Airline Baggage Allowances
Airline baggage allowances are the amount of checked or carry-on luggage the airline will allow per passenger. On most airlines, this is the amount that is allowed free of charge.
Skip straight your airline baggage allowances:
"Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone?" Erma Bombeck
- Airlines have noticeably tightened up on enforcing their baggage allowances and charging for excess baggage.
- Check with your airline for their weight and size limitations and the number of pieces they will allow per cabin class passenger.
- Most international flights originating from the US will allow 2 pieces of checked baggage.
- Most flights that originate from outside the US have a weight limit for total checked baggage - 1 piece no more than 23kg/51lbs if you're traveling in economy, 2 pieces no more than 32kg/70lbs each for business and 3 pieces no more than 32kg/70lbs each for first class.
- If your luggage weighs more than your allowance, you'll be charged for each extra pound (or kilogram) over the limit. This is usually a percentage (about 1% - 2%) of the full fare per extra kg of weight, per flight.
- Excess baggage charges are per flight not per round ticket.
- The difference in baggage allowance policy between US airlines and most European or African airlines can have implications for onward domestic travel for US hunters. Most airlines will honour the original baggage weight allowance if the baggage is checked through. However, if you buy a separately ticketed domestic flight, you will usually be charged for excess baggage, if your 2 pieces weigh more than the allowed weight.
- The maximum size measurements of baggage are defined as the total number of inches (eg 45") - total length, width and height of the piece. Any reasonable size/shape of bag is fine as long as the total measurements don't exceed this number.
- As sporting equipment, firearms and ammunition are included in your free baggage allowance. However, if these items exceed the free weight/piece/size allowances, you will be charged for excess bagagge.
- Due to the stringent enforcement of checked baggage weight and size limitations, more passengers are trying to get away with bringing more cabin luggage. This in turn is causing airlines to get stricter with carry-on bags.
- Exercise caution when buying an 'airline-approved, carry-on' bag - the stated dimensions on a shop label are frequently the internal empty size and neglect the added dimensions of any wheel frames.
- Many airlines make passengers fit their carry-on bag into a size template - if you fail the test, the bag must be checked in.
- Assuming you get your legally-sized bag on board, you are still obliged to stow it correctly. If there is no stowage space left by the time you board, the bag will need to be checked-in. Make sure any carry-on baggage is robust and secure enough to go in the hold should the need arise.
- Some airlines allow the addition of a 'personal item' as cabin luggage. This may be something like a small handbag, laptop or small camera bag. Double check this with your airline as some do not permit this.
Handy Travel Luggage Scales
Don't get caught out and exceed your baggage allowance. These luggage scales are capable of weighing heavy baggage and some include a handy tape measure for checking suitcase dimensions. They are easy to read in either kilograms or pounds.
Air France Hand & Checked Baggage Regulations
Air Namibia Checked Baggage Regulations
Air Namibia Hand Baggage Regulations
American Airlines Checked Baggage Regulations
American Airlines Hand Baggage Regulations
British Airways Checked Baggage Regulations
British Airways Hand Baggage Regulations
Delta Checked Baggage Regulations
Delta Hand Baggage Regulations
Delta Airlines only allow 1 free piece
of checked luggage to Europe with a maximum weight of 50lbs. There is a surcharge of US$50 (if paid online) or US$55 (if paid for at the airport) for a 2nd piece of checked baggage. Delta flights to Africa allow 2 free pieces
which must comply with the weight and size restrictions.
Emirates Checked Baggage Regulations
Emirates Hand Baggage Regulations
Ethiopian Checked Baggage Regulations
Ethiopian Hand Baggage Regulations
Etihad Checked & Hand Baggage Regulations
Iberia Checked Baggage Regulations
Iberia Hand Baggage Regulations
KLM Checked & Hand Baggage Regulations
LAM Checked Baggage Regulations
LAM Hand Baggage Regulations
Lufthansa Checked Baggage Regulations
Lufthansa Hand Baggage Regulations
Qantas Checked Baggage Regulations
Qantas Hand Baggage Regulations
Qatar Airways Checked & Hand Baggage Regulations
South African Airways
South African Airways Checked Baggage Regulations
South African Airways Hand Baggage Regulations
South African Airways will now allow an additional piece of sporting equipment, not exceeding 23kg, free of charge per passenger. This includes firearms and ammunition, subject to correct transport and safety procedures being followed. Click here
for full details.
South African Airlink
South African Airlink Checked & Hand Baggage Regulations
South African Express
South African Express Checked & Hand Baggage Regulations
Swiss Checked Baggage Regulations
Swiss Hand Baggage Regulations
TAP Checked Baggage Regulations
TAP Hand Baggage Regulations
United Airlines Checked Baggage Regulations
United Airlines Hand Baggage Regulations
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