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Hand baggage allowances

A suitcase and a handbag.

Your free hand baggage allowance, i.e. the total number of bags, size and weight, varies depending on the airline that is operating your flight.

British Airways, OpenSkies and BA CityFlyer flights

The below allowances also apply on our hand baggage only (Basic) fares, available on all direct British Airways short haul flights.

  • Your bags must fit into the baggage gauge at check-in (including handles, pockets and wheels) and be big enough to fit any duty free or airport purchases.
  • The weight limit applies to each bag. It's not possible to split the total weight across multiple bags.
  • You must be able to lift your bags into the overhead locker by yourself.

Flights to/from Brazil
Adults, young adults and children

1 handbag/laptop bag (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 45 x 36 x 20cm / 18 x 14 x 8in)

plus

1 additional cabin bag (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 56 x 45 x 25cm / 22 x 18 x 10in)

Infants (under 2) 1 cabin bag for items required during the flight (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 56 x 45 x 25cm / 22 x 18 x 10in)
All other flights
Adults, young adults and children

1 handbag/laptop bag (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 40 x 30 x 15cm / 16 x 12 x 6in)

plus

1 additional cabin bag (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 56 x 45 x 25cm / 22 x 18 x 10in)

Infants (under 2) 1 cabin bag for items required during the flight (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 56 x 45 x 25cm / 22 x 18 x 10in)

How to store your bags on board

To help you get to your destination on time, we will attach a yellow tag to your handbag or laptop bag. You can also collect one from the check-in desk or by speaking to a member of British Airways staff.

Place the bag with the yellow tag under the seat in front of you (except when travelling in First, Club World, Club World London City, or if you sit in an exit row or bulkhead seat at the front of the cabin).

Your additional cabin bag goes into the overhead locker. If we do not have space on board, you will need to check in this bag into the aircraft hold.

Hand-Baggage-icons.

We guarantee that you can take your handbag/laptop sized bag with you on board, provided that the yellow tag is attached and visible for boarding and that your bag is within your hand baggage allowance.

Exceeding your allowance

If any of your hand baggage is over the size or weight limit, or you have more hand baggage than your allowance, you will need to check it in and it will count towards your checked baggage allowance. If this then takes you over your free checked baggage allowance, or if you are travelling on a hand baggage only (Basic) fare, you will need to pay for extra baggage at the airport rate.

If your bag also exceeds the weight limit of your checked bag allowance, you may need to pay an overweight bag charge as well.

Charges for extra or overweight baggage

What you can take with you

We recommend to place any essential items you may need during your flight into your hand baggage. However, there are a number of rules and restrictions about what you can carry in your hand baggage.

If you are travelling with gifts, please ensure they are unwrapped. Security staff may need to open items to inspect them.

Airport security may ask you to turn on any electronic devices, e.g. mobile phones, tablets or laptops, so please ensure they are charged.

Safety regulations for baggage

Travelling with a medical condition

Travelling with other airlines

Your free hand baggage allowance, i.e. the total number of bags, size and weight, varies depending on the airline that is operating your flight.

collapsedshowComair and SUN-AIR

Our franchise partners Comair and SUN-AIR of Scandinavia are independent airlines that use British Airways branding and flight codes across their networks. Comair operates across southern Africa, and SUN-AIR across northern Europe. They use smaller aircraft so their baggage allowances are smaller.

  • Your bags must fit into the baggage gauge at check-in (including handles, pockets and wheels) and be big enough to fit any duty free or airport purchases.
  • The weight limit applies to each bag. It's not possible to split the total weight across multiple bags.
  • You must be able to lift your bags into the overhead locker by yourself.

Comair (flight numbers BA6200-6449)
Adults, young adults and children

1 handbag/laptop bag (max. 7kg / 15lb and up to 45 x 36 x 20cm / 18 x 14 x 8in)

plus

1 bag (max. 7kg / 15lb and up to 56 x 36 x 23cm / 22 x 14 x 9in)

Infants (under 2) 1 bag (max. 7kg / 15lb and up to 56 x 36 x 23cm / 22 x 14 x 9in)
SUN-AIR (flight numbers BA8200-8299)
All passengers 1 bag (max. 6kg / 13lb and up to 45 x 36 x 20cm / 18 x 14 x 8in)

collapsedshowOther airlines

Check your hand baggage allowance on American Airlines, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines and Qatar Airways.

For other airlines, please visit their websites or contact them directly.

Find out which airline you are flying with in Manage My Booking

collapsedshowFlight connections

If your journey includes connecting flights between different airlines, the hand baggage allowance of one airline may be different from another so please check before you travel. If you exceed your hand baggage allowance, you will have to check your bags in and could be charged for extra baggage.

If this happens when connecting from a British Airways to an American Airlines flight, you will not be charged the extra baggage fee.

More about flight connections