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BA launches new baggage charges

British Airways has launched its new excess baggage rules which will see passengers pay to check in a second piece of luggage.

But the airline says the rules will not be fully enforced until September. Travellers on shorter international trips will face a bill of £120 (€182) and those on domestic journeys, £30. Passengers are now limited to one 23kg bag, but BA says it will continue accepting bags weighing up to 32kg for travel completed by 30 September. A 30% discount is available for people who pay in advance on the internet. Travellers to the US, Canada, the Caribbean, Nigeria, Mexico and Brazil will still be able to check in two pieces of luggage free of charge - because those countries have a system based on pieces rather than weight. Passengers flying to any destination will be exempt from the new rules if they cannot easily manage one bag. Customers have previously been allowed to check in more than one bag as long as their luggage did not exceed weight restrictions. Passengers will be able to carry one piece of sporting equipment free of charge in addition to their baggage allowance. BA says its new policy is simpler and will only affect a tiny percentage of its customers. A spokeswoman said the policy was being introduced to comply with new health and safety regulations designed to protect baggage handlers. CE Willie Walsh said at the weekend he would not back down over the plans. „A policy of charging for excess baggage has existed in the airline industry since the Wright brothers, and we're not changing that,” he said. From 30 September, the maximum weight of a bag that can be checked in for a BA flight free of charge will be 23kg. First and Club World class passengers will be allowed to check in three bags weighing up to 23kg each for free. Club Europe and World Traveller Plus passengers will be allowed two. (BBC NEWS)