By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Following the announcement in December that Brazil no longer require airlines to include baggage in plane ticket prices, the airline LATAM reported yesterday (March 6th) that this year they will now charge R$50 for the first luggage of 23 kilograms checked by passengers on domestic flights.
For Latin America flights, LATAM will allow the first 23-kilo bag for free and the second will cost R$90, and on other international flights, passengers will continue to be allowed two 23-kilo bags free of charge.
For the domestic flights though, LATAM announced the second bag of the same 23 kilo weight will cost R$80. Excess weight will cost between R$120 and R$200.
In the coming months, the allowance of the first luggage of 23 kilos will still be free and the charge will be just over the excess. The only good news for travelers is that the allowable weight for hand luggage will go from five kilos to ten kilos pounds.
The company says it expects to reduce by twenty percent the cheapest fares available for domestic flights by 2020. “International experience shows that ticket prices have fallen, and more people have started to use air transport where checked baggage is billed separately,” LATAM said in a statement.
Other domestic airline GOL has already announced that it will have a cheaper fare rate for those customers who do not check baggage, but will maintain the option of traveling with luggage when purchasing the ticket, by charging passenger fares. The values of the baggage fees are still being defined, according to a government news source.
Avianca Brasil has announced that it will implement the new rules approved by ANAC in the given term. By way of a press release, the company said it is committed to informing customers about changes in a timely and comprehensive and transparent manner. Azul has not yet decided whether to make any changes to the checked baggage allowance.
The number of passengers transported by airlines in the country decreased in 2016 for the first time in ten years, not suprising given the country’s economic crisis. “The number of passengers carried on the domestic market in the year was 88.7 million, a reduction of 7.8 percent over the previous year,” read the statement released by ANAC in January.
On December 13th last year, ANAC approved a set of rules valid for tickets purchased in March 14th of this year. Among the changes, it was determined that airlines will no longer have to offer a baggage allowance to passengers and that they may charge for the transportation.
At the time ANAC’s Air Services Monitoring superintendent Ricardo Catanat said, “ANAC can no longer say that a passenger must pay for luggage items weighing 23 kilograms, It doesn’t make sense that businesses are obliged to follow this model in the domestic and international market.”