Don’t you hate it when you’re excitedly counting down the days until your holiday and you realise that you have no idea what your luggage allowances are on your flights? What size? How heavy? How many bags? Do I even have a case? What can I pack? What are the item and liquid restrictions? Urgh!

Well, take a look at the tables below to save yourself a whole lot of stress at check in and when boarding – especially so you can avoid those nasty excess baggage charges!

Please note that this information is based on standard economy flights to and from Europe, and are per person, per flight.

Cabin baggage

Airline Allowance Max. Dimensions Max. Weight
Aer Lingus 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item Overall dimension 115cm 10kg
Aeroflot 1 cabin bag 55cm x 40cm x 24cm 10kg
Air Asia 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item cabin bag: 56cm x 36cm x 23cm personal item: 40cm x 30cm x 10cm 7kg
Air France 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item cabin bag: 55cm x 35cm x 25cmpersonal item: 40cm x 35cm x 15cm 12kg
British Airways 1 cabin bag + 1 handbag/laptop bag cabin bag: 56cm x 45cm x 25cm handbag/laptop bag: 45cm x 36cm x 20cm 23kg per bag
Delta 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 56cm x 35cm x 23cm No weight restriction*
easyJet 1 cabin bag 56cm x 45cm x 25cm inc. handles/wheels No weight restriction
Emirates 1 cabin bag 55cm x 38cm x 20cm 7kg
Etihad Airways 1 cabin bag 40cm x 50cm x 25cm 7kg
Flybe 1 cabin bag + 1 small personal item 55cm x 35cm x 20cm 10kg
Jet2 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 56cm x 45cm x 25cm 10kg
KLM 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item cabin bag:55cm x 35cm x 25cm personal item: 40cm x 30cm x 15cm 12kg
Lufthansa 1 cabin bag 55cm x 40cm x 23cm 8kg
Monarch 1 cabin bag or 2 separate pieces of hand luggage 56cm x 40cm x 25cm 10kg
Norwegian 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 55cm x 40cm x 23cm 10kg
Qatar Airways 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 50cm x 37cm x 25cm 7kg
Ryanair 1 cabin bag + 1 small bag cabin bag: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm small bag: 35cm x 20cm x 20cm 10kg
Thomas Cook Airlines 1 cabin bag + 1 personal item 55cm x 40cm x 20cm 6kg
Thomson Airways 1 cabin bag 55 x 40 x 20cm 5kg
Turkish Airlines 1 cabin bag 55cm x 40cm x 23cm 8kg
Virgin Atlantic 1 cabin bag 56cm x 36cm x 23cm 10kg
Vueling Airlines 1 cabin bag + 1 smaller bag cabin bag: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm smaller bag: 35cm x 20cm x 20cm 10kg
Wizz Air 1 cabin bag 42cm x 32cm x 25cm 10kg
* Except for the following airports: Singapore (7kg), South Korea (10kg), Beijing (10kg) and Shanghai (10kg)
Personal items include handbag, briefcase, laptop computer, camera bag, crutches, umbrella, etc
Table correct as of 22 June 2017

Checked baggage

Airline Free baggage allowance Extra baggage charges Max. size and weight
Aer Lingus No free allowance €15-€65* per bag No size restriction 32kg per bag, or 40kg across 2 bags
Air France 1 bag free £21-£80 per bag 158cm total (length + width + height) 23kg per bag
British Airways 2 bags €50-€75 per bag on flights within Europe €70-€150 per bag on international flights 90 x 75 x 43cm 32kg per bag
Delta 1 bag free €23-€85 per bag, depending on route 157cm total 23kg per bag
easyJet No free allowance £13-£35 per bag 275cm total 20kg per bag
Emirates First 20kg-30kg free, depending on route Fees depend on route 10% discount online 300cm total 20-30kg
Etihad Airways 1-2 bags free depending on route $70-$120 2nd bag
$160 3rd bag
$195 extra 32kg bag 20% discount online
207cm total 23kg per bag
Flybe No free allowance €30-€73 per bag No size restriction 20kg per bag or 40kg total
Jet2 No free allowance £10-£45 per bag No size restriction22kg per bag
KLM 1-2 bags free, depending on route From €10.50 per bag online €55-€300 at airport 158cm total 23kg per bag
Lufthansa 1 bag free €75-€350 per extra 23kg €125-€450 for baggage 23kg-32kg 158cm total 23kg per bag
Monarch No free allowance €15-€50 per bag 81 x 119 x 119cm26kg or 40kg across 2 bags
Norwegian 1 bag free £7-£80 per bag, depending on route 300cm total32kg per bag
Qatar Airways First 30kg free $25-$70 per kg 300cm total 30kg per bag
Ryanair No free allowance £10-£40 per bag 81cm x 119cm x 119cm 15kg-20kg
Thomas Cook Airlines 15kg-20kg free, depending on route £15-£90 booked in advance £10 per kg at airport 158cm total 15kg-20kg
Thomson Airways 15kg-20kg free on package holidays From £15 on flight-only deals No size restriction 15kg-20kg
Turkish Airlines 2 bags free From €5 per kg, depending on route No size restriction 20kg per bag
Virgin Atlantic 1 bag free £65 2nd bag £140 per additional bag 90 x 75 x 43cm 23kg per bag
Vueling Airlines No free allowance €13-€35 for 1 bag €40-€70 for 2 or more bags No size restriction 23kg per bag

Cabin baggage restrictions

Ok, so now that you know what size your bags can be and how many you can take aboard the plane, what can you not actually take with you?

