ACSA urges airline passengers to adhere to hand baggage regulations

1st December 2023 By: Rebecca Campbell - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

ACSA urges airline passengers to adhere to hand baggage regulations

With the high-demand Christmas season about to start, the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has called on airline passengers to adhere to the regulations regarding hand baggage (the bags that passengers can carry with them into airliner cabins). These regulations were not new, but the company stressed that they were an integral part of commercial aviation safety and compliance standards and that they would be “rigorously” enforced; passengers carrying baggage that did not comply with the regulations would be sent back to the check-in counters to transfer the non-compliant baggage to check-in baggage. The regulations applied to all flights leaving ACSA airports, regardless of destination.

“The safety of our passengers is of utmost importance to ACSA,” affirmed company group executive: corporate services Laurene Less. “As such, the hand baggage regulations are in place to ensure that they have a seamless experience at our airports.”

The regulations apply at all ACSA airports. They are: economy class passengers are each allowed one bag plus one handbag or slimline laptop bag; first-class passengers are each allowed two bags, plus a slimline laptop bag; the bags can not be bigger than 56 cm x 36 cm x 23 cm and each bag cannot have a weight of more than 7 kg. (Passengers who exceed these limits would also be subject to an airline’s excess baggage rules and penalties.) Note that the term ‘slimline laptop bag’ meant a bag specifically sized and made to carry a laptop and its charger, and so excluded bags that could also carry clothes, documents and/or other items.

The company urged passengers to arrive early at its airports, to ensure that they had time to check their baggage in, and to go through security. ACSA’s call was supported by the airlines.

“From a passenger safety perspective, the hand baggage regulations aim to identify overweight luggage that could pose risks to both aircraft and passengers,” highlighted Airlines Association of Southern Africa CEO Aaron Munetsi. “We strongly encourage compliance with these regulations, as failure to adhere will necessitate redirecting passengers to check-in counters for luggage check-in. Hand luggage checks will be conducted at security points before passengers access the boarding gates.”

There was also a law enforcement aspect to the regulations. “In line with ACSA’s zero-tolerance approach to criminality, we are confident that our hand baggage regulations will result in the reduction of criminal activities and increase passenger safety during the festive season, while at the same time also ensuring that passengers have a seamless and satisfying experience at our airports.”