British Airways Baggage and Carry-on

What is the carry-on allowance on British Airways flights?

On British Airways flights, the free hand baggage allowance is one piece of hand baggage plus one handbag or laptop. Size and weight restrictions apply.

On occasion, due to the aircraft stowage capacity, British Airways may ask passengers to check some or all of their hand baggage at the boarding gate. If the baggage is within the carry-on allowance, extra baggage charges will not apply.

What is British Airways’ policy on checked baggage allowance?

The checked baggage allowance (number of pieces and weight) varies depending on the class of travel, route and ticket type booked. It is British Airways policy to give passengers the more generous allowance for the entire journey when traveling in more than one cabin (e.g. outbound flight in business class and return flight in economy class).

Any bag that exceeds the following restrictions will not be accepted and must be shipped separately as freight or cargo:

  • Maximum size (including the handle, pockets and wheels): 190 x 75 x 65 cm (75 x 29.5 x 25.5 in).
  • Maximum weight: 32 kg (70 lbs), except for musical instruments and film equipment weighing less than 45 kg (99 lbs) provided that advance arrangements have been made.

Can I check baggage for connecting flights?

Provided your journey is on the same ticket, and all flights are operated by the same airline, your baggage will be checked to your final destination. When a change of airports is required for your connecting flight, your baggage will not be checked to your final destination. If you are travelling on separate tickets, British Airways will check your baggage to your final destination where possible.

When traveling to some countries, passengers are required to clear customs at the first point of entry. That means baggage must be collected upon arrival, even if it is checked to the final destination, cleared through customs and handed back to an airline representative for the next flight.

Carry-on (Hand Baggage)

British Airways imposes the following restrictions for the hand baggage allowance:

  • Maximum weight allowed is 23 kg (51 lbs) per bag, but you must be able to lift the bag into the overhead bin without assistance.
  • Maximum size allowed,  including  the  handle,  pockets  and  wheels,  for the main piece is 56 x 45 x 25 cm (22 x 18 x 10 in). The bag must fit into the bag gauge (available at the check-in area).
  • Maximum size allowed,  including  the  handle  and  pockets,  for the handbag or laptop is 40 x 30 x 15 cm (16 x 12 x 6 in), except on flights to/from Brazil 45 x 36 x 20 cm (18 x 14 x 8 in). The handbag or laptop must fit under the seat in front of you.

Hand baggage that does not meet the above restrictions will be checked and will count toward the checked baggage allowance. You will be charged for extra baggage at the airport rate if your checked baggage allowance is exceeded, or you are traveling on a hand-baggage only fare.

Infants traveling on British Airways flights have a hand baggage allowance of one bag containing items that might be required during the flight, bag that you must be able to lift into the overhead bin without help.

The following hand baggage allowances apply on flights operated for British Airways by franchise airlines:

  • Comair  (BA6200-6449)  –  1 carry-on of maximum 7 kg (15 lbs) and 56 x 36 x 23 cm (22 x 14 x 9 in) plus 1 handbag or laptop bag of maximum 7 kg (15 lbs) and 45 x 36 x 20 cm (18 x 14 x 8 in).
  • SUN-AIR of Scandinavia (BA8200-8299) – 1 bag of maximum 6 kg (13 lbs) and 45 x 36 x 20 cm (18 x 14 x 8 in).

When your itinerary includes a flight operated by American Airlines, American Airlines’ allowance on carry-on baggage will apply. You may be required to check your hand baggage as hold baggage, but no charge for excess baggage would be applied in this case. When your itinerary includes flights operated by other airlines, the British Airways baggage allowance may be more generous, and the other airline may charge you for extra baggage.

Hand Baggage Only

For direct flights between London Gatwick and airports throughout the UK and Europe, hand baggage only fares are available for passengers who do not have checked baggage. The hand baggage only fare must be purchased for both outbound and return flights and cannot be combined with other types of fare. Children and infants may still check a fully collapsible pushchair (stroller) and a car seat. If needed, baggage can be checked for an additional fee (extra baggage charge).

Checked Baggage

British Airways will carry some of your baggage free of charge. Your checked baggage allowance depends on baggage regulations applying at the time of your flight and will be shown on your ticket, your itinerary and receipt (if you have an electronic ticket), and Manage My Booking.

When your itinerary involves flights operated by British Airways and American Airlines and/or Iberia, the most generous checked baggage allowance will apply on all flights. When your itinerary includes flights operated by other airlines and the British Airways baggage allowance is more generous, the other airline may charge you for extra baggage.

Checked Baggage Allowances

The maximum dimensions of a checked bag are 90 x 75 x 43 cm (35.5 x 29.5 x 16 in), including the handle, pockets and wheels. Bags that exceed this requirement, but do not exceed the maximum size allowed, can be carried for an additional charge, but British Airways currently waives the oversized bag charge, so you do not pay it. An extra bag charge will apply for bags checked in addition to the baggage allowance. British Airways may apply an overweight baggage charge for bags weighing over 23 kg (51 lbs).

Based on class of travel and route (see route exceptions below), the general baggage allowances for British Airways flights are:

  • Economy – UK Domestic, Euro Traveller, World Traveller, and Eco): 1 bag up to 23 kg (51 lbs).
  • Premium Economy – World Traveller Plus and Prem Plus: 2 bags up to 23 kg (51 lbs) each.
  • Business – Club Europe, Club World, Club World London City, and Biz Bed: 2 bags up to 32 kg (70 lbs) each.
  • First: 3 bags up to 32 kg (70 lbs) each.

