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Which of these two flight options will allow me the most luggage?
September 20, 2011 4:52 AM   Subscribe

Which of these two (complicated) flight options will A) give me the biggest baggage allowance, and B) cost the least for excess bags?

I feel dumb asking this, because I'm a seasoned international traveler, but my mind is a blur with travel planning, and trying to pack my apartment, so I'd appreciate any help.

I'm flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Kampala, Uganda, with a LOT of stuff. I'll ship what I need to, but I'd like to know which of my two flight options will allow me the cheapest baggage fees. I'm confused because both options are operated by multiple airlines, and some are bought from one airline, but operated by another. Which policy do I use? [my company is buying the ticket (but not the bag fee), so cost isn't the issue]

Also, it is better to have extra pieces of luggage, or extra weight?

FLIGHT OPTION 1
or FLIGHT OPTION 2

Thanks!
posted by hasna to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
 
This is an impossible math problem... almost.

A couple things as you put this together, and you really need to assemble a spreadsheet, AND likely you really need to get on the phone with four different airlines, but:

* I can't believe I know this but, according to Emirates (your option 2), "please note that Dubai Civil Aviation prohibits the acceptance of any one piece of baggage weighing more than 32 kg (71 lb), into, out of or via Dubai International Airport." So that's one thing to know.

So, all baggage for Emirates is dealt with by weight, not by piece. (Here's their baggage calculator.)

* For option one, here's Ethiopian's. Because you're NOT flying transatlantically with them, it's unclear to me what their max baggage is.

But also? I'm pretty sure that baggage is not your main issue. Why don't you fly with the most comfortable and pleasing airline? (Which I'm pretty sure is Emirates, though other more experienced travelers may disagree.)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 5:34 AM on September 20, 2011


a) Step 1 - If the published baggage provisions among all participating carriers are the same; these provisions will apply.

b) Step 2 - Where the one or more published baggage provisions differs between participating carriers, apply any common provisions and where provisions differ, apply the published baggage provisions of the Most Significant Carrier (MSC - see definition below). In case of code share flights this will be the Operating Carrier, unless that carrier publishes a rule stipulating that it will be the Marketing Carrier).

c) Step 3: If the MSC does not publish baggage provisions for the journey concerned, apply the published baggage provisions of the carrier accepting the baggage at check-in.

d) Step 4: If the carrier accepting the baggage at check-in does not publish baggage provisions for the interline journey concerned, apply the published baggage provisions of each operating airline sector-by-sector.

Most Significant Carrier (MSC)

3) the MSC is:

a) For travel between two or more IATA areas, the carrier performing carriage on the first sector that crosses from one area to another. Exception: IATA Area 123 journeys only, the carrier providing carriage on the first sector that crosses between IATA Area 1 and IATA Area 2.

b) For travel between IATA sub-areas, the carrier performing carriage on the first sector that crosses from one sub-area to another.

c) For travel within IATA sub-areas, the carrier performing carriage on the first international sector.
Source
posted by Nothing at 5:40 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also on flyertalk
posted by Nothing at 5:44 AM on September 20, 2011


All airlines have a max of 32kg per single piece of luggage, I think - it is a industry wide thing. But I think Emirates will give you a better deal, with generally a 30kg allowance for economy (if they are the ticketing airline or whatever these rules mean!). If you have any reasonable cause (e.g. volunteer, work for a charity or good cause), try writing and asking for an additional allowance - write to the manager in the city you are departing from (or as close as). Worked for me, I got an extra 10kg as a volunteer!

I would do the Malaysian/Emirates one anyway because it is a shorter trip (I think?)... and probably better airlines.

To answer your question, extra pieces of luggage are generally better than extra weight e.g. you might get a 30kg allowance from one airline, but under the piece system, it is generally a piece of up to 23kg per piece, so each extra piece is a significant amount more.

Emirates does offer options to purchase additional baggage allowance ahead of time on their website.

Also, look for unaccompanied baggage services, if you have a lot to shift. Much cheaper.
posted by AnnaRat at 5:47 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


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