When you going to a long trip, move to another city or have to take a lot of equipment, baggage allowance issues become important. How to avoid being charged at the airport and how to carry sports equipment for free?
It’s better to check the free baggage allowance at the airline website, but there are a few basic ideas you can use:
- The standard free baggage allowance for economy class is 20kg, for business class – 30kg. Basically, you can just fit into this amount and that’s it.
- Low cost airlines offer to choose desired baggage allowance while you purchasing a ticket. Standard ticket for low cost (budget) airlines includes only carry-on baggage.
- There are two main baggage allowance concepts: weight concept (only weight counts) and piece (or item) concept (weight and number of pieces count). A lot of airlines, especially western airlines, work according to piece concept. In this case standard checked bags allowance is 23kg. According to this system, you will have to pay for one extra bag in case of two small suitcases (10kg and 10kg). So it’s better to put all your stuff into one item. But if you have one big bag for the whole family (more than 23kg), it can be considered as overweight, despite the fact that for two tickets you have less than 46kg. In this case it’s better to split the luggage into two small bags.
- Some airline may have special checked bag allowance for some destinations (Mexico, Asia, Australia). Usually you can find this information in your ticket. For example, Aeroflot gives extra free bag 23kg for flights from Moscow to Shanghai and Tokyo.
- Size of your bag is important as well as weight. Standard size restrictions: bag does not exceed 62 inches (157 cm) when you total length + width + height.
- There are restrictions for carry-on baggage as well as for checked baggage. Usually it’s 10kg and 55х40х20cm for economy class. Find more information about carry-on baggage here.
- Standard excess baggage fee and overweight baggage fee are about $150.
Standard Checked Baggage and Carry-On Baggage Restrictions
|Airline||Maximum size of carry-on baggage||Maximum weight of carry-on baggage||Maximum weight of checked baggage||Maximum size of checked baggage (length + width + height)|
|Aeroflot||55x40x20 cm||10 kg||23 kg||158 cm|
|AirAsia||56x36x23 cm||7 kg||–||–|
|Air Berlin||55x40x23 cm||8 kg||23 kg||158 cm|
|Air France||55x35x25 cm||12 kg||23 kg||158 cm|
|American Airlines||56x36x23 cm||no restrictions||23 kg||158 cm|
|British Airways||56x45x25 cm||23 kg||23 kg||90x75x43 cm|
|Cathay Pacific Airways||56x36x23 cm||7 kg||20 kg||158 cm|
|China Southern Airlines||50x40x20 cm||5 kg||20 kg||158 cm|
|Delta||55x35x23 cm||no restrictions||23 kg||157 cm|
|Easyjet||50x40x20 cm||no restrictions||–||–|
|Emirates||55x38x20 cm||7 kg||30 kg||300 cm|
|Etihad Airways||40х50х21 cm||7 kg||30 kg||207 cm|
|German Wings||55x40x23 cm||8 kg||–||–|
|Iberia||56x45x25 cm||no restrictions||–||–|
|Japan Airlines||56x40x25 cm||10 kg||20 kg||120x60x50 cm|
|KLM||55x35x25 cm||12 kg||23 kg||158 cm|
|Korean Air||55x40x20 cm||12 kg||23 kg||158 cm|
|Lufthansa||55x40x23 cm||8 kg||23 kg||158 cm|
|Norwegian||55x40x23 cm||10 kg||20 kg||158 cm|
|Pobeda||handbag or briefcase||10 kg||158 cm|
|Qantas||56x36x23 cm||7 kg||30 kg или 23 kg||158 cm|
|Qatar||50х37х25 cm||7 kg||30 kg||300 cm|
|Ryanair||55x40x20 cm||10 kg||–||–|
|S7||55x40x20 cm||7 kg||23 kg||158 cm|
|Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)||55x40x23 cm||8 kg||23 kg||158 cm|
|Singapore Airlines||115 cm||7 kg||30 kg||200x75x80 cm|
|Sky Express||45x35x20 cm||6 kg||15 kg|
|TAM Airlines||55x40x20 cm||5 kg||23 kg||158 cm|
|Transaero||55x40x20 cm||10 kg||20 kg||203 cm|
|Turkish Airlines||55x40x23 cm||8 kg||20 kg|
|Vueling||55x40x20 cm||10 kg||–||–|
You can bring most sports equipment with you on your trip, though extra baggage fees may apply to oversized or overweight items. Restrictions vary from one airline to another. In general there are three main concepts:
- Equipment is considered as a piece of baggage without any exemptions and concessions. So normal baggage allowances, fees and handling policies apply. In order to get your sports equipment for free, you have to put it into your 23kg bag.
- Equipment can be in a separate bag, but the total baggage weight should not exceed the normal baggage weight allowance (20 or 23 kg).
- You can get extra kilos for sports equipment. Usually about 10kg. Sometimes you have to show the evidence that you are doing this sport. For example, for additional 10kg for scuba diving or freediving equipment on Qatar Airways flights you have to show a certificate of scuba diver or freediver.
Among other things baggage allowance for sports equipment may also depends on the type of fare. For example, for the full fare, you can get extra kilos for equipment, but you have to pay in case of promo fare.
As for me, I always put my sports equipment (scuba diving, freediving, snowboard) into only one checked baggage. I never paid for exceed baggage because of my sports equipment. Learn some tricks how to do that.
A Few Simple Tricks to Avoid Overweight Baggage:
- Take into account the weight of your suitcase. Backpack, a simple case like this one or a cardboard box could decrease a weigh of your luggage for 5-7 kg in comparison to a suitcase.
- Put all small and heavy things into your hand luggage. A lot of airlines do not really look at your carry-on baggage. Just do not let airline staff to weigh your hand luggage during check-in. Read here how to pass all the way to an airplane with a heavy carry-on baggage.
- If you travel in a group – ask your friends if they can take in their suitcases some of your things.
- Find out what concept (weight or items-based) use your airline. Keep it in mind when you choose an amount of bags you are going to use for travel.