Baggage - all you need to know
It's quite usual that everyone carries a baggage when traveling. Are you aware of certain limitations when transporting your baggage by a plane? Each airliner implies slightly different rules, so it's a good thing to check them out before flying.
This is a brief summary on airline baggage rules. You will find out about two types of baggage, those carried with you into the plane (carry-on baggage) and those transported in the plane's cargo area (checked baggage). Each type of baggage must go through a different process prior to entering the plane. Different limitations also apply.
This is the baggage you are taking with you on board of the plane. You may also find it named as carry-on baggage, hand baggage or cabin baggage. Most airliners only allow you to take one piece. Weight and dimension limitations also apply. There is no general rule on them. However you shouldn't have problems with baggage not exceeding the dimensions of 22“ in length, 18“ in width and depth of 10“. Weight limits tend to be strictly checked by lowcost airlines. You should be OK if your bag is no heavier than 22 lbs (some lowcosts allow even less). We advise to check these rules prior to flying either on the website of your airline or better here on whichairline.com. You will find all the relevant information in the airlines section.
Be advised that your carry-on baggage is always checked for forbidden objects with a scanner. Never put any weapons (even imitations), knives, ammo, acids or flammable liquids in the bag. Electronic equipment ie. notebook is checked separately. There are some rules on liquids too. On flights within the EU you are only allowed to transport them in a transparent and resealable bag no more than a liter in volume. Each individual container in this bag must not exceed 100 ml in volume.
Larger and heavier baggage is to be transported in the plane's cargo area. These are handed over at the check-in desk of your airline at the airport. Mostly you will not pay any extra charges with scheduled airlines, however lowcost airlines will require a fee for each piece.
Excess baggage fees apply in case your checked baggage exceeds certain maximum dimensions or weight or there are more pieces of it. Again, there is no general rule on them. You should always look them up before flying. Just keep the weight under 45 lbs and there shouldn't be any extra fees. Ryanair for example charges an extra of €20 for each kilogram over the limit.
There are some special baggage types that are transported free of charge. If you are travelling with an infant, his or her stroller is the case. Wheelchairs and such necessary medical devices are free of charge too. Sport equipment or musical instruments are on the other side rather expensive.
Jiří Parimucha, Oct 5, 2010
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