The following exceptions to the general baggage allowances apply:

  • Flights to/from Brazil:
    • Economy – World Traveller and Premium Economy – World Traveller Plus: 2 bags up to 32 kg (70 lbs) each.
    • Business – Club World and First: 3 bags up to 32 kg (70 lbs) each.
  • Flights to/from Japan, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, connecting between India and the US/Canada/Bermuda, or connecting from Saudi Arabia to US/Canada/Bermuda:
    • Economy: 2 bags up to 23 kg (51 lbs) each.
    • Premium Economy, Business, and First: general baggage allowances apply.

Children (2-11 years) have the same checked baggage allowance as adults. Infants (under 2 years) have a checked baggage allowance of 1 standard-size bag. For both children and infants, one fully-collapsible pushchair (stroller) and one car seat can be checked without charge.

In addition to the checked baggage allowance, an unlimited number of mobility aids, for personal use only, can be checked free of charge. There is no weight limit for wheelchairs, but advance notice (at least 24 hours before the flight) is required if the wheelchair exceeds the maximum weight allowed (32 kg).

Extra Baggage and Overweight Baggage Fees

Extra baggage charges may be paid in advance, online, or at the airport. Online, you can pay to check up to 10 extra bags with the same weight restrictions as your baggage allowance. Extra bags can be purchased for adults and children, but not for infants. Payment for extra bags must be made before checking-in. When paid at the airport, extra bags will be charged at a higher rate.

Extra Baggage Fees – Economy Hand Baggage Only (Basic) Fares
Departure Airport
from London
Online At the airport
1st bag (depending on route) Each additional bag Each bag
Heathrow £25/$40/€35 – £40/$60/€55 £60/$90/€70 £65/$100/€75
Gatwick £20/$30/€25 – £35/$55/€40 £36/$55/€46 £40/$60/€50
London City £20/$30/€25 – £30/$45/€40 £60/$90/€70 £65/$100/€75
Stansted £30/$45/€40 £60/$90/€70 £65/$100/€75
Extra Baggage Fees – Economy with Checked Baggage Allowance
Fare, Route and
Checked Baggage Allowance
Online At the airport
UK Domestic
Euro Traveller
To/from London
Gatwick or Stansted
£36/$55/€46 £40/$60/€50
All other routes £60/$90/€70 £65/$100/€75
World Traveller
1 bag allowance 1st extra bag – £60/$90/€70
Each additional bag –
1st extra bag – £65/$100/€75
Each additional bag –
2 bags allowance £120/$180/€140 £140/$200/€150
Extra Baggage Fees – Premium Economy, Business, First
Fare, Route and Checked Baggage Allowance Online At the airport
World Traveller and Prem Plus £120/$180/€140 £140/$200/€150
Club Europe To/from London Gatwick or London Stansted £36/$55/€46 £40/$60/€50
All other routes £60/$90/€70 £65/$100/€75
Club World, Biz Bed, and First £120/$180/€140 £140/$200/€150

Whenever the maximum weight of bags included in the checked baggage allowance is 23 kg (51 lbs), the overweight baggage charge of 65 GBP / 75 EUR / 100 USD / 100 CAD per bag will apply at check-in for any bag exceeding this weight.

The following baggage charges apply on flights operated by franchise airlines using British Airways branding and flight codes:

  • SUN-AIR of Scandinavia (BA8200-8299) – the same as for flights operated by British Airways.
  • Comair (BA6200-6449) – see table below.
Comair Flights (BA6200-6449) Extra Bag Charge Overweight
Bag Charge
Online At the airport
Within South Africa 290 ZAR 385 ZAR 300 ZAR
Between South Africa and Victoria Falls,
Mauritius, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Windhoek
490 ZAR 624 ZAR / 50 USD /
1,650 MUR
500 ZAR / 40 USD /
1,300 MUR
All other flights N/A 950 ZAR / 70 USD /
2,350 MUR
700 ZAR / 60 USD /
1,850 MUR

Waived Baggage Charges

For Executive Club Gold and oneworld Emerald members, British Airways waives the extra bag charge for one additional bag, regardless of class of travel. Executive Club Silver and oneworld Sapphire members have an extra allowance of one additional bag up to 32 kg, but no more than 2 bags free of charge, regardless of the route and class of travel, unless the cabin allowance is greater. These waivers apply for all passengers traveling on the same booking (except special group rate bookings) but do not apply for hand baggage only fares.

Heavy bag charges are waived for:

  • Passengers traveling in First and Business (Club World, Club Europe and Biz Bed) class.
  • British Airways Executive Club Gold and Silver members and oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members (for everyone in the booking).
  • Flights to/from Brazil, all classes.
  • Mobility aids and essential medical equipment.

Sporting Equipment

Most types of sporting equipment may be transported as part of (but not in addition to) the free checked baggage allowance. All sporting equipment has to meet the size and weight restrictions of the checked baggage allowance. Sporting items over 23 kg may incur an overweight baggage charge. Oversized items up to 190 x 75 x 65 cm (75 x 29.5 x 25.5 in) incur an additional charge, but British Airways currently waives this charge, so you do not pay it.

Baggage Service

For items lost on a British Airways flight, in a British Airways lounge, or at an airport, you must contact the airport directly.

If you receive your baggage damaged, you must make a complaint in writing immediately and at the latest within 7 days of receiving the baggage. If your baggage is delayed, you must make a complaint in writing within 21 days at the latest of the checked baggage being made available to you.

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