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Malaysia Airlines introduces AR baggage scanner but it doesn’t work at all

[ UPDATE 11/30/2020 23:00 ]: Malaysia Airlines has removed the Baggage Scanner feature from its iOS app.


Travelling can be a stressful experience but you can avoid unnecessary surprises with early preparation. If you’re taking a flight with no free baggage allowance, Malaysia Airlines has introduced a new feature in its mobile app that supposedly lets you know if your carry-on bag will fit in the plane’s overhead bins.

The feature is called Baggage Scanner and according to Malaysia Airlines it is now available in its mobile app. At the time of writing, it seems to be available only on the iOS version as we couldn’t find the feature in the Android app.

The Baggage Scanner feature uses your smartphone’s camera and it utilises Augmented Reality to determine the size of your bag. Obviously, it helps if you have good lighting and you’ll need to scan your actual bag at various angles. According to the app, your phone might get warm and drain more battery if you use it for more than 300 seconds (5 minutes).

AR scanning is tricky to use

The instructions aren’t that clear and it looks like you’ll need to stand back to get a good view of your luggage. From the illustration, the luggage must be placed at an upright position and you’ll need to scan from a top angle.

When it detects your luggage, a pop-up will appear to show the distance and the size of the bounding box. You can resize and reposition the bounding box to match the footprint of your luggage and you’re not supposed to move the actual luggage while you’re scanning.

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It just doesn’t work at all

As you go along, you’ll see dots forming around your luggage but there’s no indication of the progress. You’ll just have to move your phone to capture as much details as possible. If you stop too soon, an error message will pop-up to prompt that the scan is incomplete and you can choose to continue scanning.

We’ve tried a number of times with a cabin compatible Xiaomi luggage, Greenroom 136 Rainmaker backpack and even a small box which we believe will definitely fit the space underneath the seat. Unfortunately, all items scanned returned the message “Sorry! Your baggage doesn’t meet cabin luggage size requirements.”

When you click on “More Information”, it leads to a page about Cabin Baggage. The page only mentions the permitted cabin luggage weight for economy and business class without any info on the actual dimensions which is equally as important. According to Malaysia Airlines, economy passengers can bring 1 cabin luggage not exceeding 7kg while business class passengers can bring up to 2 pieces and not exceeding 14kg in total.

According to AirAsia, the dimensions for cabin luggage for the overhead bin are 56cm x 36cm x 23cm, while the small luggage that can be kept under your seat must not exceed 30cm x 40cm x 10cm. If you’re not sure if your luggage can fit, probably it’s best that you use a measuring tape instead.


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Alexander Wong