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.
- 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 - 20kg/44lbs if you're traveling in economy, 30kg/66lbs for business and 40kg/88lbs for first class.
- If your luggage weighs more than your allowance, you'll be charged for each extra pound (or kilogram) at exorbitant rates - 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 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 separate domestic flight, you will usually be charged for excess baggage, if your 2 pieces weigh more than the subscribed amount.
- 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. If these items exceed the free weight/piece/size allowances, you will be charged for excess bagagge.
- Note, 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.
- 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 camera. Double check this with your airline as some do not permit this.
Individual Airline Baggage Allowances
Click on a link below to go straight to the individual airline baggage allowances pages.