The recent announcement by the Airport Company South Africa (ACSA) to implement hand luggage restrictions provoked a mixed response from travellers across the country. The new regulations will be implemented ahead of this year’s 2010 FIFA World CupTM in an attempt to curtail travellers increasing inclination to board with hand luggage that is not meant for an overhead locker.
"The AA fully endorses ACSA’s new regulations to avoid the safety risks that go along with bulky hand luggage," says Geoff Elske, GM of Travel at the AA. Over-packing not only poses the said safety and security risks, but can also delay flight operations. As a last resort unmarked hand luggage is often moved to the cargo hold increasing a security risk of valuable items possibly being stolen.
Although the onus resides with the traveller to ensure that he or she is within the allowable limit, the AA advises that ACSA should prompt domestic airlines to check hand luggage compliance at time of issuing the traveller’s boarding pass.
"It would be best if a designated check area is available, allowing travellers to fit and weigh their bag before check in to ensure that they comply. This would eliminate the possibility of a passenger being denied access with noncompliant hand luggage at the security checkpoint," adds Elske.
"By packing light you also save the unnecessary energy dragging along unwanted kilograms of baggage. It is also a security risk as one needs to keep an eye on more than one bag. Travellers should be responsible and considerate, minimize problems by planning and employing a few packing tactics," Elske concludes.
Here are a few things to consider before packing for the big or small trip:
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
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