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
Passenger1 x cabin bag1 x personal bag
Adults (12 and over)Green tick.Green tick.
Children (2-11)Green tick.Green tick.
Infants (under 2)

Green tick.

(only for items they may require during the flight)

 Red cross.

Size and weight of your hand baggage

1 x cabin bag1 x personal bag
56cm x 45cm x 25cm (22in x 18in x 10in) including handles, pockets and wheels.45cm x 36cm x 20cm (18in x 14in x 8in) including handles, pockets and wheels.
  • Maximum weight per bag is up to 23kg (51lbs).
  • You must be able to fit your bags into the baggage gauge at check in.
  • Any items you purchase at the airport, including duty free, form part of your hand baggage allowance. If you go over your allowance of 2 bags, you may have to check in one of your extra bags, for which there may be a charge.
  • Occasionally we may not have space to stow all hand baggage safely on board and you may be asked to check in some or all of your hand baggage at the boarding gate. Please make sure your hand baggage is within the size and weight limits shown, otherwise you will be charged for extra baggage.

Where to put your hand baggage on board


You must be able to lift your cabin bag into the overhead locker by yourself.

Your personal bag must be placed under the seat in front of you when travelling in:

  • a standard economy seat (World Traveller, Euro Traveller, UK Domestic)
  • a shorthaul business seat (Club Europe)
  • a longhaul premium economy seat (World Traveller Plus)

Except when seated in an exit row or bulkhead seat
(at the front of the cabin).

Hand baggage only

These hand baggage allowances apply equally on our hand baggage only 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 is available on all direct British Airways shorthaul flights.

On 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 carrierFlight numbersBaggage allowanceMaximum weightSize restrictions

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-AIRBA8200-82991 bag6kg (13lb)

45cm x 36cm x 20cm

(18in x 14in x 8in)

On 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.)

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

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