From March 25, new rules for checked baggage will be applied at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) in Johannesburg.

The rules are as follows:

  1. Only regular-shaped bags will be allowed to be checked in. This means that the bags must have at least one flat surface to be accepted
  2. Round or irregular-shaped bags will not be allowed
  3. Bags with longs straps will not be allowed

This is to prevent blockages and breakdowns in the baggage-handling system caused by bags that do not have any flat surfaces or that have long straps or grips – as per Iata guidelines. These are the largest source of jams, and can shut down sections of the baggage-handling system, delaying baggage delivery to aircraft, and inconveniencing passengers and airlines.

Passengers who try to check in bags that don’t conform to these rules will, however, have the option of having their baggage wrapped with one flat side at airport-approved baggage wrapping stations.

Kris Reddy, Assistant General Manager: Operations Services at OR Tambo, said: “We very much appreciate that these new baggage rules will potentially create inconvenience or additional cost for some passengers, so this is not a step we have taken lightly. However, a small proportion of irregular bags that cause breakdowns in the baggage handling system create far greater inconvenience for the majority of passengers. We have investigated this matter over about a year and considered a variety of alternatives.”

“It is our view, and airlines and other stakeholders now agree, that changing rules for irregular bags will improve the overall level of service to all passengers,” he concludes.

Shape sizes acceptable and not acceptable according to new ORTIA regulations.