MUSCAT, Aug 4 – Oman airports has started collecting a fee (handling charges) for irregularly packed baggage — that were banned in September, last year — at the out of gauge (OOG) counters at Muscat, Salalah and Sohar airports. Passengers can carry such baggage by paying extra fee, says a circular issued by Baggage Awareness Campaign by the Media and Public Relations Department, Baggage Handling Department, Oman Airports. All irregular-shaped baggage, including those wrapped in blanket and rope, are subject to these charges. Pieces of baggage that have no flat surface or those wrapped in blanket/rope create problems at the security check counter when a passenger is asked to unwrap the baggage.
Hence, such a baggage will attract a handling charge of RO 4, including RO 2 for ground-handlers and a like sum for the airport operator. The new rules have been introduced to help improve baggage services at Muscat and Salalah airports. All airlines, ground handlers, passengers and travel agencies have been notified about it. Two pieces of baggage are allowed for international travel, with a total weight not to exceed 32 kg.
However, this differs from airline to airline. Out-of-gauge baggage is that which is too large, too light, too heavy or too fragile, doesn’t have at least one flat surface or can damage/reduce the system capacity and doesn’t meet the minimum dimensions’ criteria of 30cmx8cmx7.5cm. All irregular-shaped baggage have to be dropped at the oversized baggage counter, where the handling charges will be collected. Any baggage with dimensions exceeding 100cm (length) + 75cm (width) + 60cm (height) and weighing less than 7kg and consisting of TVs and flat panel displays with a screen size of more than 43 inches will attract handling charges. The system has two sorters with 350 trays that can handle 5,520 bags per hour. They will be available at OOG counters, while storage will be available at the check-in hall.