The new rule hopes to stop overcrowding during the boarding process
Italy will be banning all hand luggage on national and international flights into the country as of July 26.
This new ban on carry-on baggage was announced on June 11 as part of the country’s latest emergency decree. At the time it seemed that only “large” trolley cases would be prohibited, with no mention of the use of overhead lockers.
The rule change was later clarified, however, by the National Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC), and Italian daily newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera, reported that the use of all overhead lockers for any type of luggage would be banned, in order to ensure the “health” of passengers.
There is a small loophole to the rule: small handbags and items that can be placed under the seat in front of you are allowed.
The measure is intended to prevent aisles becoming blocked – and creating crowds of passengers – during boarding and disembarking. The close proximity of passengers during this time is thought to be a potential opportunity for Covid-19 to spread and the Italian government is hoping to limit this.
Both long-haul and short-haul flights will have to abide by this rule.
Fortunately, ENAC has said that passengers would not need to pay a supplement to put their suitcases in the hold.
“Due to latest guidelines from the Italian aviation authority, the use of the overhead lockers will not be allowed anymore in any flights to, from and within Italy,” said easyJet, whose Italy routes include Venice, Milan and Palermo, in a statement, confirming they would be abiding by the new regulations.
As a result, easyJet passengers will be invited to drop their bags at the check in area and only allowed to take onboard small items that can be stored under the seat. The airline is also recommending that passengers allow extra time to get to the airport, as it’s expected the new rule will cause longer wait times for check in.
“Despite this being outside of our control, we apologise with passengers for any inconvenience this may cause,” added easyJet.
Over in Italy, the new rule has been welcomed by Italian consumer association Codacons, reported The Local, who believes it will help to “avoid the chaos” associated with people putting their overhead bags away – something many travellers can attest to.
“In this area, the Italians are among the most unruly travellers in Europe, causing delays and queues, which today would fuel the risk of contagion,” the association added.
Despite this recent addition, a number of other flight rules have recently been dropped by Italy, including social distancing on planes and the requirement that passengers be seated at least a metre apart. As long as the plane is equipped with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, planes coming in and out of Italy can now run at full capacity.