I had long understood that US regulations meant that all carriers operating into and out of the USA were obliged to allow people 2 checked bags of up to 23kg, even in economy. However, looking at booking flights now, and BA are telling me that my allowance will only be 1 bag (changed from 2 as of the end of 2009) - has the USA changed their policy, or are BA trying it on?
Edit: I notice Virgin has changed this too. What a crock of ....
It's been going on for at least two years now, we had to fight to find a carrier who were still doing the piece system when we we're looking at Cancun for cave diving. Alas Delta seemed to be the last...
We're now given up as it's cheaper and less hassle to go Thomson direct Manchester-Cancun, even paying for 30Kg of luggage each.
Not to mention avoiding US Immigration and the gentle ministrations of the TSA.
I must admit I'd never heard of it being a US 'regulation'
With BA its 1 in WT, 2 in WT+, 3 in club and 5 in first. The one bag rule came in October I think. You can actual check in as many as you like you just have to pay for any over your allowance. It has nothing to do with US regulations its just what the market is. If you are an executive club of a certain level then you can have more. Sorry buts thats the way it is. P.s. its not just the wieght there is also a size limitation. All can be found on the BA web site.
Having just looked at a UK internal flight [never mind which carrier] I found that tax was more than the fare, and the first bag [per sector] was £9.99 and £30 for the second.
Weight = fuel burn = cost = "airlines are not a charity", folks.
it doesn't matter how it gets shared out. You are going to have to pay for your seat, and your bags, and your food, and the fuel burn, and airline staff, and airline Admin costs, and aircraft maintenance, and landing fees, and ground handling ... shall I stop now?
If you are flying with some airlines, remember that the operation is heavily subsidised by passengers in Business/Club and First. Those down the back get/got to travel cheaply on the back of that. "Back to reality" time?
Baggersup - I think you've misunderstood the OP's query. He's talking about checked luggage (to go in the hold), rather than the temporary carry on restrictions.
Re the original query, I don't think it was ever a regulation. I always got the impression that because it was America, the airlines expected people to take more with them and accounted for it by gracing pax with a larger checked allowance. As jarvy rightly says, BA's regs changed in October; along with the new charges came the 1 bag standard allowance worldwide (except some connecting flights). You can check in up to 10 standard size, standard weight bags - it just starts getting veeeery expensive after bag number 2!
As another poster rightly says - airlines are not charities. And whilst we can all whinge and moan about them stripping down the value of the flight and adding on all these extras, it's hard times. IATA continually report they expect the industry to lose x billion to year end.
Personally, I don't think £32 to take a second bag over 3000 miles to the States is that expensive. Lets see - the Blue Marble mapper says JFK is 3441 miles from LHR on the Great Circle. Thats... a 0.0093p a mile to take your extra shirts and smalls. Absolute bargain if put into perspective...
But then BA will abandon any premium pax services for any reason whatsoever, I've found. Including Christmas Eve when they canceled all of the Club Europe flight seats and downgraded us to Paris saying they had backed up pax from weather and had to run planes that were all economy.
Or perhaps BA simply decided that getting as many of their passengers as possible home on Christmas Eve was a higher priority than giving a little extra space to a handful?
Quote: "It was an IATA standard for 2 bags on flights to/from the US. I think most if not all have reduced the allowance at least for economy to 1 bag. This include AA, CO, DL, BA, AF, KL, VS etc."
Yes, from about seven years ago up to thirty years ago the standard checked baggage allowance for economy class to and from North America was two pieces, each to not exceed 70 lbs. 70 lbs was the maximum weight the baggage handlers were allowed to lift. (The same maximum weight applied to mail bags in the UK in the 1960s.) Carry-on bags were in addition to this. This allowance applied to all connecting flights elsewhere that were part of the same journey; e.g. on a ticket from Durban, South Africa to Thunder Bay, Canada SAA had to provide this allowance for the flight from Durban to Johannesburg, BA or SAA then had to provide it between Johannesburg and London, BA or Air Canada had to provide it between London and Toronto and Air Canada or Canadian Airlines had to provide it from Toronto to Thunder Bay.
Mrs. C and I regularly flew between South Africa and Canada, the UK and Canada and Canada and elsewhere in Africa and always received this allowance for many years. It worked fine for some decades so there is no valid reason why it should not still apply. The answer is to not just reintroduce it to and from North America but to extend it to all other international flights.
PS: Remember that this was a maximum allowance. Many passengers, including us, often were well short of the maximum limit.
In the late 60s the US CAB (precursor regulator to the DOT) spend a couple of years investigating what baggage allowance airlines should give in those ultra-regulated days. After extensive studies, hearings, and pencil pushing they came to the conclusion that 'cube', or volume, was more important than the weight. The decried that US domestic airlines all had to give 2 pieces free with a maximum weight of 70lbs each. Since they also regulated international baggage rules by acting on IATA agreements they disapproved IATA's 20kg maximum weight for Y (and 30kg for F, no C/J then) and 'ordered' that their piece system had to apply on all journeys from or to the US. While the Canadian government didn't do the same, the Canadian airlines insisted the same rule had to apply otherwise they would spill traffic across the border. Other airlines didn't want to apply the US rule everywhere so we ended up with two systems.
The DOT continued to regulate IATA baggage agreements until just a couple of years ago (although airlines had begun to abandon multilateral agreements at least 10-15 years earlier). As long as they had the power over IATA agreements they refused to permit any changes from that 60's era decision - however the free pricing clauses of open skies agreements meant they couldn't regulate what individual airlines did. More and more airlines began to 'do their own thing' and we have what we have today - a hodge-podge of different rules, prices etc.
IATA still has 'rules' for baggage but they no longer fix the pieces, weights and/or prices. They are only technical rules that provide the means for one airline to sell another's services on it's tickets (combine two or more different baggage rules on one ticket).