Aeroflot To Roll Out Hand-Luggage-Only Fares On Select Routes

Aeroflot has announced a selection of long-haul routes which will now be available with hand-luggage-only fares. This fare allows customers to travel with a carry-on bag up to 10 kilograms in weight, an option Aeroflot says will be particularly appreciated by passengers travelling with families.

Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100
Aeroflot’s new fare option is good news for light travellers. Photo: Jevgenijs Slihto via Flickr

On Friday, Aeroflot announced that it will be making its hand-luggage-only fares available on a number of its long-haul routes. Earlier this year Aeroflot rolled out hand-luggage-only fares on some medium-haul flights, an option it says has proven very popular with customers.

Which long-haul routes will get the new fare option?

Although the new hand-luggage-only fare option won’t be available on all of Aeroflot’s long-haul flights, it will be available on a number of key routes heading both east and west.

The selection of flights, which depart from Moscow and St. Petersburg via Moscow, will allow Aeroflot passengers to pay less for their flights if they are traveling without hold baggage. According to Aeroflot, the list of available destinations includes Cuba, India, Indonesia, the Maldives, Mongolia, Thailand, the US and Vietnam.

The new fare option will allow passengers to choose between checked-in hold luggage and hand-luggage-only.

Airbus A321-211(w) ‘VP-BAZ’ Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Aeroflot’s new hand-luggage-only fare covers hand luggage under 10 kilograms in weight. Photo: Alan Wilson via Flickr

Aeroflot’s standard fare currently includes a checked-in bag up to 23 kilograms in weight, with a combined height, width and length measurement no more than 158 centimeters.

Hand luggage covered under the hand-luggage-only fare option is restricted to 10 kilograms in total.

The airline says that the new fare option “better meets the needs of passengers and significantly increases the accessibility of air travel.”

Hand luggage on different airlines

Aeroflot joins an increasing number of airlines offering hand-luggage-only fares on select routes.

While low-fare airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet have always offered hand-luggage-only as a basic fare option due to their specific business model, other airlines have traditionally included a certain amount of hold luggage as standard.

Back at the beginning of November Lufthansa introduced a hand-luggage-only basic fare option called ‘Economy Light’.

The new hand-luggage-only option is not just limited to Lufthansa flights either. Lufthansa subsidiaries Austrian Airlines and SWISS will also offer the fare.

Low-baggage fare options are useful for non-budget airlines such as Lufthansa because they allow them to better compete with low-cost rivals, whilst also slightly increasing the cost of standard fare tickets.

Lufthansa Airbus A320 neo D-AINA, The world's first A320 neo
Hand-luggage-only fares will be available on Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines flights. Photo: Kiefer via Flickr

Meanwhile, airBaltic has a ‘heavy hand luggage’ policy, which allows passengers to travel with up to eight kilograms free of charge. According to airBaltic, this option is very popular with passengers, who can upgrade their hand luggage by a further four kilograms for €9.99.

Discussing the heavy hand luggage option, airBaltic CEO, Martin Gauss, said:

“Heavy cabin baggage is an innovative service and we see that it is continuing to grow in popularity. So far, the service has been growing by around 10% every week in volume terms, showing that our passengers appreciate the product.”

The generous hand luggage policies of airlines like airBaltic are a stark contrast to those of Ryanair, which has a reputation for excessive fines for hand luggage which exceeds weight limits.