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Restrictions (Baggage)

What are Restrictions (baggage)?

Restrictions are placed on both carry-on and checked baggage to help airlines effectively and safely transport the baggage of passengers. The restrictions achieve this by ensuring that passenger baggage meets strict standards around weight and dimensions. The policies vary from one airline to the next, so it’s important that passengers are informed.

What do the Restrictions cover?

Weight

The weight of baggage has to be carefully monitored to ensure that flights are safe. Checked baggage can generally be heavier, and passengers can transport all manner of oversized items like musical instruments, bicycles, and more. The weight allowed for checked baggage is generally in the region of 20kg to 32kg.

The weight of carry-on baggage is also measured by some airlines, mostly low-cost carriers. These restrictions ensure that passengers are adhering to the regulations created by the airline. This weight limit can generally vary from 5kg to 10kg.

If a passenger’s baggage is found to be over the weight restriction placed by the airline, the passenger could incur steep excess baggage fees. This system varies from one airline to the next, along with the size of the fees.

Dimensions

Airlines also monitor the dimensions of carry-on baggage. These bags have to fit within the overhead lockers on a plane, so oversized luggage is not permitted. The restrictions on size will vary from one airline to the next.

If a piece of carry-on baggage is over the size restrictions, some passengers may find that they have to check the baggage for an additional fee.

Are there established standards?

There are no established common standards when it comes to baggage restrictions. IATA offers the following recommendation, but airlines do not have to follow it:

Carry-on BaggageChecked Baggage
56x45x18cm158cm max dimension (height+width+length), 32kg per item

Passengers will find that most airlines adhere to these restrictions, but there will be a lot of variation. Given that non-compliance with these restrictions can result in additional allowances or fees, it is important that passengers carefully investigate the policy adopted by the airline that they are flying with.

Where can the baggage restrictions be found?

Airlines maintain a detailed list of baggage restrictions on their websites. Passengers will also be made aware of the restrictions when booking, so it’s important that corporate travelers are kept updated by Travel Managers.

Airline-baggage-fees.com is also a great resource to check the latest airline baggage restrictions.