Airlines to get tough on excess duty-free

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 October, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 October, 1997, 12:00am

Passengers with excess duty-free shopping are being targeted in a crackdown on oversized hand-baggage at Kai Tak.

Purchases which take passengers above their hand-luggage allowance could be taken from them at the last moment and stowed in the hold.

From the start of this month, airlines, in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Department, have had gauges at check-in islands to weed out oversized hand-luggage.

Carry-on bags, including any wheels, must fit inside the gauges which measure 56 centimetres by 36 cm by 23 cm. The policy stems from safety concerns about bags falling from lockers and obstruction in aisles and exits.

Board of Airline Representatives vice-chairman Mark Silasdi said gauges were to be placed 'landside and airside'.

'One is to reinforce the policy if people go to the shops and end up buying huge amounts, because duty-free is included in the allowance.

'The other is to treat the transit passengers in the same fashion so they can't be subject to different rules.'