From 4 February 2019, Emirates will be lowering the checked baggage allowance for select Economy Class passengers. You can view the new checked baggage allowance chart here.
Checked baggage allowance to start from 15kg
Yes, you read that right. If you are flying with Emirates in Economy Class, your baggage allowance can potentially be as low as 15kg. Here’s the baggage chart from the Emirates website:
Note that the chart above applies to all of Emirates destinations except to the Americas which uses a “piece” policy for checked baggage. If you are currently holding on to a fare that was bought before 4 February 2019, these changes will not apply to you and you will receive the checked baggage allowance listed on your booking confirmation.
Emirates generally does not offer Economy Special fares ex-Singapore from what I have been checking on the website. So the lowest Economy Class fare class most leisure travelers are likely to purchase are Economy Saver fares. For all Saver fares, the baggage allowance will be reduced from 30kg to 25kg from 4 February 2019. There will be no changes to the baggage allowances for Economy Flex and Flex Plus fares.
Here’s a sample fare quote from Singapore to Melbourne on Emirates:
If you are flying to the Americas this is how your checked baggage allowance will look like:
Again, if you are purchasing a ticket ex-Singapore, the cheapest ticket you can purchase will most likely fall under the Economy Saver fare class. Thus, there will be no change to your checked baggage allowance for flights to the Americas even if you purchase a ticket from 4 February 2019.
However, this changes a little if you are flying exclusively between Europe and the United States. Emirates operates fifth freedom flights between Athens (ATH) and New York (EWR) and Milan (MXP) to New York (JFK). If you are flying exclusively between these two city pairs to/from New York on an Economy Saver ticket, your baggage allowance will only be allowed one checked bag up to 23kg and not the usual two checked bags.
The vast majority of full-service airlines including Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas are still offering Economy Class passengers up to 30kg of checked baggage even on the cheapest Economy Class fare. However, the connectivity of Emirates from its Dubai hub is currently one of the widest in the world. Thus I don’t really see Emirates losing many customers because of this move.
25kg worth of checked baggage is still quite plentiful per person and I will choose to fly with Emirates by virtue of its vast route network out of Dubai. This move by Emirates is certainly worrying as we will never know if other airlines will follow suit on this. Early last year, Singapore Airlines started charging for seat assignments on its lowest Economy Class fares with the introduction of its new fare classes and I really hope they will maintain the current baggage allowances for Economy Class passengers as well.
(Cover Photo: Emirates)