By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – A court in the Brazilian state of Ceara has overturned an injunction and is now re-allowing Brazilian airlines to charge for checked baggage on domestic flights. The new regulation, announced in December 2016, which allowed companies to charge for any checked baggage, was questioned in court and temporarily suspended.
The latest court decision however allows ticket holders only a 10-kilo hand luggage allowance free of charge and leaves it up to individual airline companies to decide the cost of transporting checked luggage.
Despite the announcement, airline companies have not yet announced their plans or the cost of checking luggage on a domestic flight.
According to Brazilian Airline Association (ABEAR) the new measure is a step forward in bringing Brazilian aviation regulations to international standards.
“With the application of the measure established by ANAC (Brazilian National Aviation Agency) the national companies will be able to offer to their passengers the possibility to buy tickets with price equivalent to the type of luggage that it transports,” noted an ABEAR press release after the latest court decision.
“Thus, passengers who travel without luggage will pay less and the passenger who check in luggage will pay only for what they carry,” concluded the release.
The former rules allowed customers with tickets purchased in Brazil to check a maximum 23-kilo bag (domestic) or two 32-kilo bags (international) free of charge.
According to ABEAR, the cost of transporting luggage in the previous regulation was diluted in the ticket prices of all passengers, regardless of whether they traveled only with hand luggage or checked more than one bag.
“With the new measure, tariff justice will be established, companies will be able to make promotions and differentiate their tariffs – previously prohibited,” argued ABEAR when the measure was announced. “This will naturally increase competition between companies, which will benefit all passengers,” added the entity.
Adapting to the new measure, Brazilian airline, GOL, announced in March a new tariff, Light, which would be cheaper, for those not checking in bags.
Although the major airlines have announced they are still assessing the new measure, the expectation by aviation experts is that by charges for checked baggage will start before the month-long vacation period in July.