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Quarter of Brits caught out by ‘confusing’ hand luggage allowances

A quarter of British passengers have fallen foul to airline hand luggage restrictions and ended up paying extra fees to check-in their bags at the airport, according to a new survey.

The Skyscanner research, which questioned 1,000 Brits, found that the vast majority of travellers find the current hand luggage allowance confusing as each airline is free to adopt their own allowances. As a result, many pack too much into small bags or simply use baggage that is bigger than the airline’s restriction and end up paying more money to take their belongings on holiday.

Skyscanner found that 82% would like to see a standardised hand luggage allowance to avoid any unnecessary confusion and charges. At the moment, the difference in size and weight restrictions is vast. For example, Easyjet offers its passengers just 50x40x20cm with no limit on weight, while Thomas Cook doesn’t measure cases, but restricts each person to just 5kg.

Travel website Skyscanner found that Iberia is by far the most generous airline as its passengers are able to take luggage measuring up to 56x45x25cm, while British Airways has a whopping 23kg allowance. Despite admitting confusion around limits on different airlines, passengers are cautious of exceeding the allowance, with 30% wearing their heaviest clothes to travel and 12% smuggling a second bag into the cabin.

No one wants to pay more to take their luggage on the plane, but for holidaymakers that have spent time searching for a budget holiday, it’s even more important. It is essential that travellers do check the hand luggage allowance on their flight before flying, but it’s also worth comparing other costs, such as airport parking and travel insurance.

The standard size cabin bag is 55x40x20cm and this is often the size marked as ‘hang luggage’ in store, but some airlines – notably Air France and KLM – have much smaller restrictions. As such, it is easy for passengers to get caught out. In order to provide travellers with a better idea of the restrictions they need to adhere to, Skyscanner has produced the following hand luggage guide:

Date Created: 20 March 2014

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