Airlines are constantly making the headlines these days, due to their ever-changing hand luggage policies. New weight restrictions, size limitations, and the introduction of charges for cabin baggage have turned a simple matter into a confusing one.
To help you make sense of it all, here we take a look at the hand luggage policies of some of the UK’s most popular airlines.
British Airways Hand Luggage
We start with the UK’s legacy carrier - British Airways - which has pared back a lot of its little luxuries recently. Nonetheless, the airline still offers one of the more generous hand luggage allowances. Economy passengers may bring on board one larger item measuring 56 x 45 x 25 cm, PLUS a smaller personal item, such as a handbag or laptop. Each of these items must weigh no more than 23 kg, which is a hefty allowance compared to many other airlines.
Virgin Atlantic Hand Luggage
British Airways’ transatlantic competitor, Virgin Atlantic, also allows a larger cabin bag measuring no more than 56 x 36 x 25 cm, plus a personal item. However, the maximum permitted weight of the larger item is no more than 10 kg, a lot less than with British Airways.
Flybe Hand Luggage
Next up is Flybe, which, despite being a budget airline, still offers the convenience of a larger cabin bag as well as a personal item. The larger item must not exceed 55 x 35 x 20 cm and must weigh no more than 10 kg.
easyJet Hand Luggage
With easyJet passengers have to fit all of their luggage within one cabin bag measuring 56 x 45 x 25 cm, as a second personal item is not permitted. This can prove irritating for passengers who must rummage in their larger bag to find items such as passports and wallets. Easyjet make up for this in some respect by not imposing any weight restrictions.
Wizz Air hand Luggage
Things get a lot more complicated when we look at Wizz Air’s hand luggage allowance, which has changed several times in recent years.
Currently, customers without Priority Boarding must check their larger cabin bag measuring no more than 55 x 40 x 23 cm at the check-in desk, and may do so free of charge. However, if Priority Boarding is purchased for between €5 and €12, passengers may bring on board their larger cabin bag. All passengers may carry a small personal item measuring no more than 40 x 30 x 18 cm.
As of 1st November, the only free hand luggage allowance on Wizz Air flights will be a personal item measuring no more than 40 x 30 x 20 cm and weighing no more than 10 kg. Customers who purchase Priority Boarding will be able to bring a 10 kg suitcase on board with them, providing it measures no more than 55 x 40 x 23 cm. Passengers will have to pay a fee to check a 10 kg bag.
Ryanair Hand Luggage
Equally confusing is Ryanair’s hand luggage policy, which has changed twice in one year. Currently, all passengers may bring on board a small personal item no larger than 35 x 20 x 20 cm. One 10 kg bag with dimensions of 55 x 40 x 20 cm may be brought to the gate, where non-Priority customers must have their bag checked into the hold.
From 1st November 2018, however, passengers will be forced to either pay £8 to check a 10 kg suitcase at bag drop or £6 for Priority Boarding, which allows them to bring their suitcase on board. In November, the size of the small personal item will also increase by 43% to 40 x 20 x 25 cm.
It is becoming increasingly clear that airlines don’t want your hand luggage any more than they want your checked luggage. Ryanair and Wizz Air are already charging for the privilege of hand luggage and it is only a matter of time before other airlines follow suit. So why not avoid airline baggage altogether and send your luggage ahead with Send My Bag?
United has become the next major airline to increase its baggage fees in recent weeks. The changes will affect checked baggage fees specifically. It will now cost $30 to check a bag, which is an increase of $5.