Luggage allowances on domestic and international flights

We’ve all seen that person at the airport; laden down with bags, boxes, suitcases, briefcases, packets, sporting equipment – everything but the kitchen sink as the saying goes! Standing behind that person at the baggage check-in queue can be painful as they take an absolute age to check in all their items and then start arguing with the airline staff about excess baggage fees…

Image by © nongpimmy on Freedigitalphotos.net

Some of us are even unfortunate enough to have been that person at the airport. So to avoid being that person on your next travel expedition – whether it’s business or corporate travel – we’ve put together a list of things you should know about luggage allowances on domestic and international flights!

How many baggage items can you transport in the hold? What is the weight limit for each baggage item? Which items can you bring with you? Find all the information you need to prepare your baggage to check in for your next business trip with ease…

Carry-on luggage allowance

  • Each passenger is permitted to carry on board one bag plus one item of a personal nature.
  • This item of a personal nature can include items such as your coat, camera bag, laptop bag etc. and must not weigh more than 8kg.
  • All of your carry-on luggage must fit in the overhead bin, or under the seat in front of you.
  • The bag that you bring on board the plane must not weigh more than 8kg (18lb) and must not exceed maximum dimensions of 45 linear inches, or 115cm (length + width + height).

What counts as an “item of a personal nature”?

  • Handbag, pocket book, or purse
  • Overcoat, wrap, or blanket
  • Umbrella or walking stick
  • Small camera and/or binoculars
  • A reasonable amount of reading matter for the flight
  • Collapsible wheelchair or crutches
  • Braces or prosthetic devices (provided the passenger is dependent on them)
  • Briefcase or portable PC.

Checked-in luggage allowance

  • Some airlines have a “piece quota per passenger” policy, while others have a total weight quota, per person.
  • Your overall luggage allowance can differ per airline and according to ticket class. Most business class tickets afford passengers an additional 10kg allowance. Check your flight’s baggage conditions (usually included with your ticket and flight information for specifics)
  • Luggage allowances cannot be shared between two or more people travelling together. So, for instance, if you’re travelling with a business partner, you cannot have one piece of luggage weighing 32kg for the two of you – even though you might have an individual allowance of 20kg each.
  • Image by © franky242 on Freedigitalphotos.net

    Generally speaking, you can check in two items per person, neither of which may weigh more than 20kg on their own or collectively.

  • Baggage restrictions differ for international routes and destinations, so please check with your carrier for their rules and requirements.

Excess baggage?

For the most frequently flown domestic airlines and their economy class allocations, here’s a quick, rough weight allocation guide.  Please check your flight carrier’s baggage conditions to be 100% sure though:

So what do you do if you’ve packed more than you’re allowed? If you’re permitted to check in the excess baggage, you’ll be charged a “heavy bag fee”, which could be a flat per-item rate, or a per-kilogram rate. You can also elect to unpack any bag, and leave the items behind with a friend or family member.

Top tip: investing in a luggage set consisting of a medium-sized suitcase (preferably of the roller-wheel variety for ease of mobility) as well as one small suitcase will help to ensure that you don’t have room to over pack!

 

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