Hand Luggage Restrictions

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Hand Luggage

Hand Luggage Allowance and Restrictions

Claim Flights (www.claimflights.co.uk) represents air passenger's rights with airlines in the UK and the EU. We can help you to claim compensation when your flight is delayed or cancelled. However, you can also run into trouble with your hand luggage. Follow our advice to avoid frustrations and extra costs at the airport.

With the exciting holiday season fast-approaching, you may well be planning your new get-away. Luggage restrictions seem to change all the time so it's well worth making sure you are up-to-date with the current regulations in place with the airline you choose to fly with.

The regulations pertaining to hold luggage are pretty straightforward, although do always ensure you are aware of the weight you can check-in and also the number of luggage items allowed. Don't assume that all airlines are the same as there are considerable differences.

However, even more, subject to change are the regulations concerning hand luggage. Whilst some airlines will allow you to carry a large bag as well as a handbag or laptop, many are far stricter than this and the rules are changing all the time. Fees can be extremely hefty so do make sure you check with your airline exactly what you are allowed to carry onboard.

Travelling with hand luggage has its benefits. For a start, it's quicker as there is no need to join a check-in queue on departure or wait for it on arrival at the luggage carousel. It's also safer for you to keep your high-value items, laptops, tablets, jewellery etc with you. You can also spread the weight of the luggage you are carrying between your hold and hand luggage meaning that you're less likely to pay those bothersome excess weight charges.

Also, make sure you are aware of any hand luggage restrictions on connecting flights. For example, Easyjet will allow you unlimited weight on your hand luggage but if you're connecting flight is Thomas Cook, you would only be allowed up to 6kg with one accessory.

And it's not just the weight that's important. Remember to check the allowed sizes for hand luggage. It may be that you have to buy a new bag to accommodate the size restrictions!

Unfortunately, it's not just about the weight and size of your hand luggage anymore. According to www.gov.uk/hand-luggage-restrictions/overview, there are also other restrictions to consider, especially concerning the number of liquids you can take in your hand luggage.

Liquids include:

• all drinks, including water
• liquid or semi-liquid foods, eg., 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
• any other solutions and items of similar consistency

Also, if you do take liquids in your hand luggage:

• containers must hold no more than 100ml
• containers must be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm
• contents must fit comfortably inside the bag so it can be sealed
• the bag must not be knotted or tied at the top
• you’re limited to 1 plastic bag per person
• you must show the bag at the airport security point

Countries outside of the EU may have different rules on carrying liquids. You should check these rules before travelling.


1. Check your airline's restrictions on both size and weight of hand luggage and don't forget to check for connecting flights too.
2. Laptops, tablets, mobile phones and other electrical devices add to weight – is it possible to combine all the data you'll need onto one device?
3. Use a soft, cloth type bag for hand luggage as these tend to weigh less
4. Some airports, such as Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester, allow you to buy from duty-free and collect your goods when you return, meaning that you never have to travel with the items you buy.
5. If you do have hand luggage that is over the limit, it's highly possible that you will be charged. Always pre-book any excess luggage with the airline before you travel as this could save you 50% or more than paying at the gate.

At Claim Flights, we've put together an up-to-date list of current hand luggage sizes, weights and restrictions, but do remember to check before flying:

Airline Size Restrictions (cm) Weight Extras
Air France 55x35x25 12kg 1 accessory
British Airways 56x45x25 23kg 1 accessory
Easyjet 56x45x25 Unlimited No accessory
Flybe 55x40x23 10kg No accessory
GermanWings 55x40x23 8kg No accessory
Iberia 56x45x25 Unlimited one bag + 1 accessory
Jet2 56x45x25 10kg No accessory
KLM 55x35x25 12kg 1 accessory
Lufthansa 55x40x23 8kg 1 accessory
Norwegian 55x40x23 10kg 1 cabin, 1 accessory
Ryan Air 55x40x20 10kg 1 cabin, 1 accessory
Scandinavian Airlines 55x40x23 8kg 1 cabin, 1 accessory
Thomas Cook 55x40x20 6kg 1 cabin, 1 accessory
Transaero 55x40x23 8kg No accessory
Volotea 55x40x20 10kg 1 cabin, 1 accessory
Vueling 55x40x20 10kg no accessory

Claim Flights CEO, Dr. Mirko Ulbrich, says: "Have a great holiday this year but don't forget to check out the hand luggage restrictions for the airlines you are travelling with to avoid fees and frustrations. Also, if you plan on doing some shopping when abroad, do make sure your luggage is still within the weight allowances or you could be in for an unpleasant surprise at the airport!"

Happy Travelling!

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