Your cabin luggage may be less than 7kg, but if it’s in multiple bags, it may not be allowed on board.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has asked airlines to strictly enforce rules restricting the number of bags allowed per person. “We had a meeting with the representatives of airlines and have told them to impose the rule. It takes more time to clear multiple baggage,” CISF DG OP Singh said.
As per the rule, each passenger is allowed one cabin bag (measuring about 25x35x55cm depending on the aircraft) weighing up to 7kg, besides a personal item like purse or laptop bag. However, officials say that passengers have a tendency to carry multiple baggages. The average number of bags carried in flight comes to 1.8 per passenger excluding laptop or purse, sources say.
The move follows an internal CISF report that most people carry two hand bags, other than a personal item, leading to delay in security check. “The throughout rate of X-ray machine is 300 bags per hour during ideal conditions. Since passengers carry more than one luggage, the clearance rate by CISF is almost double. This is a grave security risk. Ideal time to clear one passenger is 20 seconds but due to overload, we are barely able to give 5-7 seconds per passenger,” a CISF official said.
Over one lakh passengers use the Delhi airport every day. Around two years ago, the CISF had prepared an internal report ‘Speedy clearance at the cost of security’ following increasing congestion at terminal 1D of Delhi airport. The report stated that the space for frisking booth was inadequate and the conveyor belt to dispense luggage was too small.
“Airlines allow 7kg in hand baggage but they failed to impose one baggage rule. They often charge for extra weight but never charge for two or more baggages. Our staff is deployed keeping the rule in mind that passenger will carry one hand baggage. For optimum use of our staff, we need cooperation of airlines and passengers,” the official said.