charge include personal items, such as umbrella, personal bag and so on. Also, Air Astana says that it will facilitate the movement of passengers when traveling through partners of a Kazakhstan company, such as Lufthansa, because now the rules for carrying luggage will be the same. The dimensions of the luggage also remain unchanged, in general, should not exceed 158 centimeters.

How many bags can you take on a plane?

Air Astana calls its new baggage policy “My Choice”. Now, traveling on international flights, flight options are available without baggage, flight with one bag and two. The principle is that the fewer the bags, the cheaper. Overpayment for kilograms was removed: for excess baggage up to 9 kilograms (the total weight of one bag is not more than 32 kilograms), a single excess baggage tariff will be applied. A discount is also introduced if the passenger decided to pay extra baggage at least 24 hours before departure.

“This idea is based on international practice used by large carriers. Moreover, Air Astana is strongly committed to selling tickets for domestic flights, which include baggage. Cheap fare without baggage applies only to international flights,” said the president of Air Astana Peter Foster.

As the carrier explained, the laws of Kazakhstan prohibit the sale of tickets without baggage on domestic flights.

“The stipulated free baggage allowance of up to 20 kilograms was actually paid and was always included in the ticket price (price is KZT 4,000+) regardless of the presence of checked baggage for a passenger. For example, a passenger traveling without baggage is still charged at the carriage was paid by the baggage expenses,” the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development, Kazakhstan, explains. It should be noted that in the country only the low-cost airline Fly Arystan has the right of baggage-free transportation. The norm of 20 kilograms of baggage is retained by other airlines as carriers with a full range of services.

Alexander Neboga, Vice President, Airline Ground Handling, stressed that there is no restriction on the transfer of bags from Duty-free to the cabin, but the interests of other passengers will be taken into account.

“When you buy one or two items from Duty-free, it’s not a problem for a large carrier. But it happens when you buy half of the store. This creates difficulties for placing goods on board the aircraft, then boarding agents will ask you to transfer these products to the luggage compartment “, – he said.

When will the new baggage policy take effect?

The new rules will apply when buying a ticket from August 7, 2019 for a travel period from August 21, 2019. Baggage allowance on tickets purchased before August 7, 2019 remains at the amount specified at checkout. The airline promises that the new rules will accelerate the process of passenger registration. Before introducing the new rules, as Air Astana Director of Revenue Management Erbolat Baysylykov said, a pilot project was completed, according to its results, about 15 thousand people, or 4 percent of all passengers, flew abroad with more than one bag for six months.

Can I refuse the purchased baggage?

Luggage space can be purchased at all Air Astana sales points, including at the check-in. The later a passenger buys, the more expensive it will be. Ticket rules have also changed.

The “basic” package does not include baggage. There is no way to return a ticket, but you can exchange it with a fine. In this case, the passenger can save, because it is cheaper than the “classic”. The Classic fare may return a ticket with a fine, may make changes with a fine, will receive the right to carry one bag weighing 23 kilograms. The Plus fare family is more expensive than the classic one, but provides flexibility in the form of the ability to return a ticket or change the flight date for free, to carry two bags of 23 kilograms,” says Islam Sekerbekov, Director of Sales for the airline in Central Asia and Kazakhstan.

Moreover, if a passenger has only a “basic” fare, but he decided to take a bag with him before the flight, he can buy a place for an extra bag. Additional income manager Zhanna Meirembaeva gave examples.

“On the example of Almaty – Nur-Sultan for an extra seat at a discount you can pay only KZT 7,000 in advance – a full 23 kilograms in “economy” and 32 in “business”. There are five zones on international flights. So, on the Almaty – Bishkek flight, carrying one bag will cost KZT 9,000 at a discount. If you didn’t need the service, then, unfortunately, for all the additional services of Air Astana, a refund is not made,” she explained.

Are tickets cheaper due to baggage denial

Representatives of Air Astana could not provide a clear answer. As noted, in each of the airline directions there can be up to 14 tariffs, depending on the parameters.

“The market will determine the choice itself. The passenger will choose and the airline will follow the market. It all depends on how early you buy a ticket,” Mr. Sekerbekov said.

What will change for passengers with children?

The free baggage allowance for children will be determined by air ticket, as well as for adults.

“We don’t count, a child or an adult. We count luggage. An extra seat will cost the same, KZT 7,000+,” Mr. Sekerbekov said. At the same time, he presented how to save money when flying a family of four. As it turned out, it will be cheaper for adults to take two tickets with two bags and for children – tickets without bags.

“You will pay US $ 25 (KZT 9,693) to purchase a plus, and you will get two bags with a 30 percent discount. But if you decide already at the airport, it will cost US $ 45 (KZT 17,447),” he said. According to him, you can save money when buying a return ticket: take off with baggage and return without baggage or fly without baggage and return with baggage.

“When traveling with children, in principle, nothing has changed. Strollers, baby bags will be issued without any payment – this is an extra place for free,” said Zhanna Meirembaeva. Mr. Sekerbekov added that the stroller can be taken with you for free, even at a basic rate without bags.

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