Flying with Hand Luggage

On our last trip, we were flying with budget airlines and had opted to fly to Salzburg, rather than our actual initial stop, Vienna, in order to save money.

We were trying to do things on a budget (as we’re all saving up for a month-long-trip to America next summer) and only travelling for little over a week, so felt no need to pay extra for checked in luggage.

However, struggling as I do with anxiety, this added extra strain to the journey as although we didn’t have the stress of checking in and waiting around for luggage collection, we did have to contend with the rules surrounding liquids and the new rules surrounding electronics (anything electric and over 20cm cannot remain in luggage but should be separated when going through the scanner).

Having initially packed my camera bag (containing body, charger, three lenses, SD cards) in amongst my other hand luggage, I- at the last minute- remembered this change from our trip to mexico two years previously and pulled it out (though foolishly forgot my hair straighteners, which were consequently flagged up).

12974346_127589517641279_3292238599358731221_nOnce we were through security, I then spent the next hours fretting about whether to go about repacking my whole case (knickers and all) to fit it in, or risk them following a common rule of ‘1 piece of hand luggage’ and ‘1 personal item’.

In the end, it didn’t matter, as the flight was so empty, but upon returning home, I’ve found that Jet 2 (who we flew with), do indeed employ this leniency.

So, for my own future reference and hopefully to help some of you too, here is a reference list of British flights and their independent baggage rules (oooo- exciting!). Feel free to add international companies in the comments below!


Jet 2 – One piece of unchecked cabin baggage free of charge which must be no more than 10kg in weight and no larger than 56cmx45cmx25cm.

You may also be permitted to bring an additional, small item of cabin baggage on board (such as a handbag, laptop bag or airport purchase) provided that such items can be reasonably carried on board, either in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you.

“With all hand/cabin baggage (including airport purchases) we reserve the right to require that it must be  stored in the aircraft hold due to operational requirements (in which case there will be no charge unless it exceeds the size or weight requirements referred to above).  In such circumstances you must ensure that all valuable items are removed and kept with you in the cabin.” I include this, as it did actually happen to us on our way back from Barcelona a couple of years ago.

British Airways – 1 handbag/laptop bag of up to 40cm x 30cm x 15cm/16in x 12in x 6in & 1 additional cabin bag of up to 56cm x 45cm x 25cm/22in x 18in x 10in

Ryanair – You can carry one cabin bag weighing up to 10 kg with maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm, plus 1 small bag up to 35 x 20 x 20 on board the aircraft.

Due to cabin space limitations only 90 large cabin bags (55 x 40 x 20 cms) can be carried in the cabin, any bags remaining will be carried free of charge in the aircraft hold.

Thomas Cook – All customers will receive a complementary hand baggage allowance of 6kgs. You can also take one piece of hand baggage up to 55cm x 40cm x 20cm in size and children can take Trunki’s.

In addition to the above, customers can choose 1 item from the list below, to be carried as an extra piece of hand baggage: one laptop, one overcoat, one blanket, one small ladies handbag or one small wrist-bag or one small bag with shoulder strap, one umbrella or one small camera and/or one binocular

Flybe –  You can have one standard cabin bag measuring no more than 55 x 35 x 20cm (including wheels and handles) and one additional item of under seat cabin baggage, such as a laptop or handbag.

The additional item of cabin baggage must be smaller than the standard item, and stowed under the seat in front of the passenger – the combined weight of both must not exceed 10KG.



EasyJet  – ONE cabin bag: Maximum size of 56 x 45 x 25cm including handles and wheels.

Thomson Flight Only – 1 piece of hand luggage of up to 5kg for free. The maximum dimensions of your hand luggage can be 55x40x20cm.

Things like laptops, handbags and items bought at the airport must fit within your 1 piece of hand baggage.

Virgin – Economy and Premium Economy only entitle you to one bag 23 x 36 x 56 cm (that’s approx. 9 x 14 x 22 inches) and 10kg (22lbs) max.

I find it really surprising that most budget airlines allow for this, and yet ones that I’d consider expensive such as Virgin, don’t!

Anyway, hope this slightly-less-than-riveting post has been useful!


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