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Airline baggage allowance: Know your limits

Saturday, August 20, 2016

We’ve all done it. Turned up to the airport lugging more in our baggage than the collective weight of the family or those we are travelling with.

You could be a first-time flyer or fly more frequently than the pilot of your plane but you could still turn up weighing more than your limit allows.

In those case, you can find yourself stung by hidden fees and extra surcharges. In the age of the budget airline, the small print is becoming more important to prevent passengers paying through the nose for their cheap flights.

To avoid such things en route to your dream holiday, we at thought we’d help out and explain the rules around luggage. Just for you, we are going to give you a breakdown of what each airline will allow. With some being more generous than others.

British Airways

BA will allow you to carry a handbag or laptop bag of up to 40cm x 30cm x 15cm as well as an additional cabin bag of 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, weighing up to 23kg each. You will not be charged any extra for the privilege.


For an advanced booking online you can expect to pay somewhere between £13 for 20kg and  up to £30 depending on the weight. If you don't book in advance or exceed the weight limit the cost will double.


If you are looking to book check-in baggage then the price will vary, dependant on the distance you travel. The same rule applies as with easyJet, if you wait until you're at the airport, then expect to incur extra charges. They do allow you two carry on bags of different sizes. For domestic flights, the first bag will cost £15 and for international flights of less than 3 hours, it will cost about £35. On a flight over 3 hours, the cost then increases by approximately £10. If you are over the limit the airline charges £10 per KG.

Thomas Cook

The standard luggage allowance is free. Thomas cook will only charge for additional baggage. Prices vary between £10 and £20, depending on the distance and the fees double when the weight does. If you haven't booked the additional baggage the advanced, prices at the airport will double accordingly.


Flybe has three options to choose from when paying for baggage. As with all the other budget airlines, it is best practice to book online in advance, that way you can be sure that you won't be charged extra at the airport and you are able to select the baggage best suited to your needs. They have a "Just Fly", "Get More" and "All In" policy. Each one offers slightly more than the rest and it is something that you would tend to at the time of booking.

Virgin Atlantic

With Virgin it is a class issue, dependent on which one you're travelling in will depend on what you can take. Anything up to 3 bags is acceptable. The first bag is free for economy class. You will be charged for a second bag if your luggage exceeds the limit which will set you back approximately £65. Then the next level of travel is the premium economy which allows for two bags and then an upper class which allows for three bags per passenger.


Will allow you to pool your luggage with your travel companions which can be helpful. In terms of carry-on luggage, you have two options. One bag of 56 x 40 x 25cm and a small duty-free bag. And the second is to carry two smaller bags of the same size and the small duty-free bag but whichever you decide, neither should weigh more than 10kg. The first hold bag is £50 and excess baggage will cost you approx £10 per kilo.


It doesn't matter whether you're a fly only customer or if you are flying on a package deal. The airline will only allow you one carry on bag of up to 5kg. Be sure to check the small print as well as the cost of checking in a hold bag is just shy of £50 and as a passenger, you will be expected to lift your own luggage into the overhead lockers. To top that off, all laptops and handbags are expected to fit into the one handheld carry on bag. Thomson will charge somewhere between £13 and £18 per kilo if you exceed your weight limit.

Wizz Air

This budget airline likes to keep things light. They have the smallest allowance out of the airlines reviewed and if you want to take extra a board then the cost will depend on the route. You can also expect fees for any luggage you want to check in. Now the price of baggage with Wizz air depends on the season in which you fly and for how far. It can vary between £13 and £38.50 and for heavier £22 and £38.50.

We hope we have made it a little easier for you when you need to know who will let you carry what.

For the latest updated information before you travel, contact your airline or visit their respective websites for luggage information.

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