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Airlines Baggage Policies & Fee

Unless you like spending your hard-earned money on baggage fees that you can avoid, then this piece of information is ideal for you. In today’s times, most airlines have started charging for everything from seat selections to seat reservations, meals, and much more. However, there is one thing you don’t want to be caught with is an overweight baggage fee. We are here to assist you with everything you need to know about the baggage policy of airlines and their fees so you can head to the airport stress-free. 

Checked Baggage

A piece of luggage that is compliant with the airline baggage policy during check-in, is stored in the cargo hold during the passenger’s flight journey. Many airlines charge fees depending on the number of bags the passenger has checked in and how much they weigh. A major US carrier, Southwest Airlines is the only air carrier that allows two free checked items of baggage. 

The Indian Air Travel Association (IATA) has set certain guidelines for baggage, depending on the airlines allowing checked baggage weight, size, and number. Each bag is required to weigh less than 50lbs (23kg) and not more than 158 cm. This is an international guideline set concerning the health and safety of airport workers who are required to lift hundreds of bags on an everyday basis. 

If a passenger’s bag weighs more than the required luggage weight, then they would be asked to repack or label it as ‘heavy luggage.’ Additionally, most airlines do not allow more than two checked baggage, so an individual must check with the airline prior to departure.

The reason baggage usually gets lost is because of the baggage label getting detached from the bag during loading and unloading luggage in cargo. To ensure the safety of your bag, you can stick a paper on the bag that includes your name, number, and email address. 

Checked Baggage Restrictions 

Most airlines recommend not packing valuables (jewelry) and electronic devices (laptops, phones) in checked baggage. One can carry these in the carry-on bag while remembering to keep all the electronic items switched off. It is prohibited to carry lighters, fireworks, bleaches in the checked baggage. Passengers must contact their respective airlines for packing restrictions for checked baggage.

Checked Baggage Size, Weight and Fee w.r.t Popular Airlines

Popular AirlinesChecked Bag SizeChecked Bag Weight1st Checked Bag Fee
Spirit Airlines80 inches40 lbs$35
Delta Airlines62 inches50 lbs$30
United Airlines62 inches50 lbs$35
Singapore Airlines62 inches66 lbsFree
Air India62 inches55 lbsFree
British Airways35.5 x 29.5 x 1650 lbsFree
Qatar Airways62 inches2 bags each of 50 lbsFree
American Airlines62 inches50 lbs$30
Lufthansa62 inches50 lbsFree
Emirates59 inches50 lbsFree
Etihad Airways90 x72 x 4530 kgFree
Air Canada62 inches50 lbs$30
Virgin Atlantic_______________
Air France62 inches50 lbs$65
Vistara Airlines

Carry-on Baggage 

A piece of baggage that the passenger will ‘carry on’ or hold in their hand while boarding the aircraft is called carry-on baggage. Many air carriers allow passengers to carry one free piece of carry-on luggage with a personal item such as a computer bag, or backpack. The average personal item size is 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm). 

The carry-on luggage size allowance depends on the respective airline, the cabin class you will be traveling with, and the size of the plane. The carry-on weight limit starts from 11lbs (5kg) and the international carry-on suitcase sizes can vary according to the airlines, so it is suggested that passengers must contact the respective airlines for the ideal carry-on size.

What to pack and not pack in carry-on baggage?

Carry On Luggage Dimensions and Fee w.r.t Popular Airlines

Popular AirlineFeeSize & Weight
Spirit Airlines$2618 x 14 x 8
Delta AirlinesFree22 x 14 x 9
United AirlinesFree22 x 14 x 9
Singapore AirlinesFree45 x 8 x 15, 15 lbs
Air IndiaFree22 x 14 x 8, 17 lbs
British AirwaysFree20 x 18 x 10, 51 lbs
Qatar AirwaysFree20 x 15 x 10, 15 lbs
American AirlinesFree22 x 14 x 9
LufthansaFree22 x 16 x 9, 17 lbs
EmiratesFree22 x 15 x 8, 15 lbs
Etihad AirwaysFree50 x40 x 21, 7 kg
Air CanadaFree9 x 15.5 x 21.5
Virgin Atlantic
Air FranceFree21 x 13 x 9, 26 lbs
Vistara Airlines

Checked vs Carry On Baggage

There are many factors involved while considering to opt for the right type of baggage. Here are a few factors that can help you decide which suitcase to pack for your next vacation.

Here are a few other factors that can help you in deciding which baggage is ideal. 

FactorsCarry On BaggageChecked Baggage
Duration of the JourneyThe shorter the trip, the smaller the bagExtra packing for a longer duration
Cost of the BaggageMostly free of costThe average price is $30
The capacity of the Baggage75 l110 l
Restrictions Strict limit on liquids, gels, aerosols, powdersNo limit as such. 
Storage on the PlaneMight be difficult to find overhead bin spaceWill be in the cargo
Baggage ClaimPassenger will carry it in handIf the luggage is not lost, it can be collected
EnvironmentThe lighter the luggage, the airlines will use lesser fuelThe heavier the luggage, fossil fuels will be burned more
Risk of Damaged TheftThe passenger is not away from the bagIt is loaded in the cargo

Both carry-on luggage and checked bags have pros and cons. Ultimately it completely depends on the type of trip the passenger is planning to take. However, with time the flyer would have a better understanding of how to pack for a trip. Whether you choose checked baggage or carry-on, ensure to travel efficiently with your luggage. 

