Malaysia Airlines that is going through restructuring and is about to end its flights to Amsterdam and Paris at the end of this month just dropped a bomb this afternoon.
The airline made an announcement on its website that it will not accept any checked luggage on its European flights effective immediately citing strong headwinds. The airline will offload bags checked through Europe in Kuala Lumpur.
EDIT: Malaysia Airlines has now updated its website with the following information:
Normal baggage allowance on Malaysia Airlines’ flights to London, operated by the A380 aircraft, has been restored with immediate effect.
Baggage limitations however, still apply for flights to Amsterdam and Paris on 5-6 January 2016.
Please refer to our travel advisory section for further updates. Next update expected at 0100GMT/0900 Malaysian local time.
Here’s the information from Malaysia Airlines website (access here):
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.
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. From tonight, 5 January 2016 (until further notice), the airline will only be able to accommodate cabin baggage of up to 7kg – one piece totalling 7kg per Economy Class passengers and two pieces totalling 14kg (up to 7kg per piece) for Business/First Class passengers. Passengers who wish to check in their luggage will be able to do so, however their baggage will only arrive later.
Malaysia Airlines regrets the inconvenience caused to passengers and will deliver stranded baggage as soon as the situation permits. Guests are welcome to contact 1300-88-3000 for enquiries on the status of their checked in baggage.
Connecting passengers travelling on oneworld member carriers with through check in may also have their baggage offloaded due to this operational constraints.
Malaysia Airlines will continue to assess the changing situation over the region and will update passengers when operations are back to normal. Safety remains the centre of the airline’s operations.
This is really bizarre. The airline blames strong headwinds that doesn’t appear to affect other airlines flying from the region to Europe. Passengers are allowed to carry only 7 kilos with them in economy and 14 kilos in business or first class. EDIT: The strong headwinds no longer affect the London route operated by A380.
All other bags including those already tagged to their final destination in Europe are left behind and the airline promises to deliver them at the earliest possible convenience (for them likely) if ever.
This is basically a breach of contract and passengers traveling to Europe that have their bags left behind should immediately just buy whatever they need to conduct their business or holidays and claim the expenses from the airline.
I have zero faith that Malaysia Airlines will process the claims, however, without getting lawyer/courts involved.
If this is really the way the “new” Malaysia Airlines will conduct their business, they should just close the shop now. Even my computer bag that has only electronics inside weights more than 7 kilos. I would never ever leave any of my non-clothes/toiletries items behind. Clothes are always replaceable, but other items are not.