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Hand Luggage Allowances: The Best and The Worst

Comparing Hand Luggage Allowances

There are two key considerations when reviewing hand luggage allowances. The first is the hand luggage size, measuring the height, length and depth of the hand luggage. The size must include any handles, wheels, or trolleys that are part of the bag and are measured at when these parts are compressed. The second is the weight of the hand luggage including any wheels or trolleys.

We spent months researching, reviewing and calculating all of the airlines that fly in and out of the UK and their respective hand luggage allowances.

The Best Hand Luggage Allowance – Size

The most generous hand luggage allowance in terms of size is a joint prize to the airlines that meet the recommended IATA standard of 56cm x 45cm x 25cm. Balkan Holidays , BH Air , British Airways, Eastern Airways, easyJet, Finnair, Iberia, Jet2.com, Onur Air, Small Planet Airlines, Thai Airways, Titan Airways and WOW air are all joint winners in the hand luggage allowance. Congratulations and thank you for allowing a sensible amount of hand luggage.

The Best Hand Luggage Allowance – Weight

The most generous hand luggage allowance in terms of weight is British Airways that allows a whopping 23kg. That’s the equivalent to 9 house bricks, although why you would want to carry 9 house bricks in your hand luggage is another matter.

The Worst Hand Luggage Allowance – Size

The airline with the least generous hand luggage allowance in terms of size is Blue Islands with only 40cm x 30cm x 20 cm, a paltry 24Litres capacity. Its fleet of aircraft is predominantly smaller aircraft such as the Jetstream 32 and ATR42 so the space available for hand luggage is less than widered bodies jets.

The Worst Hand Luggage Allowance – Weight

The smallest weight allowance for hand luggage is 5kg and is shared by a number of airlines flying in and out of the UK, including Azerbaijan Airlines, Balkan Holidays , BH Air , China Southern, Helvetic Airways, Iran Air, Iraqi Airways , Nouvelair Tunisie , Small Planet Airlines , TAM, Thomas Cook , Thomson Airways , Titan Airways. Some of those also have charges and fees for hand luggage that exceeds the 5kg allowance.

Hand Luggage Review

This has been a extremely valuable piece of work for me just in finding out the variety of hand luggage allowances. I was expecting to find a range of allowances, but I didn’t expect to find 31 different size allowances out of the 131 airlines that fly in and out of the UK. I was not surprised to find that despite 243 airlines being members of the IATA, only 13 actually comply with its recommended hand luggage allowance.


{ 1 comment… add one }
  • john mund January 18, 2017, 6:47 pm

    Thomson hand luggage allowance of 5 kg is pathetic.

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