AirAsia now allows up to two bags in cabin again, drops one-bag rule

AirAsia's revised policy to allow two bags per passenger in the cabin will take effect from today. — AirAsia screengrab
AirAsia's revised policy to allow two bags per passenger in the cabin will take effect from today. — AirAsia screengrab

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Low-cost airline AirAsia has changed its policy on how many bags passengers can bring on board the plane for free. 

Passengers are now allowed two pieces of cabin baggage with a combined weight not exceeding 7kg.

For the trolley bag, the size "must not exceed 56cm x 36cm x 23cm including the handles, wheels and side pockets" or does not exceed the maximum linear measurement of 115 cm, and must be able to fit in the overhead storage compartment in the aircraft cabin, AirAsia said.

The other bag can be a laptop bag or a handbag or backpack or any other small bag which must not exceed the measurements of 40cm x 30cm x 10cm or the maximum linear of 80 cm, with this item required to fit under the seat in front of the passenger.

This revised policy to allow two bags per passenger in the cabin will take effect from today, AirAsia said.

In a travel advisory issued today to inform passengers of the updated cabin baggage allowance policy, AirAsia indicated that the change in policy was in line with "demand for air travel" picking up.

Previously in late April, AirAsia had initially announced that passengers would only be allowed to carry one bag into the cabin at a reduced permitted weight of 5kg, but later revised its policy on April 28 to permit one bag at a maximum weight of 7kg.

In explaining why it had changed its policy of two bags with a maximum combined weight of 7kg per passenger to just one bag, AirAsia had in April said that this was intended to facilitate social distancing especially during embarkation and disembarkation.

Over the past few days, internet users highlighted what appeared to them to be a new AirAsia policy barring cabin-size trolley bags in the cabin, despite such suitcases weighing below the permitted weight of 7kg.

In Malay Mail’s checks of the AirAsia’s website over the weekend, the airline’s cabin baggage policy was stated to have been temporarily revised due to the Covid-19 outbreak to only allow a small bag (40cm x 30cm x 10 cm) not exceeding 7kg and which must fit under the seat in front of a passenger. For bags that cannot fit under the seat but weigh less than 7kg, AirAsia had said a complimentary check-in for the baggage would be provided at the check-in counter. (The information was current as of July 3, but this has now been replaced today by the reinstated cabin baggage policy of two bags including one to be stored in the overhead compartment).

In checks over the weekend, Malay Mail was made to understand that the barring of trolley bags — traditionally considered to be cabin size by virtue of being able to fit in overhead compartments, but which could not fit under a seat — had been in place since the late April policy changes, and that AirAsia’s complimentary check-in for such suitcases weighing a maximum 7kg had also been in place since April. Previous news reports in April and June had also mentioned such information.

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