Qatar Airways Ltd. lifted the maximum weight for check-in baggage to 30 kilograms (66 pounds) for economy-class passengers on most international flights as airlines use baggage allowances as a tool to win more business.
Business-class passengers on the Doha-based airline can take 40 kilograms instead of 30, Qatar Airways said in a statement, adding the new rules take into account its increased network that attracts international fliers with more baggage.
The higher baggage allowance, which brings Qatar Airways’ offering in line with Middle Eastern rivals Etihad Airways PJSC and Emirates, runs counter to a general trend in commercial aviation to make passengers pay more for services. Discount airlines including Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA) have spearheaded a movement to charge for everything from baggage to refreshments.
“This is just one more facet of how these companies are wooing passengers,” said Yan Derocles, an analyst at Oddo Securities in Paris. “It’s a commercial strategy that directly confronts the major European and American carriers.”
The majority of European, Asian and U.S. carriers tend to allow 23 kilograms for each checked-in bag in economy class. On routes to the U.S., the three Middle Eastern carriers allows two bags weighing 23 kilograms each per economy passenger.
Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) allows up to two free checked bags weighing 32 kilograms each for business-class passengers, while passengers flying full-fare coach can check one 23 kilogram bag for free and must pay $100 for a second checked bag that weighs up to 50 pounds.
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