Airline PoliciesPlanningA British Airways aircraft. Know their baggage policy before you book

Airline policies change as the years go by. While this doesn’t affect the typical person, who can go on with their day without having to look up new baggage policies, others find this information very important. You don’t want to miss your flight due to a small and unavoidable error, do you? 

British Airways gives you a standard checked baggage allowance of one 23 kg bag (50 lbs). Passengers flying in Premium Economy can take two 23 kg bags, while Business admits two 32 kg bags. Economy Basic passengers can only take one cabin bag and a hand bag.

In this comprehensive article, you can find everything you need to know about British Airways’ Baggage Policy. From checked and carry-on baggage to restricted items and sports equipment, if it’s important, you’ll find it here. 

Checked bag policy and fees

British Airways’ checked baggage policy is straightforward. If you comply with the size requirements, you’ll get to take a checked bag (or two) for free

The weight limit and bag allowance depend on your cabin, but you can expect the following: 

  • Basic Economy: no checked bags (only carry-ons and hand bags)
  • Economy: 1 x 23 kg (50.7 lbs) bag
  • Premium Economy: 2 x 23 kg (50.7 lbs) bags
  • Business: 2 x 32 kg (70.5 lbs) bags
  • First: 3 x 32 kg (70.5 lbs) bags

Extra bags

If this allowance isn’t sufficient, you can pay an extra fee to bring extra checked bags. You can add up to 9 extra bags to your checked baggage. The fees range from £36 to £120 per bag if you book online. If you pay at the airport, you can expect to pay anywhere between £40 and £140 per bag

If you’re flying Basic Economy, which means that you have a cabin and hand bag only allowance, you can still add checked bags to your flight. This will cost between £25 and £75 for the first bag. The price will increase for every bag that you add after this.

Non-ticket holders

Children under 2 and lap infants who don’t have a ticket are also allowed to bring checked bags. The allowance is 1 x 23 kg (50.7 lbs) bag each. This is the maximum number of bags that they can bring and you won’t be able to pay a fee to bring extra checked bags on their account. This non-ticket holder allowance isn’t limited to a certain cabin, but it does exclude Basic Economy. 

Cabin bag policy

Basic Economy passengers are limited to bringing a carry-on bag and one hand bag to the cabin. Passengers flying in other cabins are also permitted one of each in addition to their checked baggage allowance. Your cabin bag should be no bigger than 56 x 45 x 25 cm (22 x 18 x 10 in), including the parts that stick out, like the handles and wheels. 

You shouldn’t bring any of the following items in your cabin bag because there is a chance that they’ll be moved to the hold:

  • Valuables, like watches and jewelry
  • Electronics, like tablets and iPads
  • Essential medication, like anticonvulsants for Epilepsy

Hand bag policy

All passengers in all cabins have a hand bag allowance. These bags shouldn’t exceed the weight and size limits of 23 kg (50.7 lbs) and 40 x 30 x 15 cm (16 x 12 x 6 in). Bigger and heavier bags will be checked and you may be required to pay a fee. 

You can bring valuables and essential medication in your hand bag because it’ll be placed under your seat. If you have two hand bags, one of them may be placed in the hold.

Restricted items

Some items are restricted, which means that there are certain rules and regulations that you need to comply with. These items include the following: 

  • Toiletries, medicines, and aerosols only in checked baggage
  • Up to 5 liters (1 gallon) of alcohol between 24% and 70% alcohol volume
  • Fuel cells only in hand baggage
  • Smoking/vaping devices only in hand baggage
  • Only one medical/clinical thermometer containing mercury in your checked baggage
  • Up to 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) of dry ice
  • Permeation devices only in checked baggage

Prohibited items

British Airways has a list of items that are strictly prohibited. This means that you won’t be able to bring them under any circumstances. This includes the following items: 

  • Batteries over 160Wh
  • Batteries without a Wh indication
  • Smart bags with unremovable batteries
  • Small electric leisure vehicles powered by lithium batteries
  • Spare cartridges for Avalanche rescue backpacks
  • Security-type cases
  • Stunning devices
  • Corrosive and toxic chemical substances
  • Explosives and flammable substances
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Drinks above 70% alcohol volume

Oversize policy and fees

The size limit for checked bags is 90 x 75 x 43 cm (35 x 30 x 17 in). British Airways will allow you to take oversized baggage that doesn’t exceed 190 x 75 x 65 cm (75 x 30 x 26 in), which is the absolute maximum size limit, at no extra charge. However, you need to check these out-of-gauge bags at least 90 minutes before departure. 

Overweight policy and fees

The maximum weight limit is 32 kg (70.5 lbs) per bag, regardless of your cabin. If your cabin allowance is 23 kg (50.7 lbs) and your bag weighs more than this (but less than 32 kg), you’ll be required to pay £65 per bag. You should note that checked baggage weight allowances can’t be combined to bring one extra heavy bag. 

Sports equipment policy

You can take most sports equipment items on your British Airways flight, from surfboards to snowboarding equipment. In most cases, it’ll count toward your checked baggage allowance, which means that you’ll be paying for your other bags if your cabin allowance doesn’t allow extras. You should ensure that everything is packed in protective bags to prevent unwanted damage and loss during transit.

The most common sports equipment found on flights is certainly golfing gear. So, if you’re a golfer and you want to bring your clubs, you should have a look at our comprehensive guide on British Airways’ golf clubs policy.

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