Understanding Restrictions Set by Airlines for Checked and Carry-On Baggage

All airlines have certain packing restrictions that every passenger needs to adhere to. Major airlines like Delta Air Lines’ packing restrictions advise against packing flammable items, ready-to-eat meals, fuels, etc. American Airlines restrict on packing animal products like meat, cheese, sausages, etc. 

Excess Baggage

The cost associated with baggage that is heavier or larger than the standard luggage allowance by weight, size, and number of the luggage. Every airline has an additional baggage fee that charges for every kilo more than the allocated weight. Passengers are required to pay an excess baggage fee on top of the standard baggage allowance and this cost differs concerning the particular airline, flight route, airfare, class or cabin, and the flyer point. Excess baggage fees are incredibly expensive and can burn a hole in your wallet.

However, if the passenger is traveling with items they cannot pack in their bag like pets, vehicles, wheelchairs, or even musical instruments, they must consider contacting the airline beforehand. Every airline is required to operate under certain conditions of carriage. If the passenger fails to plan, then they can get charged with exorbitant international baggage fees at the airport or might be prohibited to travel with the item. 

Here are the following factors when you must get in touch with the airline to know its respective policies.

  1. Visit the veterinarian and acquire certification ensuring your pet is over eight weeks old, fit, and healthy to travel. Every airline discourages the use of anesthesia. 
  2. According to the Indian Air Travel Association, passengers must carry their pets in a crate with adequate spacing to move around, an attached water bowl, good ventilation, and spring locked door. 
  3. Attach a sheet on the crate that includes the picture of the pet, the pet’s veterinary information, along with the pet’s name and pet owner’s number, and other flight information. 
  4. Passengers should avoid booking flights during extreme temperatures as it is not feasible for a living being to survive the airline cargo travel then.
  5. On the day of travel, ask the crew at the gate to confirm your pet is loaded on the plane. Inform the captain and the crew as well that there is a live animal on the plane and the temperature and pressure should be monitored during all times. 

Baggage Calculators

Wondering how much luggage is is too much? Certain airlines have introduced ‘baggage calculators’ to assist passengers to calculate accurate fees and baggage allowances while traveling. Before the flight departure, check with the calculator to know the exact number of baggage you can take on your next flight. 

Travel Tips and Hacks

Baggage Policy w.r.t Major Airlines

Different airlines have different baggage policies. While we have the airlines’ baggage policy for you to have an overview, you can know the baggage policies of particular airlines below –

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How to save on your baggage fees?

Q. What is the maximum number of bags that can be taken on a plane?

Ans. The standard baggage allowance for international flights is one checked baggage and one carry-on baggage with a personal item. However, all bags after the first free bag (two free bags in some airlines) come with a particular cost.

Q. What is the average price of checked baggage?

Ans: The cost of checked baggage varies from airline to airline. The average price range is from $25 to $60. Prices can go higher than that, depending on the number and weight of bags.

Q. Is there a weight limit for checked bags?

Ans. Airlines restrict the limit of checked bags as more weight causes the consumption of more fuel which results in an exorbitant amount of fuel prices.

Additionally, there is a lot of labor involved in loading the luggage in smaller planes. Thus, airlines have a checked baggage weight limit. 

Q. Do passengers need to pay for checked baggage twice on a round trip?

Ans. It is important to keep in mind that airline baggage fees are charged both ways. If you are paying a specific amount of money for your baggage one-way, you have to pay the same amount on your return flight as well. 

Q. What to do if your checked baggage goes missing?

Ans. Usually lost baggage is returned to the passenger within two days. Many baggage mishandlings that occur are due to the punctuality issues caused by air traffic control congestion and sometimes other passengers get a hold of baggage identical to theirs. 

If your bag is missing from the baggage claim, then you should immediately file a missing report in the baggage reclaim area.

Q. How to keep your baggage secure?

Ans. Use Transport Security Administration (TSA) approved locks for your bag. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of finding the right lock, you can use zip ties or tape tags as well. 

Q. When is it ideal to pack carry-on baggage?

Q. What is the ideal type of suitcase to travel with?

Ans. There are a handful of factors that are to be considered when opting for the right suitcase to travel with.

Q. Are checked pieces of baggage searched?

Ans: Checked baggage, like carry-on baggage, is screened at the security check-in by an X-ray machine. Make sure to not pack any restricted or suspicious items and if you have any items that you think might raise questions then it is best to inform the security guard beforehand. 

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* While the information displayed here for check-in, and carry-on baggage information is genuine and timely updated, kindly visit the respective airlines for more information. We, hereby, stand unaccountable for any changes introduced by the airlines on the spur of the moment.

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