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Hand baggage allowances

A suitcase and a handbag.

Whether you're travelling light or packing for a long trip, we know there are some things you'll want with you on the plane. That's why all of our flights include a generous free hand baggage allowance.

On British Airways

Including OpenSkies and CityFlyer

We offer one of the most generous free hand baggage allowances of any airline, so you’ll never be short of space for all those travel essentials you like to fly with.

Your free baggage allowance on British Airways flights
Passenger 1 handbag/laptop bag 1 additional cabin bag
Adults (15 and over) Green tick. Green tick.
Young adults (12-15) Green tick. Green tick.
Children (2-11) Green tick. Green tick.
Infants (under 2) Red cross. Green tick.

(only for items they may require during the flight)

Size and weight of your hand baggage

Your journey 1 handbag/laptop bag 1 additional cabin bag
Flights to and from Brazil Up to 45cm x 36cm x 20cm/18in x 14in x 8in Up to 56cm x 45cm x 25cm/22in x 18in x 10in
All other flights Up to 40cm x 30cm x 15cm/16in x 12in x 6in Up to 56cm x 45cm x 25cm/22in x 18in x 10in
  • You must be able to fit your bags into the baggage gauge at check in, including handles, pockets and wheels.
  • You must be able to fit any duty free and airport purchases into this allowance.
  • The maximum weight per bag is up to 23kg/51lb and you must be able to lift it into the overhead locker by yourself.

Our guarantee that your bag travels with you

We guarantee that your handbag/laptop sized bag can be taken on board with you, providing that a yellow tag is attached and visible for boarding and that your bag is within the dimensions (shown above). We recommend this bag contains any essential items you may need during your flight.

Once on board, please place your bag with the yellow tag under the seat in front of you. This will help us to get you to your destination on time. You can collect a yellow tag from check-in or by speaking to a member of British Airways staff.

How to store your bags on board


Your handbag/laptop bag with a yellow tag goes under the seat in front of you (except when travelling in First or Club World or when seated in an exit row or bulkhead seat at the front of the cabin).

What is a yellow tag?

Your additional cabin bag goes into the overhead locker. If we do not have space on board, this bag will be checked into the aircraft hold.

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, it will need to be checked in and will count towards your checked baggage allowance. If the additional baggage then takes you over your checked baggage allowance, or if you are travelling on a hand baggage only fare, you will be charged for extra baggage at the airport rate.

What’s my checked baggage allowance?

See our charges for extra baggage

Hand baggage only (Basic)

These hand baggage allowances apply equally on our hand baggage only (Basic) fares, our best value fares for when you want to travel light and make a quick getaway from the airport. You get the same great British Airways service but without a checked baggage allowance or free seat selection.

Hand baggage only (Basic) is available on all direct British Airways short haul flights.

Packing restrictions

There are a number of rules and restrictions covering what you can carry in your hand baggage. See our liquids, banned and restricted items page to learn more.

Liquids, banned and restricted items

Travelling with other airlines

collapsedshowOn franchise airlines

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 while SUN-AIR operates across northern Europe. The aircraft they use are smaller than those of our own fleet and so their baggage allowances are smaller.

Your free baggage allowance on franchise flights
Operating carrier Flight numbers Baggage allowance Maximum weight Size restrictions
Comair BA6200-6449

1 bag




1 small handbag or slimline
laptop bag for adults
and children


7kg (15lb)

56cm x 36cm x 23cm
(22in x 14in x 9in)



45cm x 36cm x 20cm
(18in x 14in x 8in)

SUN-AIR BA8200-8299 1 bag 6kg (13lb)

45cm x 36cm x 20cm

(18in x 14in x 8in)

collapsedshowOn other airlines

Hand baggage allowances and policies vary by airline and your hand baggage allowance for a flight is always determined by the operating airline.

For details of hand baggage allowances on American Airlines, Finnair, Iberia and Japan Airlines, please follow the links below.

American Airlines
Japan Airlines

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

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

collapsedshowOn connecting journeys

If your journey includes connecting flights between different airlines, one hand baggage allowance may be more generous than another and you could potentially find yourself over your hand baggage allowance. This may mean that your hand baggage will have to be checked as hold baggage and you could be charged for extra baggage by the airline. (If this happens when connecting from British Airways onto an American Airlines flight you will not be charged the extra baggage fee.)