Whine Wednesday: Turkish Airlines Baggage Regulations – Airline Doesn’t Accept Upgraded Longhaul Sector For Extra Allowance

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This week’s Whine Wednesday is about Turkish Airlines and the way the airline handles baggage allowance for passengers with upgraded ticket, especially when only one sector is involved.

This case stems from a reader who recently flew via Istanbul to Sao Paulo with the long haul sector upgraded to Business Class but was charged for a 31KG weight suitcase for the first sector.

Our reader upgraded a ticket booked by the company in Economy Class with Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles points to Business on the sectors from Istanbul to Sao Paulo and back (55,000 miles per segment). The connection from/to Delhi remained in Economy Class.

Based on the Turkish Airlines baggage page all flights to Brazil are running under the piece concept which means 2 bags per person are allowed.

  • Economy Class at 23KG
  • Business Class at 32KG

This chart shows it properly:

The readers problem here: How does Turkish establish which allowance is applicable? Usually airlines apply the the rule of “most significant sector” which means the longest of the two involved. This would easily be IST-GRU in Business Class.

One of the passengers suitcases was 31KG in weight while the other was just a bit over 20KG, yet the staff at Delhi Airport insisted on a US$100 Excess Baggage Charge as she was an Economy Passenger on DEL-IST.

I had a look at the Excess Baggage Fee page (which is totally insane to be honest) and in no way am I able to reconcile a US$100 penalty there.

Conclusion

Either the fee amount was simply made up out of by the staff or there is something else going on that’s fishy. Apparently the passenger paid in cash and at least as far as we know didn’t receive or ask for a receipt. I guess someone at the DEL station has a bit heavier pockets now.

It’s ridiculous that an airline wouldn’t accept increased baggage allowance when the passenger has upgraded using the carriers own frequent flyer program instruments (miles). Lesson learned for those who speculate that an upgrade to a higher class of service automatically includes a higher baggage allowance!

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