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New Bag Fee at Hong Kong International Airport

Rear view of businesswoman in suit walking with her baggage and bag

Watch out, passengers to and from the Hong Kong International Airport – you may be on the hook for new fees, ones specifically for someone putting your suitcase on the conveyor belt or taking it off, as airport officials plan to outsource the job.

Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) is already the world’s most profitable, and it’s expecting to bring on even more revenue in the coming years with a new fee directed at baggage handling. The fee, which converts to only about $.17 in US dollars per bag, is expected to cost airlines about $5.1 million or more – a cost they then plan to pass on to the customers. The per-bag fee goes to cover the costs of outsourcing ground handling, meaning unloading the baggage hold and putting suitcases onto the conveyor belt. Airlines may also face double charges if they are currently under contract with another ground handling company, as this fee will be in place beginning July 6.

Airline officials say this will help bags get to travelers quicker, but the airlines are not happy about it.

“Most airlines are resisting,” one anonymous source told the South China Morning Post. “The authority said they consulted with airlines but it was all heavy-handed. Initially they were going to [make this change] at no cost but a few months before implementation, they said it would cost HK$1.32 per bag.”

But the airport authority insists on the fee, saying it’s necessary to offset the cost of outsourcing and make operations run smoother.

“The objective of this new arrangement is to ensure sufficient manpower at each of the baggage reclaim belts, so that bags could be delivered efficiently to passengers,” a spokeswoman for the airport authority (AA) told the South China Morning Post. “No revenue is generated for the AA as the sole purpose of the new arrangement is to enhance operational efficiency, that will in turn ensure the quality of service for passengers.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
RUAMKZ July 7, 2018

It's something that implies something other than what it claims to be. Just like the ban on liquids over 100ml. Supposedly, for safety/security purposes, and a certain amount of logic behind that. But the inability to bring your own juice from home, means you have to buy at the airport. And obviously, airport food outlets have a vested interest in that.

makrom July 5, 2018

It's not like bag handling has been free so far, it was simply included in the airport fees, or where did you think the money to pay the bag handlers came from? No idea why outsourcing is a reason to start billing for that separately, I am pretty sure that the contractor is engaged and paid by the airport anyway. If HKG wants to charge more in the future, they are of course free to do so, but I don't see the point in making bills more complicated for no reason.

htb July 2, 2018

For heaven's sake! Just calculate the cost for bag handling and include it into your airport fees. When will they start a "per breath" fee for each passenger?

amt July 2, 2018

I will gladly pay... HKG is one of the few airports where the baggage hall and belts are clean, well maintained and always staffed, bags always promptly delivered, bags are adjusted and neatly placed/stacked on the belt, fragile items in trays, you’re immediately paged and there’s priority service for business/first passengers if your bag didn’t make it. Compare that to some American airports... LaGuardia where you wait an hour to guess which spluttering belt will launch your baggage at a velocity, smashing and colliding into a pile and the the whole place looks like a staffless refugee camp of confused people searching for their belongings.