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Few experiences in the sky are as luxurious and memorable as Emirates first class. There’s made-to-order meals, motorized mini-bars, on-board showers and fine champagne. Oh, and you can check up to 50kg of baggage for no extra fee. For those who fly in the hundreds of economy seats, however, Emirates is about to put a squeeze on the amount of baggage you’re able to check gratis.

For tickets issued on or after Feb. 4, 2019, two types of economy fares will see their weight limits reduced by 5kg. It’s confusing enough that Emirates manages to market four kinds of economy tickets, and Special Economy tickets will see weight allowance shrink from 20kg to 15kg while Saver Economy tickets ratchet down from 30kg to 25kg.

The weight concept — which allows an unlimited quantity of bags until you reach the weight threshold — applies to all routes, excluding travel to and from destinations in the Americas and travel originating in Africa.

The piece concept applies to all routes to and from the Americas and flights originating in Africa. In this case, Special Economy is taking a hit by having its usual two pieces up to 23kg apiece reduced to one unless the journey originates in Africa.

Here’s a comparison with the other ME3 carriers operating in the Middle East.

  • Qatar Airways allows all economy class passengers two pieces of free checked baggage up to 23kg each for flights to/from Brazil, flights between Brazil and Argentina and all other flights to/from Argentina, Canada and the United States. Flights between Doha, Casablanca and Marrakech, along with flights originating from Africa, allow up to 45kg. Flights to/from all other destinations have a weight cap of 30kg.
  • Etihad Airways has a general policy to all destinations that allow 23kg of checked baggage for free on Economy Deal tickets, while Economy Saver and Classic tickets are allowed 30kg and Economy Flex is allowed 35kg.

If you’re flying Emirates in economy after Feb. 4, 2019, be sure to weigh your bags before getting to the airport to avoid any unexpected fees at the check-in counter.

All images by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.

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