Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Heavy Bags and No Gain

According to 'African Echo - The Voice of Africa', "British Airways passengers on the Accra – London route on Economy class can now carry 46 kilos of checked-in luggage instead of 23 kilos while those in Business class can carry up to 60kilos of checked-in luggage. The doubling of the baggage allowance on the route has been considered by the Airline’s authorities to streamline baggage allowance policy on some ‘dedicated’ African routes.

The Head of Africa and Europe Affairs of British Airways, Mr. Pat Gaffey acknowledged that Nigerian passengers on the Lagos – London route for many years enjoyed 60 kilos of baggage allowance and said “don’t ask me why, it has been a very old policy which I may not be able to explain, but the good news is that our Ghanaian passengers are now going to have their baggage allowance doubled on our flights to and from Accra.”

Well it all stems back to those good ol' days when British Caledonian Airways flew these routes. Such was the wealth of many of the Nigerian passengers in the 70s and 80s (oil money) that they would come to London and buy vast amounts of everything and anything. They would then turn up at the airport with trolleys laden down with TVs, Fridges and countless other articles of flotsam and jetsam to take home to Nigeria. Trying to extract excess baggage payments from them was like pulling teeth so it was felt to be easier simply to raise the baggage allowance and hope for the best.

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