Home > Air Berlin, Baggage allowance, British Airways, Tips and hints > Low cost airlines’ baggage policy: Hand-baggage

Low cost airlines’ baggage policy: Hand-baggage

January 11th, 2011


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Hi there. Today we have a somewhat different twist on the issue of baggage policy. Usually we look into the allowances and restrictions of various low-cost airlines and traditional carriers. Today we would like to discuss briefly the matter of hand-baggage in general.

The common rules

We realize that such rules vary from carrier to carrier but at the same time there are some essential rules valid by and large everywhere. One is usually allowed to take one piece of hand-baggage on board and it is suggested that one takes on board just the items one really needs during the flight or things too fragile or valuable for them to be stowed in the aircraft hold. But these days most of us who travel with low-cost airlines tries to make the best use of the allowances in a bid to avoid paying the checked-in baggage fees.

Maximum dimensions

The general rule set up by IATA states that an individual piece should not exceed the length of 22 in/56 cm, width of 18 in/46 cm and depth of 10 in/25 cm. All together it makes up 110 cm. Attention! It does include the external parts, such as wheels. This rule is more of a guideline though and therefore we suggest you always get acquainted with the policy of the airline in question.


The weight allowance can range from as little as 6kg/13 pounds (Air Berlin) to 10 kg/22 pounds. Low limits referrers mainly to low-cost carries – e.g. the traditional British Airlines is as generous as to set up only  one restriction – as long as your hand-baggage can be put into the overhead compartment, you are allowed to have it on board.

How many pieces?

Again, every airline has got its own take on this subject. Mostly you are permitted to have one piece of baggage but very often you can take a number of items like electronic devices or umbrellas in addition to that. Unfortunately in an attempt to rip off its passengers, some carriers are applying the strict version of the one item rule allowing for no exceptions save for the clothing one is wearing.

Weapon and other forbidden items

Enlisting the forbidden items may seem like stating the obvious except we constantly see passengers breaking the most obvious rules both in terms of baggage policy and other regulations. So remember about that

- Only a limited amount of liquid (3 ounces/100 ml or less), creams and gels can be carried in a passenger’s hand luggage on flights in the EU/EEA. All liquids must be contained in a resealable clear plastic bag.

- No items which can pose any kind of threat are allowed on board (weapons or imitations thereof, scissors and other sharp objects, clubs and other sport utilities as well as inflammable items).

Interested to learn more? Have a look at our previous articles in this series. The baggage policy of various carriers:

European airlines

Air Berlin, Baggage allowance, British Airways, Tips and hints

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