Emirates has quietly reduced the check-in baggage allowance for its cheapest fares in Economy.
From 4 February 2019, economy fares in the cheapest Special fare type will only receive 15kg check-in baggage allowance, down from the current 20kg. Saver fares will see their allowance drop to 25kg, down from 30kg.
Changes to weight concept (for travel on all routes except to and
from Americas, as well as originating from Africa)
Economy Flex and Flex Plus fares will continue to receive 30kg and 35kg respectively. There is also no change to business and first class baggage allowances, which remains at 40kg and 50kg respectively.
What remains unchanged are the frequent flyer extra baggage allowances for Emirates Skywards members. Silver, Gold and Platinum members will continue to receive between 12kg and 20kg extra baggage allowances on top of what is provided in the fare.
Changes to piece concept (for travel to and from Americas, and
for travel originating from Africa)
For travel to and from Americas and for flights originating from Africa where check-in baggage allowance is by the number of pieces, Special fare type will receive only one single piece of baggage allowance, up to 23kg. Saver, Flex and Flex Plus customers continue to receive 2 pieces up to 23kg each.
For travel between Europe and Americas, Special and Saver fares both get only one piece of baggage allowance.
So where is Special fare sold?
A quick check on sale fares on Emirates for travel out of Singapore revealed that most of the cheapest fares are in the Saver category. That means that you are likely to get 25kg of checked baggage allowance if you book after 4 February 2019.
There is also no guarantee that Emirates will not start using fare classes within the Special fare type for fares to Australia and Europe from Singapore.
However, for travel to the US, there are Special type fares available for travel from Singapore. This means that if you book a Special fare on or after 4 February 2019, you will only get to check in one single piece of luggage no heavier than 23kg.
Each additional bag will set you back by USD200, up to 23kg. If you prebook additional bags, you will get a 50% discount off the first additional bag (if you are travelling in economy), and 20% discount thereafter, or if you are travelling in business or first class.
So if you know you will be travelling with more than one piece of checked baggage to and from the Americas, it might make plenty of sense to ‘upgrade’ your fare type just to have that extra bag.
Any other way to get more bags?
One other way to still retain your 30kg allowance is to book on a codeshare flight operated by Emirates.
For instance, Qantas codes Emirates’ flights from Australia and Singapore to Dubai, as well as services between Dubai and Europe. This means you can effectively book a Qantas-code flight that is operated by Emirates, and still enjoy Qantas check-in bag allowance.
However, that means some other things are at risk: for instance, you won’t receive any Emirates Skywards miles if you are a member of that programme.
For the details on the changes, visit Emirates’ checked baggage page here.