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Malaysia Airlines Bans Check In Luggage to Europe, cites Safety

Interesting news for those who regularly or sometimes fly Malaysia Airlines (MAB), especially to Europe. Malaysia Airlines today announced that they are banning (temporarily mind you) all checked in luggage to cities such as London, Amsterdam, and of course Paris. Interestingly enough, we aren't sure if other routes are affected, or how long these restrictions will apply - but essentially passengers flying those destinations will only be allowed the standard carry on luggage weights (1 x 7kg for Economy passengers, 2 x 14kg for Business + First Class passengers).

With Europe in the middle of Winter, this could potentially cause many flyers to divert to other airlines if possible - as others haven't followed suit just yet. Of course - Malaysia Airlines are also citing above normal head winds: "“In the interest of safety, Malaysia Airlines currently operates a long route to Europe, which combined with temporary unseasonably strong head winds, is limiting the airlines’ ability to carry baggage in cargo."

Malaysia Airlines is taking longer routes to avoid this, but this is the first time I've ever heard an airline refuse check-in luggage due to strong head-winds. Of course, we know Safety is a huge issue these days, and with Malaysia Airlines suffering two fatal plane crashes in recent years, they're probably trying to ensure they are getting ahead of any potential tragedy. “This longer flight path consumes more jet fuel and for safety reasons, Malaysia Airlines has had to impose temporary limitation on checked in baggage allowance.

“Passengers who wish to check in their luggage will be able to do so, however their baggage will only arrive later,” it added (again, no information on any timelines here either). Flightradar has confirmed on twitter this is indeed the case, whereby Malaysia Airlines is taking a much longer route than normal (and staying far away from the MH17 flight zone). However, these ranges still fall within the A380 and B777-200ER ranges, so curious that bags are completely disallowed.

EDIT: It seems the A380 route, to London, is 'headwind free' - still not sure if security concerns persist though.

I'm curious to see if this will deter fliers or not - because I know I wouldn't fly MAB if this was the case, especially if flying Economy! Does this change your travel plan if you're affected?

Source: The Malay Online, Malaysia Airlines

Jay