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British Airways cabin baggage explained and how to maximize your luggage allowance

What size of a carry-on bag can you take and how heavy can it be on British Airways flights? How much does it cost to send luggage to the hold? Here’s everything you need to know about British Airways cabin baggage rules and restrictions, plus how to beat the airline fees

British Airways cabin baggage allowance: weight, size, and fees

Number of bags allowed onboard British Airways cabin bag size British Airways cabin baggage weight allowance Cost to check in oversized hand luggage

2 hand luggage bags per passenger: one cabin bag and one handbag or laptop bag

British Airways cabin baggage allowance includes duty-free purchased at the airport

Children under 2 allowed 1 cabin bag

56x45x25cm (22″x18″x10″)

40x30x15cm (16″x12″x6″) for the additional small bag

45x36x20cm (18″x14″x8″) on flights to/from Brazil

23kg (51lbs)

Free of charge if your cabin bag meets BA regulations and flight is full

Check British Airways website to find out the cost for your particular route

British Airways checked baggage allowance: weight, size, and fees

Ticket type Size Weight Number of bags
Economy   23 kg (51lbs) 1
Premium Economy 90x75x43cm (35.5″x29.5″x16″) 23 kg (51lbs) 2
Business Class   32 kg (71lbs) 2

How much hand luggage are you allowed with British Airways?

The maximum size of carry-on luggage is 56x45x25cm, up to 23 kg. Also, each passenger may bring a personal item with maximum dimensions of 40x30x15 cm such as handbag or laptop bag, no more than 23 kg.

How much is it to check baggage with British Airways?

Flights from Tel Aviv operated by British Airways include one piece of checked luggage up to 23 kg for Economy Class passengers. Premium Economy tickets include 2 x 23 kg, and Business Class includes 2 x 32 kg.

Are babies allowed to carry hand luggage as well?

Babies 0-2 years old are allowed one cabin bag for items required during the flight, maximum 23kg and up to 56x45x25cm.

How do I get the most out of my hand luggage allowance on British Airways flights?

Follow these tips to make sure your cabin bags won’t incur high fees:

1. Check your hand luggage dimensions

While British Airways cabin baggage allowance is very generous by weight, you still need to make sure that your bag is not too big. It would be a shame if your suitcase will be sent to the hold because of an extra cm while its weight is still within the allowance. Remember that the size permitted includes handles and wheels. Not sure if your old trolley is in the right size? Go to the store and find “cabin-approved” suitcases and rucksacks.

Always check your luggage dimensions

2. Grab a guarantee

Most airlines don’t promise that you can take your carry-on bags to the cabin. Not only it means that you will have to waste time near the luggage carousel, but it also means that you might find yourself the whole flight without your pillow, eye cover and anything else you needed for the 5-hour flight. British Airways cabin baggage rules guarantee that you can take your smaller bag with you (40x30x15 cm), as long as you attach their yellow tag to your bag, available at the check-in desks.

3. Look for a fare deal

British Airways cabin baggage allowance is the same for all classes: one bag of up to 23 kg plus an additional personal item. The difference is in the hold luggage. All flights to or from Tel Aviv include free allowance, and there is no option to buy tickets with carry-on only. If you fly in Economy, your allowance is one piece of up to 23 kg, but if you upgrade to Premium Economy, it’s doubled to 2 pieces up to 23 kg each. Sometimes the fare difference can be as little as $14, much cheaper than adding extra luggage to your booking.

4. Save time at the airport

Ryanair has a new cabin baggage policy. You can still go to the gate with two bags free of charge, but the bigger 10 kg one will be sent to the hold. It means that if you are in a hurry or need to catch another flight quickly, you still need to go and pick up your bag from the baggage belt. Of course, British Airways is more expensive, but you get full service and that extra needed space and weight for your hand luggage, and it goes into the cabin with you. Read more about Ryanair’s new cabin baggage policy

Each centimiter counts

5. Join the club

British Airways’ Executive Club sounds fancy, but the membership is actually free. You will start at the basic Blue Tier, in which you’ll automatically start collecting Avios, the airline’s version of reward points. Whenever you purchase anything on British Airways or its partners’ flights, you collect points to progress to the next level. You can pay with Avios for upgrades on your next flights, and you can create a Household Account and combine your Avios with others, including your children to get rewards faster. Make it to the Bronze Tier (300 Tier points on BA and partner flights), and you’ll start getting perks like priority check-in and boarding as well as being able to select a seat a whole week before you fly, instead of 24 hours in advance. Silver Tier (600 points) comes with extra luggage allowance, while the Gold Tier (1,500 points) pretty much guarantees you a First class experience. You can always try our tips on how to get a free upgrade.

Join the club

6. Fly with another airline

It’s tough to beat British Airways cabin baggage allowance, even other traditional airlines such as Lufthansa (55x40x23 cm, 8 kg) or EL AL (8 kg) don’t even try to compete with it. But easyJet doesn’t have any weight restrictions, as long as you can store your bag in the overhead bins by yourself.

BA has one of the most generous allowances

FAQ about British Airways luggage restrictions

Can I bring sports equipment or musical instruments on British Airways flights?

You can bring sports goods like diving equipment and tennis rackets as long as it’s within the size and weight restrictions of 56x45x25 cm and 23 kg. Otherwise, you may be requested to pay an overweight/oversized bag charge.

You can bring your tennis gear with you

A bicycle is allowed if it’s up to 190 cm in length and packed in a bicycle bag. The tires must be deflated and pedals and handlebars fixed to minimize width.

Additional items such as guitars are allowed as hand luggage if they fit the above size restrictions. If you give 24 hours notice before departure, British Airways will try to accommodate larger and heavier musical instruments, as long as it’s not over 45 kg, and up to 190x75x65 cm.

*Published October 2017. All prices are lowest estimated prices only and are subject to change by the airline. Charges may vary if you book through an online travel agent rather than the airline direct. Always check the terms and conditions applicable to get up to date information.

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