Cathay Pacific and Dragonair will boost checked baggage allowances from next month, giving every traveller at least 10kg more than under the current system.
Cabin baggage limits on Dragonair will also increase to align with Cathay Pacific – particularly useful for travellers on the Hong Kong-Kuala Lumpur route, which CX will soon cede to its sister airline.
But with the improved weight allowances come new limits on how many bags you can check-in and also new excess baggage charges: here’s what’s changing and how it’ll affect you.
Cathay Pacific, Dragonair checked baggage limits
For bookings made from September 15 2016, the long-contentious 20kg checked baggage allowance applicable to economy travellers is boosted by 50% to 30kg, spread across up to two checked bags.
Premium economy flyers will also appreciate their new allowance of 35kg (increased from 25kg) and business class passengers their new 40kg allowance (up from 30kg): in both cases also spread across two bags in total.
In first class, the existing 40kg allowance is swapped out for a 50kg total weight with a three-bag maximum.
Marco Polo Club Silver members receive a further 10kg boost in all classes but can’t bring along any extra bags – so in business class, you’ll get a 50kg allowance to distribute across the same two bags.
It’s a different story for Marco Polo Club Gold cardholders and other Oneworld Sapphire frequent flyers such as Qantas Gold, who maintain their 15kg increase across all cabins and can bring one extra checked bag.
For instance, even if stuck in economy, your baggage allowance will now be 45kg across a maximum of three bags: being the base economy allowance of 30kg capped at two bags, plus the 15kg Gold/Sapphire boost and with another checked bag.
At the top end of town, Marco Polo Club Diamond members and Oneworld Emerald travellers like Qantas Platinum, Platinum One and Chairmans Lounge are free to bring an extra 20kg over and above the allowance included on their ticket, including one extra checked bag in all cabins.
Passengers travelling with infants in all classes are also welcome to pack a further 10kg across an extra two bags.
New Dragonair cabin baggage limits
For all flights taken from September 15 2016 (regardless of booking date), Dragonair will improve its cabin baggage limits for all passengers to match that offered by Cathay Pacific.
Going out: the current (and low) 1x5kg allowance in all cabins, increased to 1x7kg in economy and premium economy, 1x10kg in business class and 1x15kg in first class.
Marco Polo Club Silver and Gold members booked in economy and premium economy will instead enjoy a 1x10kg carry-on allowance, while Marco Polo Club Diamond flyers can cart aboard a 1x15kg bag in all cabins.
Silver and Gold travellers booked in business class or first class receive no additional cabin baggage allowance, nor to Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald frequent flyers from airlines other than Cathay Pacific.
Cathay Pacific, Dragonair excess baggage charges
Also changing are the airlines’ charges for excess baggage which in some case are decreasing, although there’s a new fee to look out for if you bring along too many individual suitcases.
That charge is a hefty US$60 (A$78) per bag over and above the new checked baggage ‘cap’ on all Australian flights, levied when the number of bags you’re checking in is above that cap but the combined weight of all of your baggage otherwise remains within your overall weight limit.
If the total weight of your checked bags exceeds your weight limit, you’ll instead pay an excess charge per kilogram – regardless of the number of bags you’re bringing along – rather than a fee per bag.
Between Australia and Europe or South Africa, the current US$60/kg charge remains, although if you’re jetting purely between Australia and Hong Kong, the rate falls to a more affordable US$35 (A$45) fee per kg.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT