Holidays | Travel Insurance

Airline luggage – what you need to know

Are you aware of all the rules and what your travel insurance will cover?

We want to help make understanding airline baggage rules as easy as we’ve made buying travel insurance for your next holiday. And as seasoned travellers ourselves, we’ve passed through more airport security baggage checks then you can shake a luggage tag at, so we like to think we’ve finally mastered the system. So if you want to avoid that awkward moment when you need to throw away that oversized shampoo bottle, continuing reading this post …

When setting off on our travels, one of the things that’s always in the front of our mind is our luggage. Although packing your rucksack or suitcase seems mundane, your luggage is one of the most important factors of any trip, as without your things you would be pretty lost.

But to make matters worse, you’ve got to jump through loads of hoops to meet all the airport and airline baggage rules. Therefore, we want to share some tips with you, to make sure you never fall foul of the rules.

Hand baggage rules | Coverontrip Travel Insurance

As a general rule of thumb, all passengers can carry a ‘cabin’ bag with them as their hand baggage, at no additional charge. However, exactly what is defined as a cabin bag can vary by airline, so always check in advance. Unsurprisingly, short haul budget airlines usually have the most stringent restrictions when it comes to what they define as cabin baggage.

For example with Ryanair, if you haven’t purchased a ‘Priority & 2 cabin bags’ upgrade you will only be able to carry on a bag no bigger than 35cm x 20cm x 20cm, which is about the size of a small handbag or backpack. However you can also check in a second bag as hold luggage free of charge. If it’s no bigger than 55cm x 40cm x 20cm and under 10kg, which is about the size of a small cabin suitcase. But remember, you will need to allow extra time to check in and of course will have to wait around longer the other side to collect it at baggage reclaim

However other low cost airlines are slightly more generous here, for example Easyjet permit cabin bags up to a maximum size of 56x45x25cm for all passengers, with no weight restrictions (as long as you’re able to lift it into the overhead locker!).

Hold/checked baggage rules | Coverontrip Travel Insurance

Again, as a general rule of thumb, if you’re flying short haul with a low cost airline, you’ll need to pay if you want to check in any hold luggage. If you need to check in hold luggage, always pay for this when booking your ticket. It will almost always be cheaper than doing it at the airport.

For long haul, most airlines will allow one item of hold luggage at no extra charge. Always check this during your booking. Especially as low cost airlines are increasingly offering long haul routes, where hold luggage normally costs extra.

In terms of size and weight restrictions, economy tickets will commonly permit one ‘medium’ sized suitcase that weighs around 20kg, but check with your airline for precise limits.

Beware of liquids! | Coverontrip Travel Insurance

This is definitely the one rule we trip up with the most. That’s why we’re going to do a bit of revision. You don’t have to bin the bottles at security, or get pulled aside for a baggage search. But firstly, as a reminder, these rules only apply to hand luggage, not your checked luggage.

Thankfully, the rules regarding carry-on liquids are fairly straightforward:

  • All liquids must be in containers that have a capacity of no more than 100ml
  • Containers must be in a single, transparent, resalable plastic bag, will a capacity of no more than 1 litre (which means it should measure approximately 20cm x 20cm)
  • The containers must fit comfortably inside the bag
  • Only one bag of liquids per passenger

Exceptions to the liquids rule | Coverontrip Travel Insurance

As for exceptions to the rule, any liquids exceeding the above restrictions will only be permitted in your hand-luggage. If it’s baby milk or baby food, or essential medicines that you require for the entirety of your trip. These liquids may be subject to additional security screening and you will need to show prescriptions for any medicines over 100ml. Full details can be found here.

And finally, don’t forget you’re also allowed to carry-on any liquids that have been purchased in the departure lounge, after you’ve gone through security. So you can still bring home that bottle of Kahlua from duty free, which you’ll never actually drink!

Travel insurance for baggage | Coverontrip Travel Insurance

Now you know the do’s and don’t’s of airline baggage, make sure you’re fully covered with your travel insurance or holiday insurance, should the worst happen.

With Coverontrip Travel Insurance, we provide the following sections of baggage cover on our travel and holiday insurance policies:

Baggage and Personal Effects Cover

This covers you in the event of the theft or loss of your baggage or personal effects. Applies to all levels of cover.

Baggage delay

This covers you in the event of your hold baggage being delayed on your outward flight, by providing you with a lump sum to cover the costs of essentials whilst you wait for your luggage to arrive. Does not apply to the lowest tier of cover.

Your Sherpa

Enjoy your trip!