Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways has announced changes to its baggage policy under which most routes will operate on a piece concept basis.
The new policy, effective from September 14, 2015, means that customers are entitled to one, two, or three bags, depending on their fare choice, route, and Etihad Guest membership status.
On certain routes, customers flying economy value and economy freedom will now have increased allowance for two pieces of baggage at 23kg per bag, up from one bag weighing 30kg.
Meanwhile Etihad gold and platinum members will receive one extra piece of baggage at 32kg on piece concept routes, compared to 15kg and 20kg respectively previously.
However, not all routes have seen changes – passengers travelling to/from any of the Gulf countries to/from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Nepal will still be allowed one bag weighing 30kg on economy, 40kg on business and 50kg on first class.
Etihad Airways chief commercial officer Peter Baumgartner said: “In line with industry best practice, we are moving to a fair and transparent baggage concept.
“Our new fare choices are an easier way for guests to understand what they are paying for, offering clearer pricing, and the flexibility which best suits their travel plans. This also applies to their baggage requirements.”
As part of the policy change, the cost of excess baggage will also be cut on the majority of fares, Etihad said.
On some routes the cost of buying an additional 23kg piece of baggage will be reduced by up to 90 per cent, with a further reduction of up to 30 per cent if pre-purchased directly with Etihad Airways up to 24 hours before travel.
Members of Etihad’s loyalty programme will also benefit from the new rules, as higher tier members will now receive an extra bag or additional weight allowance depending on the market and route.
For piece concept markets, Etihad Silver members now receive a minimum of two bags of 23kg, the airline stated.
The new policy will help the airline align more closely Etihad’s partner airlines, it added.
The airline currently has equity stakes in Alitalia, airberlin, Air Seychelles, Air Serbia, Aer Lingus, Jet Airways and Virgin Australia. An investment in Etihad Regional, operated by Swiss-based Darwin Airline, received Swiss government approval earlier this year.
Etihad also has codeshare agreements with several airlines such as Air France-KLM, Air Europa, jetBlue, Philippine Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Aerolineas Argentinas and South African Airways among others.