What is a baggage allowance?
A baggage allowance, also known as a baggage policy, is the baggage restriction per passenger on a flight. Each airline sets their own baggage allowance, with restrictions on size, weight and amount of pieces for both checked luggage and hand luggage. Airlines set different restrictions depending on ticket class, type of ticket, passenger status and the origin and destination of the flight.
What are the most important parts of a baggage allowance?
Each allowance contains different size and weight restrictions, as well as potential fees. The following points cover the most important things to know about a baggage allowance.
Checked baggage vs. carry-on luggage
Checked baggage and carry-on luggage each have their own policy, and each policy may have upgrade options at a cost. In some cases, both checked baggage and carry-on luggage are free of charge, but they can both incur an extra cost.
Piece Concept vs. Weight Concept
Airlines define policies based on a Piece or a Weight Concept.
A Piece Concept limits each bag to a certain weight. The weight limit depends on factors such as ticket class, passenger status and more.
A Weight Concept places a limit on the combined weight of a passenger’s baggage. Like the Piece Concept, the weight limit depends on factors such as ticket class, passenger status and more.
Size restrictions mainly apply to carry-on luggage, so it can fit into the overhead lockers. Carry-on luggage exceeding size restrictions are often put in the hold and may incur a cost.
Weight restrictions apply to both checked baggage and carry-on luggage. Checked baggage is weighed upon check-in, and carry-on luggage may be weighed prior to boarding.
Fees may be applied to checked luggage, and in some cases to carry-on luggage. Baggage that is over the weight and size restrictions may incur a cost.
Oversized and overweight luggage
Oversized luggage, such as sports equipment and musical instruments, is dealt with in a specific oversized luggage policy.
Where to find an airline’s baggage allowance
Airlines often have a standard outline of their baggage allowance on their website. However, allowances can vary, depending on the flight. During the booking process, websites display the allowance for your specific flight, with different upgrade options to choose from.
What are the standard baggage allowances?
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published recommended baggage allowances. However, these are guidelines and do not apply to all airlines. It is important to consult the specific policies of each airline prior to check-in.
Can I combine luggage if I’m traveling in a group?
Baggage allowances are on a per-passenger basis. For example, this means that one passenger cannot exceed their personal allowance if someone else in their group is under their weight restriction.
What does a 2pc baggage allowance mean?
A 2pc baggage allowance refers to a policy that allows 2 pieces of baggage.
Can I change my baggage allowance?
Most airlines offer the option of upgrading baggage allowance before the flight. Each airline stipulates their own allowance options and the period of time that upgrades are possible.