Saturday, January 12, 2008

Airline Carry On Luggage Allowances

Baggage means "belongings" of a passenger travelling from one place to another. These allowances are not definitive but will give you a good general idea of the baggage allowances of most major airlines. International flights generally have the same size and weight allowances but may cut down on the number of pieces that can be checked. Also allowance variations can differ depending on the destination country. Please check with specific Airlines if you are close to any of these limits

Increased Security Measures

Baggage rules can be complicated, and what is shown is a simplification and may not apply to your particular flight. For the absolutely most accurate information, you should phone the airline and get exact confirmation of your luggage entitlements before your flight.

Airline Baggage Rules

These are generalizations of many different airline's specific travel baggage allowances and limitations. Please check with the Airline Websites about specific airlines and flights if you are close to any of these limits. Most airlines will allow oversize or overweight baggage or additional baggage for an additional fee which varies depending on the situation.

Each airline has different requirements and may change their policies without notice. Airline Passengers should also note that the airline has the right to modify its rules at any time. Air travelers should never assume that the aircraft they are flying on a given flight will have sufficient storage space onboard to accommodate all the carry-on baggage passengers may want to carry onboard. In these instances, the airline may not allow its passengers to carry the maximum number of pieces onboard. Also, remember not to overstuff your bag, the airlines will most likely ask you to check it.

Domestic Flights US & Europe

Checked Bags: The general rule for domestic flights is you can check 3 bags and carry-on none, check 2 bags and carry-on one, or check one bag and carry-on two. The checked bags cannot exceed 50 or 70 pounds per bag (Airline Websites), and the dimensions cannot exceed 45" x 55" x 62" for the largest bag. The second largest bag cannot have a dimension that exceeds 55", and the third checked bag cannot exceed 45" or checked baggage should generally not exceed a linear dimension (length+width+height) of 62".

Carry on Bags

Is Your Carry-On Bag Legal?

Many luggage stores sell suitcases described as 'carry-on', but these suitcases are sometimes larger than the size most airlines will accept.

The safe maximum size is 45", in the form of a 22" x 14" x 9" bag. Some airlines allow up to as much as 55", but most do not.

Carry on baggage must fit under the seat or in an overhead compartment. The total weight of all the carry-on bags combined cannot exceed 40 pounds on some airlines, but others allow a single bag to weigh up to 50 pounds. The maximum allowable dimensions are 22" x 9" x 14". A briefcase is considered one carry-on bag, but a normal sized woman's purse is not. Some airlines allow coach class/economy travelers only one carry on bag.

A word of caution Wheeled suitcases with telescoping handles are very popular today, particularly in the carry-on type. You may be asked to check these pieces, on certain flights, because there may not be enough room on the plane for everyone to bring on this type of baggage. Briefcases and garment bags are generally considered carry on pieces.

Carry on Luggage Size Problems

So you get on board with your large but legal sized carry on item. However, what happens if there is no space remaining in any of the overhead bins, and you're forced to place it under the seat in front of you?


Although your carry on item might be within the size guidelines issued by the airline, that does not guarantee it will fit under the seat in front of you! It seems that the space under the seat in front of you is getting smaller and smaller, particularly with some airlines (most notably on international flights) adding more seats and bulky electronic boxes under each seat to control the at-seat video entertainment systems... with more closely spaced seats that are, themselves, thinner than before.

Even if there isn't a blocking box, due to the design of the seat frame and supports, you'll find there might be the least amount of space under the aisle seat, a bit more space under the wing seat, and most space underneath the center seat. At last - something good to say about getting stuck in a middle seat!

Even if, in theory, your bag could fit under the seat in front, you might find the geometry of the space and angles is such that you can't manage to fit the bag into the space.

For many reasons - your own convenience, and courtesy to fellow passengers, we recommend you focus more on bringing the smallest carry-on you truly need rather than the largest carry-on with you!

International Flights

International flights generally have the same size and weight allowances but may cut down on the number of pieces that can be checked. International baggage weight allowance can differ depending on the destination country. Check with the specific Airline Websites for more information.

Checked Bags 2 pieces, maximum weight of 50 or 70 pounds per bag (Airline Websites). The largest piece of luggage cannot exceed 62" in any dimension, and the second piece of luggage cannot exceed 55" in any dimension.

Carry on Bags Some U.S. carriers allow 2 bags weighing up to 50 pounds per bag (some less), and not to exceed 22" x 9" x 14". Airlines based outside of North America may only allow one carry-on bag not to exceed 11 pounds and 22" x 9" x 14".

Note: Slight Difference will be there between Business Class, First Class and Economy Class.

Damaged Luggage:

Airlines have been known in the past to damage pieces of luggage, perhaps it has happened to you. In the past, generally speaking, airlines have paid for repairs to most types of damage to luggage. Today things are changing and airlines are becoming stricter in enforcing the policies regarding the types of damage they are responsible for.
  • Things airlines will not cover include: normal wear and tear, minor cuts, scratches, dents, or soiling/loss or damage to parts protruding from the case (e.g. wheels, feet, pull-handles, flaps, pull-straps)/damage resulting from oversized or over-packed bags/manufacturer defects.
  • Airline personnel are not always uniform in enforcing their baggage damage policies. It is best to check over your baggage upon pickup and make a claim with the airline immediately with regard to any damage you may notice.
  • Most airlines will not accept damage claims unless they are made within a reasonable time frame.

Airlines have greatly improved upon the ways in which they handle passenger luggage in recent years. The majority of damage occurs with poorly constructed bags which literally break, tear, and fall apart through normal usage and handling. For many years airlines have been responsible for much of this damage, but recent changes have allowed the airlines, legally, not to accept responsibility for much of this damage. Therefore, it is important that you own our well constructed luggage.

Luggage Precautions:

Before departure, itemize your bags' contents and their worth, and label the bags with your name, address, and phone number. (If you use your home address, cover it so that potential thieves can't see it readily.) Inside each bag, pack a copy of your itinerary. At check-in, make sure that each bag is correctly tagged with the destination airport's three-letter code. If your bags arrive damaged or fail to arrive at all, file a written report with the airline before leaving the airport.

General Notice Of Baggage Liability Limitations:

Liability for loss, delay, or damage to baggage is limited unless a higher value is declared in advance and additional charges are paid. For most international travel (including domestic portions of international journeys) liability for loss, delay, or damage to baggage is limited to approximately $9.07 per pound ($20.00 per kilogram) for checked baggage and $400 per passenger for unchecked baggage. For travel wholly within U.S. points, federal rules require any limit on an airline's baggage liability to be at least $1250 per passenger for aircraft having less than 61 seats, and $2500 per passenger for all other aircraft. Excess valuation may be declared on certain types of valuable articles. Carriers assume no liability for fragile, valuable or perishable articles. Further information may be obtained from the carrier.