A handy guide to cabin baggage for your holiday this summer

Friday 1st June 2018


As the weather warms up and people start dreaming of sunnier climates and longer days, we’ve asked luggage specialists Antler to explain one of the more complicated aspects of holidaying abroad.
Hand luggage. It’s the great stress inducer of our time.
No airlines seem to be able to agree on all the details and it really can be quite difficult to remember all the specifics of dimensions and weights you need to stick to.
Fear not! We’re here to explain it all.
First of all though, let’s go through some simple jargon you’ll need to know:
Cabin bag: This is what you think of when we talk about hand luggage. They can be either hard or soft shelled and are often on wheels with a handle.
Personal bag: This usually refers to a little rucksack, handbag or laptop case.
As a general rule, it’s best to try and stick to a bag which you think will fit under the seat in front of you.
One of the biggies here and only getting more popular, Ryanair has continually restricted its cabin baggage policy over the years. One recent change seems much bigger than it actually is though.
If you pay a bit extra and buy ‘Priority & 2 Cabin Bags’ then, well, it does what it says on the tin really. You get priority boarding and can bring both a personal bag and cabin bag on board.
If you don’t pay that bit extra though, you can still get both bags onto the plane. All that has changed is that you’re now guaranteed to have to put your cabin bag in the hold for free. In practice it actually just takes away the nerves about whether you’ll manage to take it on or not.
Cabin bag dimensions: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm
Cabin bag weight: 10kg
Personal bag dimensions: 35cm x 20cm x 20cm
Virgin Atlantic
Again we have a two tier system here. Economy or Premium customers are limited to one bag of 10kg.
Upper Class passengers can have two though. One bag can weigh a maximum of 12kg and both must weigh no more than 16kg together. So you could take a 12kg bag and have a smaller 4kg bag with you. A bit of maths involved there but nothing too strenuous.
You can also take a personal-type bag, although it can’t be used to pack anything extra than you would normally use it for. For example, don’t stuff your handbag with socks.
Cabin bag dimensions: 56cm x 36cm x 23cm
Cabin bag weight: 10kg or 12kg
Personal bag dimensions: 56cm x 36cm x 23cm
Personal bag weight: no more than 16kg when combined with cabin bag
British Airways
This is a gloriously simple policy. One personal bag plus one cabin bag, for everybody.
Cabin bag dimensions: 56cm x 45cm x 25cm
Cabin bag weight: 23kg
Personal bag dimensions: 40cm x 30cm x 15cm
Personal bag weight: 23kg
Again, this one is really simple. You get a cabin bag and a personal bag, albeit with a lower weight restriction than most. They must add up to no more than 10kg together.
Cabin bag dimensions: 55cm x 35cm x 20cm
Cabin bag weight: 10kg combined
Personal bag dimensions: Fit under the seat in front of you
Personal bag weight: 10kg combined
This is very similar to British Airways, except the cabin bag weight can only be 10kg.
There isn’t much detail about personal bag restrictions but stick to the normal rules and you’ll be fine.
Cabin bag dimensions: 56cm x 45cm x 25cm
Cabin bag weight: 10kg
EasyJet are one of the only companies who leave it down to nature. There’s no weight limit for their cabin bags but they want you to be able to lift the bag into the overhead locker yourself.
If you pay a bit more you can take an extra bag to go under the seat in front of you.
Cabin bag dimensions: 56cm x 45cm x 25cm