x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 November 2017

Travel light, pay less: Etihad Airways starts hand baggage only trial

Abu Dhabi airline says many passengers do not need to carry more than hand baggage

Etihad Airways has brought in a new lower fare for passenger taking just hand baggage. Delores Johnson / The National
Etihad Airways has brought in a new lower fare for passenger taking just hand baggage. Delores Johnson / The National

Etihad Airways has launched a trial where travellers can purchase lower fares if no baggage is checked in.

The hand baggage-only scheme will be applicable in economy class on flights between Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Kuwait until March 31. The hand baggage can weigh up to 7kg.

Passengers must book between October 18 to December 18 and travel before April 2018.

Etihad explained that this has come about after customer feedback showed many people travelling for business or on weekend trips away did not require checked baggage.

The trial will test the product's viability for wider implementation, according to Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways executive vice president – commercial.

“Etihad Airways is enhancing its product offering to align with customer feedback, offering more choice onboard,” he added.

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“Customers have been able to purchase extra legroom seats for the last two years, and we recently gave them the additional choice through our ‘neighbour-free’ seat product to reserve the seat next to them on the aircraft at a reasonable fee. We know there is an appetite for products that allow travellers to choose the experience and service they require."

The airline said in a statement that this trial is the first of many it plans to initiate over the coming months.