When this rule gets enforced, the popular ‘Ghana Must Go’ bag that is very common among Nigerian travellers, will be regarded as “non-compliant baggage”.
Commenting on the development, Ali Angizeh, vice-president of terminal operations at the Dubai International, said irregular shaped or oversized bags could disrupt the advanced baggage systems that would soon be introduced.
He explained that the new rule would reduce the risk of baggage mishandling at check-in counters.
“Dubai International provides some of the most sophisticated baggage systems in the world,” Angizeh said.
“However, even the most technologically advanced systems can be disrupted by irregular shaped or oversized bags. Bags that are round or do not have a flat surface of any kind are by far the largest source of baggage jams.
“These jams can shut down sections of our system, delay baggage delivery to the aircraft and inconvenience our customers.
“We are trying to get the message out there as much as possible. Passengers, who show up at the airport with non-compliant baggage, will also be given the option to have it re-packed in boxes for a fee.”
He said airports have notified airlines operating into Dubai of the imminent change and has updated its websites to create more awareness.
The DXB handled approximately 9.3 million bags in January this year.
The National, a UAE-based newspaper, quoted John Dyett, head of baggage operations at the airport, as saying though the authorities were concerned about the interest of passengers, they chose to focus more on how the new process would facilitate smooth operations.
“This type of baggage will be placed into cardboard boxes, which are flat sided and as a result can go through our system without causing blockages,” he said.
“This service will be provided at the same counter where passengers get plastic wrapping for their suitcases.
“We have empathy with passengers but we also have to ensure the smooth operation of the airport and delays with baggage drop-off can then lead to delays in check-in operations.
“The huge scale and complex nature of the airport means that its baggage system is more susceptible to jamming by oversized or irregular-shaped bags, he said.”