Oversize luggage – the definitive guide

Hitting the slopes?  Jet-set rockstar on tour?  Young family off on holiday?  Travelling with extra baggage can be tricky and troublesome but is often necessary.  Airlines place restrictions on the size and weight of passengers’ luggage allocation.  Luggage that exceeds these limits has to be flagged up because it must be factored into the flight weight and balance formula.  Additionally, some aircrafts have limited space for oversized bags.

Airlines vary on how they approach the booking of different types of oversized luggage and it is important to know the weight and size limits for each leg of any journey.  There may be an extra charge for any items that exceed size, weight or quantity limits and it is generally cheaper to book any over-limit bags or items at the time of booking the flight rather than upon check-in at the airport.  The airline’s website will have a section about luggage limitations and it is worth checking the implications of any planned extras in advance.

Children’s paraphernalia

If an infant is travelling, any pushchairs, prams, travel-cots or car seats do not count as luggage allowance and can usually be checked in for free in addition to other luggage.  However, infants-in-arms for whom a ticket has not been purchased are not allocated any baggage allowance.

Sports equipment

Skis will generally be over the size limit and sets of golf clubs may push the weight allowance; there is no additional baggage allowance for equipment and extra items will incur fees.  Additionally, some airlines enforce their own packing guidelines.

Musical instruments

Large musical instruments that cannot be carried on as part of the free hand-luggage allocation have to be checked in and any items that take the checked-in baggage over the allowed limit will incur extra costs.

Mobility aids

Any personal use items, including wheelchairs, are accepted on board without affecting the checked-in luggage allowance.



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