14. 01. 2009 - Czech Airlines to Clarify and Reduce its Excess Baggage Rates

Prague, 14 January 2009

Czech Airlines will continue to carry baggage for its passengers free of charge up to a certain weight limit; but, starting this week, it will newly make the charges for excess baggage clearer and lower.  Until now, the price has been set as a certain percentage of the so-called IATA Rate, and passengers thus essentially had no way of easily ascertaining in advance how much extra they would pay for their excess baggage.  Now, destinations have been divided into three zones, where the price is CZK 300, 600, of 900 per excess kilogram.  For most destinations, the prices are lower than they have been thus far.

A Transparent System with Lower Prices
Czech Airlines is thus striving to meet the frequent demand of its passengers, who have been calling for a simplified system of charges.  The new, clear system with lower prices will take effect on 15 January.  It applies to flights operated by Czech Airlines.  Passengers will pay the same amounts in Prague and at all other Czech Airlines stations, where rates will be converted to the particular local currency at the current exchange rate.  Passengers will be able to pay the price of excess baggage directly at the check-in desks at Prague Airport, using a payment card.  In the past few days, Czech Airlines equipped them with payment terminals.  On average, five to ten percent of Czech Airlines’ passengers check in baggage that is heavier than the free allowance.

For checking in overweight baggage, a passenger will pay a fee of CZK 150 plus the specific price for each kilogram over the limit, depending on the zone in which his final destination lies, i.e., CZK 300, 600, or 900.  Czech Airlines will charge the lowest price, CZK 300, on most routes.  On flights to more remote locations, the price will be CZK 600.  These include flights to destinations such as Athens, Barcelona, Larnaca, St. Petersburg, Damascus, and Cairo.  The highest price for baggage exceeding the free baggage allowance will be charged on long-haul flights, such as the service to Almaty or Yekaterinburg.

The weight limits for the free carriage of baggage remain at the standard level that is usual among other carriers.  In Czech Airlines’ Economy Class, passengers can carry baggage with the maximum weight of 20 kg free of charge, and 30 kg in Business Class.  An entirely different system is applied in the USA and Canada, and on flights to and from North America, Czech Airlines therefore carries free of charge a maximum of two pieces of baggage, whose weight, per piece, must not exceed 23 kg in Economy Class and 32 kg in Business.  Flights originating or terminating in the USA and Canada therefore constitute the only exceptions to the new system, and overweight charges in relation thereto will continue to be applied in the same way as up to now.  On all flights, passengers are entitled to carry cabin baggage and personal items with a total weight not exceeding 12 kg in Economy and 18 kg in Business Class.

Passengers Will Save on Carrying Oversized Baggage
Passengers will also newly save when carrying special or oversized baggage.  Whereas up to this point, the rules for carrying oversized baggage differed according to the type of baggage, from 15 January, the weight of oversized baggage will be included in the free carriage limit, regardless of its type. If the weight limit is exceeded, the passenger will pay CZK 250 for the handling of the oversized bag and the standard price based on the new system, i.e., CZK 300, 600, or 900, depending on the destination.

Up till now, a passenger who was carrying a bag weighing 25 kg to Strasbourg paid CZK 1,750 for the five excess kilograms.  With the new system, starting 15 January, he will pay CZK 150 for the transaction and CZK 300 per excess kilogram.  Overall, he will newly pay CZK 1,650, thus saving CZK 100.  Furthermore, the passenger will be able to pay the price of excess baggage at check-in by card, using a payment terminal.  Even more significant savings await passengers travelling to more remote destinations.  For example, until now, a passenger travelling on the Cairo service paid CZK 3,650 for five excess kilograms; whereas newly, it will be CZK 520 less.  Or a passenger travelling to the farthest destination in the Czech Airlines medium-haul network, Almaty will newly pay CZK 4,650 for five excessive kilograms, which is CZK 2,350 less than has been the case.

Daniela Hupáková
Communications Director
Czech Airlines Press Spokesperson