Airline Luggage and Cabin Baggage Rules

Travelling by air often brings the excitement of new destinations, but it also comes with the need to navigate the maze of airline luggage and baggage rules.

Whether you’re a frequent flyer or a holiday traveller, understanding these guidelines is crucial for a smooth travel experience. This page provides a comprehensive overview of the essential baggage rules you need to know.

Why Knowing the Rules Matters

Airlines enforce specific rules regarding the weight and dimensions of both checked and cabin baggage to ensure safety and efficiency. Familiarising yourself with these regulations can save you from unexpected fees and potential travel hassles.

Key Rules for Checked Luggage

  1. Max Weight: Most airlines set a maximum weight for checked luggage, typically ranging from 20kg to 32kg per bag. Exceeding this limit often incurs additional charges.
  2. Dimensions: The sum of the length, width, and height of checked luggage usually must not exceed 158cm. Oversized luggage can attract extra fees and may require special handling.
  3. Item Restrictions: Certain items, such as hazardous materials, may be restricted or banned entirely from checked luggage. Always check the airline’s specific list of prohibited items.

Key Rules for Cabin Baggage

  1. Weight Limits: Cabin baggage weight limits generally range between 7kg to 12kg, depending on the airline. Make sure your carry-on adheres to these limits to avoid having to check it in at the gate.
  2. Dimensions: Common size restrictions for cabin baggage are around 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Always verify the exact dimensions allowed by your airline.
  3. Personal Items: In addition to your main cabin bag, many airlines allow a personal item such as a handbag, laptop bag, or briefcase. This item must fit under the seat in front of you.

Tips for Hassle-Free Luggage Management

  1. Weigh Your Bags at Home: Use a luggage scale to verify the weight of your bags before heading to the airport. This helps avoid surprise fees at check-in.
  2. Use a Measuring Tape: Confirm your bags meet the dimension requirements to ensure they fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat. The permitted dimensions usually include the wheels and handles.
  3. Pack Smartly: Distribute weight evenly and avoid packing prohibited items. Check your airline’s website for specific guidelines about electronics, liquids, and other restricted items.
  4. Label Your Bags: Ensure your contact details are clearly labelled on your luggage to help in case it gets lost.
  5. Check for Updates: Airline policies can change. Always check the latest luggage rules on the airline’s official website before your trip.

Popular Airlines’ Baggage Policies

Here’s a quick overview of baggage policies from some popular airlines:

British Airways

  • Checked Luggage: Maximum weight of 32kg per bag; maximum dimensions of 90cm x 75cm x 43cm.
  • Cabin Baggage: One carry-on up to 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, plus one personal item.


  • Checked Luggage: Options for 20kg per bag; dimensions should not exceed 81cm x 119cm x 119cm.
  • Cabin Baggage: One small bag up to 40cm x 20cm x 25cm included with the ticket; larger cabin bags available for purchase up to a max size of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm.


  • Checked Luggage: Up to 23kg per bag; oversized bags incur additional fees.
  • Cabin Baggage: One free cabin bag up to 56cm x 45cm x 25cm; no weight limit but must fit within the sizer.


Understanding airline luggage rules is essential for a stress-free travel experience. By keeping an eye on weight and dimension limits for both checked and cabin baggage, and staying updated on the latest airline policies, you can avoid unnecessary fees and delays. Whether you’re a frequent flyer or an occasional holiday traveller, being prepared ensures your journey is as smooth as possible.

For more detailed information, always refer to your airline’s official website and stay informed about any changes to their policies.


Cloud Claims

86-90 Paul Street
London EC2A 4NE

Contact Us