  • Wrapped gifts might be opened by security if they are in your hold luggage
  • Firearms, flares and explosive material, including replicas
  • Aerosols, fuels or flammable liquids, including lighter fluid, although one lighter is allowed on your person in the cabin on most airlines
  • Turpentine or paint thinner
  • Bleach
  • Spray paint

Liquids

Every time I go away I still ask the same questions about liquid restrictions. You can pretty much forget about your checked in luggage, that’s relatively worry-free. Just make sure any alcohol is under the following limits: 110 litres of beer, 90 litres of wine and 10 litres of spirits are allowed if you’re coming from within EU, or 16 litres of beer, four litres of wine (not sparkling) and one litre of spirits if travelling from outside the EU. But your hand luggage is where you need to be careful or you risk your perfumes, colognes, and makeup being thrown in the bin. According to the official rules from the UK Government on airline cabin baggage, the following liquids are restricted:

  • All drinks: including water
  • Liquid or semi-liquid foods: including 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: including other solutions and items of similar consistency

So, what are the rules exactly?

  • You must take no more than 100ml of any of the above liquids on a flight
  • Liquids must be placed into individual 100ml containers – larger containers, even if only partly full, are not usually accepted at security
  • All 100ml containers must fit into a clear, plastic bag no bigger than 20cm x 20cm
  • 1 bag per passenger.
  • The bag has to be able to close and be sealed – overstuffed plastic bags will not be accepted
  • The maximum amount of liquid in total that you can carry onto a flight is 1 litre
  • Bags must be shown at airport security

Wait, there’s more…

If you purchase any alcohol, perfume or other liquids whilst at duty-free or on the plane they are allowed in your carry on luggage in addition to your 20×20 bag. However, items must be unopened and sealed in an airport security bag accompanied by a receipt. You also need to watch out if you’ve got a plane transfer after your current flight as depending on whether you’re going to a different country, your items may be screened again subject to that country’s rules on liquids.

What about medication?

If you have to take essential medicines or topical skin creams when you travel, you can have them in your cabin baggage and they can be more than 100ml, providing you have either your prescription or a note from your doctor explaining why you need them. You must show them to staff as you go through security.

The following table outlines what medicines and medical equipment are allowed in your hand and/or hold luggage:

Item Is it allowed on board? Is it allowed in the hold?
Tablets and capsules Yes Yes
Liquid medicines Yes – if over 100ml must be screened successfully Yes
Hypodermic syringes Yes Yes
Inhalers Yes Yes
Cooling gel packs Yes – if screened successfully Yes
Medical equipment (including CPAP and TENS machines) Yes Yes

Baby milk and baby food

If you’re travelling with a baby or an infant, it’s inevitable they’re going to get hungry and you need that stuff to hand easily. You are permitted to bring with you as much milk and food as you need for your journey (which may be more than 100ml). You will need to show these items as you pass through security and containers of 4oz or more may be opened for inspection. If you’re packing powder alone to mix with water later – buy it in duty-free as tap water aboard the plane is not considered drinking water.

You can carry breast milk in hand luggage even if you’re not travelling with a baby. You can’t carry frozen breast milk in hand luggage.

Individual containers of breast milk must hold no more than 2,000ml. Each container will need to be screened at the security point. Airport staff might need to open the containers to screen the liquids.

Item Allowed in hand luggage? Allowed in hold luggage?
Breast milk Yes, in containers up to 2,000ml Yes
Frozen breast milk No Yes
Formula milk, cow’s milk, soya Yes (baby must be present) Yes
Sterilised water for the baby Yes (baby must be present) Yes
Soya milk for babies Yes (baby must be present) Yes
Baby food Yes (baby must be present) Yes
Cooling gel packs Yes Yes

Electronics

Restrictions on laptops and other large electronic devices in hand luggage have been introduced on some flights from the Middle East and North Africa and may be extended to flights from the UK to the US, but for now, you can still pack these items in your checked baggage. Read the full description on the laptop ban here. Otherwise, my cabin luggage is where I always put all of my necessary electronics such as my laptop, camera, chargers, speakers etc. I do this for additional peace of mind as I feel that if they’re expensive and precious they’re less likely to get broken in here than in checked luggage which can often get thrown and bashed about. Check out the table below for what tech is allowed to be kept where:

Item Allowed in hand luggage? Allowed in hold luggage?
Mobile phone Yes Yes
Laptop Yes Yes
Tablet devices Yes Yes
MP3 player Yes Yes
Hairdryer or straighteners Yes Yes
Travel iron Yes Yes
Electric shaver Yes Yes
E-cigarettes Yes No

You must put all phones, laptops, tablets and e-readers – and some accessories that can be used with them – in your hold luggage if they’re larger than any of these measurements:

  • 16cm in length
  • 9.3cm in width
  • 1.5cm in depth (thickness)

Make sure all of your electronics are charged before you travel as if they don’t switch on when requested, you won’t be allowed to take them with you onto the aircraft.

For any other items not listed in this post please go to www.gov.uk/hand-luggage-restrictions for more information.

Now that you’ve been filled in on luggage allowances and restrictions, why not check out our Packing Hacks blog to help you take all you need away with you on your travels?

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