Airline Baggage Dimensions

The following are airline industry standard guidelines but airlines are permitted to set their own rules and restrictions. Research has identified numerous variations to the details set out below:

The size of a piece of baggage or its
Linear Length is defined as the total measurement
of the Length + Height + Width (L + H + W)
of the piece (see drawing opposite) and must
include all wheels, handles and side pockets.

Baggage Linear Length


The acceptable Linear Length of a piece of cabin or carry-on baggage varies from airline to airline and can as high as 130cm/51in although the general standard is 115cm/45in. This therefore allows for a variety of shapes and sizes within these limits. Pay attention to this rule because if your piece of cabin baggage is considered too long, wide or high, it may be treated as checked baggage. This might now lead to an excess charge by either exceeding the overall number of pieces permitted or the overall total weight limit within the Free Baggage Allowance.

The BAA has recently relaxed restrictions on the size of hand luggage and hasreintroduced the cabin bag size limit of 56 x 45 x 25 cms at UK airports. However check with your airline or consult the Flylite Directory before leaving for the airport because there are very few airlines offering this generous size - most have a limit of 55 x 40 x 20 cms or less.


The acceptable Linear Length of a single piece of checked baggage is generally 158cm/62in. With some Economy Fares the maximum combined Linear Length of any two pieces of checked baggage is 273cm/107in but no one piece may exceed a Linear Length of 158cm/62in - in which case the other piece may not exceed a Linear Length of 115cm/45in.



Since 9/11, airlines have introduced enhanced security measures paying even more attention to passenger cabin baggage and the carrying of liquids on board see:


There is now a weight limit of 32kgs/70 lbs for any one piece of luggage. However, this is a Health and Safety issue - not a permitted allowance for any airline. Anyone now checking in a single piece of baggage in excess of this limit will be told to re-pack the baggage into lighter units or send it by cargo. This rule came into effect on the 1st of June 2004.

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