Everything You Need to Know About Airline Carry-on and Luggage Size Restrictions

Everything You Need to Know About Airline Carry-on and Luggage Size Restrictions

Many of us fly frequently for work or fun. But it’s not easy to understand the rules for how big and heavy our bags can be. In this complete guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about airline baggage limits to help you get ready for your next trip.

Understanding Airline Baggage Policies


Each airline has its unique baggage policies, so it's crucial to be aware of the specific rules set by the airline you're travelling with. Here's a breakdown of what you need to know:


What is the maximum size of a cabin suitcase according to the airlines?


The size of your carry-on bag must fit certain measurements, which may change depending on the airline. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the average size limits for cabin bags are up to 56 cm x 45 cm x 25 cm, with handles and wheels included. They usually can’t weigh more than 10 kg.


Let's take a look at the approved cabin baggage dimensions for major airlines serving France and Europe:


- Air France: Cabin baggage should measure 55 x 35 x 25 cm, with a maximum weight of 12 kg.

- EasyJet: The dimensions are 56 x 45 x 25 cm, with a weight limit of 15 kg.


- French Bee: Cabin baggage should be 55 x 40 x 20 cm and weigh no more than 12 kg.


- KLM: Dimensions are 55 x 40 x 23 cm, with a maximum weight of 10 kg. Additionally, a handbag measuring 43 x 23 x 16 cm is allowed.


- Ryanair: The dimensions are 55 x 40 x 20 cm, and the weight should not exceed 10 kg. There's also a small bag allowance of 40 x 25 x 20 cm.


- Transavia: Cabin baggage should measure 55 x 35 x 25 cm and weigh no more than 10 kg. A small bag of 40 x 30 x 20 cm is permitted.


- Volotea: The approved dimensions are 55 x 40 x 20 cm, with a maximum weight of 10 kg. You can also carry a bigger bag measuring 40 x 30 x 20 cm.


- Vueling: Cabin baggage should measure 55 x 40 x 20 cm, with a weight limit of 10 kg. Additionally, a small bag measuring 40 x 30 x 20 cm is allowed.


You might have to check in your cabin bag if it’s too big or heavy, which could cost you more money depending on the airline. Some airlines, like Air France, may not ask for more, but others could charge you from €25 at Vueling to €58 at EasyJet.


 What products are not authorised in the cabin?


It's essential to be aware that not all items are allowed in your cabin luggage. Currently, regulations limit the transport of liquids to containers not exceeding 100 ml. Exceptions are made for medicines accompanied by prescriptions and baby food. Blades, sharp objects like nail clippers or scissors, tools, chemical or flammable products, and firearms are also prohibited in the cabin.


When travelling outside of Europe, it's advisable not to carry food in your cabin baggage to avoid potential confiscation. Some countries have stringent regulations regarding the importation of meat, eggs, milk, seeds, plants, and more.


For flights to the United States, carrying powdered products in quantities greater than 350 ml in the cabin is prohibited, except for baby food or prescription medications.


 Do I need a prescription to take my medication in the cabin?


While travelling with a first aid kit in your cabin luggage is acceptable, specific conditions must be met. For liquid medications or treatments requiring needles, syringes, or injection pens, a medical prescription is necessary. This prescription should include the precise names of the medications and the patient's name for whom they are intended.


In the case of solid drugs such as tablets and capsules, there typically are no restrictions. However, be aware that some medications permitted in France may be prohibited in other countries. Before travelling, it's advisable to check the website of the embassy of the destination country to avoid any issues at customs. Additionally, if you're carrying prescription medications, consider having the prescription translated into English.


Lastly, it's essential to carry your medications in their original packaging along with their usage instructions.


All About Hand Luggage and Checked Baggage


 Hand Luggage: General Rules


Hand luggage, often comprising both carry-on baggage and a personal item, is typically the luggage you can take on board the aircraft. However, the rules regarding hand luggage can vary among airlines. Here's what you should know:


- General Rules for Hand Luggage: Hand luggage usually includes a carry-on bag and a personal item. The personal item must fit under the seat in front of you and is generally smaller than your main carry-on. Some airlines may permit only one of these items, so check with your specific carrier for clarification.


- Dimensions and Weight Restrictions: Airlines set strict rules for hand luggage due to weight and space limitations on the aircraft. Dimensions and maximum weight limits may vary between airlines, so it's crucial to consult your airline's website to determine the size and quantity allowed. On average, standard cabin baggage dimensions are around 55 x 40 x 20 cm.


- Liquids: You can carry limited liquids in your hand luggage, typically in containers of no more than 100 ml each. These liquids should be placed in a transparent, resealable plastic bag with a maximum capacity of one litre.


 Checked Baggage Rules


Checked baggage is bigger luggage that goes in the plane’s storage area. Some shorter flights and some airlines may make you pay more for checked luggage, even if many international flights don’t. The usual rules for checked baggage are these:


  • Weight Restrictions: The maximum weight limit for checked baggage is usually around 23 kg per suitcase, although it can vary depending on your airline and ticket type. Some premium tickets may allow up to 30 kg per suitcase.


  • Number of Suitcases: The number of suitcases you can check in depends on your airline, ticket, and route. Airlines typically specify a maximum number of bags allowed, and excess baggage fees may apply if you exceed this limit.


  • Booking Checked Baggage: You can usually book checked baggage when purchasing your ticket or even after booking your ticket. Be sure to consider your baggage needs before travelling, as booking checked baggage at the airport or after booking your ticket can be more expensive.


Unusual Baggage


Unusual baggage includes items that don't fit the typical luggage categories and may require special handling. unusual baggage include strollers, sports equipment, and musical instruments. Airlines often have specific solutions and fees for handling these items, so it's essential to check with your airline if you plan to travel with unusual baggage.


To sum up, knowing the rules for how big and heavy your bags can be is important for a smooth trip. Check your airline’s exact rules and regulations before you pack to prevent any problems during your travel. Have a good flight!


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