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Hand luggage allowances on EU airlines

13th March 2016
Hand luggage allowances

Do you remember the story of the boyband singer (James McElvar) who collapsed with heat exhaustion on an easyJet flight after wearing TWELVE layers of clothes to avoid the excess luggage fee?

Unfortunately, some people take drastic measures to avoid paying the fee for extra baggage. And it’s no surprise – some charges are so exorbitant that you’d probably need to max out the credit card to pay them.

But while hold luggage regulations are pretty straightforward, hand luggage restrictions vary enormously between carriers – and seem to change all the time, making it very confusing.

To avoid further confusion (and fees!), Claim Flights has put together a definitive list of EU airlines’ hand luggage allowances (below), as well as information for passengers on what can and cannot be carried onto the aircraft…

Hand luggage allowances on eu airlines

Aeroflot
55x40x20
10kg
No accessory

Air Berlin
55x40x23
8kg
Laptop case, handbag

Air France
55x35x25
12kg
1 accessory

British Airways
56x45x25
23kg
1 accessory

 easyJet
56x45x25
Unlimited
No accessory

Flybe
55x40x23
10kg
No accessory

GermanWings
55x40x23
8kg
No accessory

Iberia
56x45x25
Unlimited
1 bag + 1 accessory

Jet2
56x45x25
10kg
No accessory

KLM
55x35x25
12kg
1 cabin, 1 accessory

Lufthansa
55x40x23
8kg
1 cabin, 1 accessory

Norwegian
55x40x23
10kg
1 cabin, 1 accessory

Ryan Air
55x40x20
10kg
1 cabin, 1 accessory

Scandinavian Airlines
55x40x23
8kg
1 cabin, 1 accessory

Thomas Cook
55x40x20
6kg
1 cabin, 1 accessory

Transaero
55x40x20
8kg
No accessory

Volotea
55x40x20
10kg
1 cabin, 1 accessory

Vueling
55x40x20
10kg
No accessory

Travelling with hand luggage has its benefits. For a start, it’s quicker as there is no need to join a check-in queue on departure or wait for it on arrival at the luggage carousel.

It’s also safer for you to keep your high value items, laptops, tablets, jewellery etc with you. You can also spread the weight of the luggage you are carrying between your hold and hand luggage meaning that you’re less likely to pay those bothersome excess weight charges.

Hand luggage top tips:

  • Be aware of any hand luggage restrictions on connecting flights. For example, easyJet will allow you unlimited weight on your hand luggage but if you’re connecting flight is Thomas Cook, you would only be allowed up to 6kg with one accessory.
  • Remember to check the allowed sizes for hand luggage. It may be that you have to buy a new bag to accommodate the size restrictions!
  • Unfortunately it’s not just about the weight and size of your hand luggage anymore. According to www.gov.uk/hand-luggage-restrictions/overview there are also other restrictions to consider, especially concerning the amount of liquids you can take in your hand luggage.
  • Countries outside of the EU may have different rules on carrying liquids. You should check these rules before travelling.
  • Liquids include all drinks (including water); liquid or semi-liquid foods, eg soup, jam, honey and syrups; cosmetics and toiletries, including creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, mascara and lip gloss; sprays, including shaving foam, hairspray and spray deodorants; pastes, including toothpaste; gels, including hair and shower gel; contact lens solution; any other solutions and items of similar consistency.

Also, if you do take liquids in your hand luggage:

– Containers must hold no more than 100ml
– Containers must be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm
– Contents must fit comfortably inside the bag so it can be sealed
– The bag must not be knotted or tied at the top
– You’re limited to 1 plastic bag per person
– You must show the bag at the airport security point

Top tips for travelling with hand luggage

  • Check your airline’s restrictions on both size and weight of hand luggage and don’t forget to check for connecting flights too.
  • Laptops, tablets, mobile phones and other electrical devices add to weight – is it possible to combine all the data you’ll need onto one device.
  • Use a soft, cloth type bag for hand luggage as these tend to weigh less
  • Some airports, such as Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester, allow you to buy from duty-free and collect your goods when you return, meaning that you never have to travel with the items you buy.
  • If you do have hand luggage that is over the limit, it’s highly possible that you will be charged. Always pre-book any excess luggage with the airline before you travel as this could save you 50% or more than paying at the gate.


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10 comments

Mandi 19th August 2017 at 9:06 pm

Brilliant post with great information, it will probably be a little while before I get to go on a plane, so I hope it doesn’t change too drastically!!

Reply
LaurettaCWright 19th August 2017 at 9:35 pm

Ha ha! Thanks Mandi…if they do change, let’s hope it’s for the better! 🙂

Reply
Kacie 11th July 2017 at 2:14 pm

I flew with Balkan Airlines for the first time recently and I was shocked to discover that their baggage allowance is only 5kg.

Reply
LaurettaCWright 11th July 2017 at 2:18 pm

That’s crazy! You’d have to be the size of a child to pack for a week on 5kg!

Reply
Whitney Abigail 18th June 2017 at 8:58 am

Thanks for this list, I went away the other month and was surprise that hand luggage rules are different for different airlines x

Reply
LaurettaCWright 18th June 2017 at 9:58 am

Thanks Whitney – glad it was of use!

Reply
Klitos Kyriacou 26th March 2016 at 9:07 am

If you take a laptop or other expensive items in your hand luggage, be aware that some airlines may take your hand luggage from you at the departure gate and put it in the hold, if they run out of room in the overhead lockers. There is no charge for this, but obviously you’ll be worrying about the safety of your laptop etc as hand luggage is often not as secure as hold luggage. This happens more often than you might think, especially on airlines that charge a lot for hold luggage. There just isn’t enough room in the overhead lockers for every passenger’s luggage. It happened to me a couple of weeks ago on a Monarch flight. So my advice is take a small lock for your hand luggage even if you don’t intend to use it.

Reply
admin 26th March 2016 at 12:42 pm

Thanks for this – really insightful – and a handy warning to others!

Reply
Tania O'Donnell 15th March 2016 at 8:13 am

This is so handy since we booked tickets with only hand luggage on our Alitalia flight next week. They only allow 8kg each so I’m panicking a bit, but also really happy that we won’t be waiting around at carousels etc. Should be a speedy trip through customs and out the other end. 🙂

Reply
admin 15th March 2016 at 10:01 am

Good luck on the trip Tania and thanks for the feedback!

Reply

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