Dubai: Passengers flying out of Dubai International Airport may have to pay extra charges for baggage which require manual handling, Gulf News can reveal.
A new fee has been introduced for manual handling of baggage that do not conform to standard size and weight at Dubai International Airport.
It has been introduced by Dnata, which provides ground-handling service for airlines operating at Dubai International Airport.
At least one airline, Air India, has said the fee is Dh45 per piece of such baggage but the fee may vary for other carriers depending on their contracts with Dnata. In a notification to travel agents, India’s national carrier explained in detail the types of baggage that will be charged because they are ‘out of gauge’.
Dnata confirmed the introduction of the new fee in a statement sent to Gulf News. “Dnata has updated its standard ground-handling terms and conditions with carriers, to cover the additional manual handling services for “out of gauge” baggage — a policy that is now being strictly enforced at Dubai International Airport,” it said.
Aviation sources said “out of gauge (OOG)” baggage are too large, too light, too heavy, too fragile, or not having a flat surface. These include TVs, flat panel displays and baggage that can damage or slow down the baggage system.
“This is different from the excess baggage fee charged for carrying baggage above the allowance per tickets’ class,” said one source.
Sources said airlines operating to some of the Asian countries reportedly receive a higher quantity of OOG, ranging from blankets and broomsticks to huge TV sets. They said Dnata had to put in place additional infrastructure and manpower to handle OOG baggage which eventually forced the company to charge for the service of manual handling of such baggage.
Dnata said carriers may decide to ask Dnata to collect the associated charges directly from their passengers.
“It’s up to carriers to decide whether they want to pass on the cost or not and how they want the payment to be collected. Passengers should check their carrier’s website for further details.”
Sources said the fee will be charged from passengers of various airlines as and when the carriers’ contracts come up for renewal.
Dnata did not provide the charges it is taking from different airlines and added that it cannot comment on behalf of the carriers. However, Dnata insisted that passengers will be charged only if the carriers elect to do so.
Since airlines operating to same destinations have to renew their contracts at different times, passengers flying airlines that do the renewals early will be the ones to be affected first, sources said.
Airlines like Sri Lankan, the flag carrier of Sri Lanka, said they are yet to finalise the new contract with Dnata.
“Each contract is negotiated separately,” said a senior official with Sri Lankan Airlines.
Emirates revises excess baggage charges
Meanwhile, Emirates has revised excess baggage charges.
“Emirates has reviewed its excess baggage charges to benefit customers. The changes are applicable for tickets issued on or after April 8, 2018. We have also doubled the discount for online purchase additional baggage allowance to 20 per cent,” the airline said in a statement to Gulf News.