It is important to familiarise yourself with your airline’s baggage allowance each time before you travel. Not only do the rules change regularly, they also differ between airlines.
Free baggage allowance is more or less a thing of the past. Nowadays, most items of luggage incur a charge. Checked-in baggage is never free these days. With some airlines, a certain allowance might be included in the price if you choose a more expensive ticket, which often also comes with other, additional privileges, e.g. priority boarding. Hand luggage used to be free, however, in recent years, many airlines have started charging for larger hand luggage items.
Each airline has different hand luggage rules. How much luggage you are permitted to take on board might also depend on the type of ticket you have purchased with your airline. Some airlines place weight restrictions on hand luggage, while others are only concerned with dimensions.
If you turn up at the gate with more hand luggage or larger bags than permitted, you will be required to check these bags in as hold luggage against a fee. This can be costly, as airlines tend to charge far higher prices for luggage allowance that is purchased at the airport rather than when booked in advance.
In order to avoid any unnecessary stress and expenses, it is therefore important to check that your hand luggage falls within the weight limit and dimensions stipulated by your airline and by the type of ticket you have purchased. Please remember, that the handles and wheels are included in the measurement.
If your hand luggage is too big to fit under the seat, there is a chance that you may still be asked to put it in the hold, even if it adheres to the airline’s regulations. This tends to happen on busy flights if there is insufficient space in the overhead lockers. In this event, you will not be charged for placing your luggage in the hold. However, it might be worth considering beforehand whether there are any items in your hand luggage you want to keep with you during your flight. It is a good idea to have these within easy reach to allow you to remove them quickly prior to handing your bag over to the airline staff.
Do keep in mind that it is not permitted to carry liquids of more than 100ml in your hand luggage. This includes sun cream, body lotion, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. Sharp objects, like knives, corkscrews, scissors, etc will not be allowed in your hand luggage and must be packed in your hold luggage. If you are unsure about the type of items you can carry in your hand luggage, please also see our page EU cabin regulations.
Hold luggage refers to the bags that you check in at your airline ticket counter and that are stored in the hold of the plane. As with hand luggage, each airline has limits on hold luggage. These can differ, depending on your airline, the type of ticket, and the luggage allowance you have purchased when booking. It is a good idea to check this carefully and to weigh your bags before leaving for the airport. Should the weight of your suitcase exceed the airline’s or your purchased allowance, you will be charged an excess baggage fee, which can be very expensive.
If you are travelling with children, please see our page on bringing car seats, booster seats and push chairs. See here for information on bringing your bicycle. Or you may wish to know more about travelling with your wheelchair.