Etihad Airways launches ‘unaccompanied baggage’ service

August 13th, 2008 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Abu Dhabi, Aug 13 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) national carrier Etihad Airways has launched a new service which allows passengers to send heavy or excess quantities of baggage before they fly. The ‘unaccompanied baggage’ service is for luggage that exceeds approved allowances to be sent separately to avoid excess baggage fees, an airline statement said.

“We anticipate this service will become extremely popular with our customers, especially members of the expatriate community in the UAE flying back home,” said Des Vertannes, the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s executive vice-president for cargo.

“All customers need to do is to fill in the required documentation and they will then be issued with a reference number for tracking and tracing their baggage. The entire process takes just 10 minutes and customers are kept informed about the arrival time of their baggage once it is booked as cargo on an Etihad flight or with one of our interline partners,” he added.

There are around 1.5 million expatriate Indians in the UAE. The airline flies to six destinations in India.

The new service is the latest in a series of innovative services being offered by airlines in the UAE to attract customers.

Sharjah-based low-cost carrier Air Arabia recently launched a new service that allowed passengers to choose their seats at the time of making their flight reservations.

Prior to that Dubai-based Emirates airline unveiled five-star hotel standard luxury amenities in its newly acquired Airbus A380 superjumbos.

The new Etihad service is run by the airline’s cargo division, Etihad Crystal Cargo, using established cargo processes and procedures with customers benefiting from special rates that are cheaper than the excess baggage fees they would normally have paid, according to the airline statement.

Under the service, only baggage from customers travelling on an Etihad flight and containing personal effects is eligible for the service. Baggage must also meet standard check-in baggage regulations regarding dimensions and weight.

As of now, unaccompanied baggage can be checked in at the Etihad customer service and ticket desk in the check-in area at Abu Dhabi airport’s Terminal 1.

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