What does free baggage mean?

What is hand baggage? Hold luggage? Checked baggage? Free luggage?

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Anyone planning a flight trip is guaranteed to be confronted with a large number of “baggage terms”. It is not always easy to understand what exactly is meant by the seemingly trivial terms such as hand luggage, hand luggage, excess luggage, free luggage, sports luggage and special luggage.

That is why I would like to give you a brief overview of the different types of baggage such as hand baggage, checked baggage, free baggage, excess baggage, sports, bulky and special baggage (with examples of the items allowed in each case) and also briefly inform you about what is available for each Type of luggage to be considered.

Hand luggage / hold luggage

The definition of carry-on baggage, also Hold luggageor cabin luggage, according to Duden, reads: "Luggage that you take with you as a passenger".

In the sense of air travel, hand luggage is therefore to be defined as the luggage that you are allowed to take on board (in the cabin). Usually this includes:

  • a regular large piece of hand luggage such as B. a Trolley case or a large backpack as
  • a smaller piece of hand luggage such as a Laptop bag or one purse

In English these "small" pieces of hand luggage are called "personal items" designated. How many of these personal items you are allowed to bring with you depends on the airline. More detailed information can usually be found on the airline's website and mostly on the same page where the hand baggage regulations are generally listed.

For the large piece of hand luggage there is almost always Limitations on size and weight. The maximum dimensions vary depending on the airline. For example, many airlines allow the size of the large piece of hand luggage 115 cm (Addition of L x W x H, i.e. the three dimensions). How big / long each of the dimensions can be is sometimes also specified precisely.

As far as the weight of (large) hand luggage is concerned, most airlines have the maximum weight allowed between 5 and 10 kilograms. But here too there are exceptions and a few airlines have not defined a maximum weight for hand luggage, for example. In these cases, you only have to make sure that you do not exceed the maximum permitted dimensions.

Also for the smaller hand luggage (the personal items) there are some requirements for size and some for weight. But by no means always. The airlines often set a maximum weight, which applies to the combination of large and small hand luggage.

In addition to the so-called personal items, each passenger is usually also allowed to bring other items on board, the so-called Accessories.These types of items include, among others:

  • Umbrellas
  • Coats
  • crutches
  • Walking sticks
  • Duty-free bags with duty-free goods that you bought at the airport

These items are too often limited to one “piece”.

Also (smaller) musical instrumentsMost airlines are allowed to take them into the cabin as hand luggage. The musical instruments such. B. violin or guitar are often regarded as regular, large hand luggage, provided that the maximum permitted dimensions for the large piece of hand luggage is not exceeded.

So if you bring a musical instrument as a large carry-on bag, they have consequently, you are not entitled to another free large piece of hand luggage, because the musical instrument then represents your large piece of hand luggage.

However, with some airlines it is possible to use one additional "item seat" on which you can deposit your musical instrument if necessary. However, you should first find out the maximum size of your hand luggage / musical instrument before you book an additional seat (online).

Great musical instrumentssuch as B. a harp or a double bass cannot be transported in the cabin. For these instruments, you will typically need to add hold baggage to your booking and ensure that the instruments are well packed and protected.

In addition to regular hand luggage (large piece of hand luggage and, depending on the case, small piece of hand luggage (personal item) and sometimes one or more accessories) there is also special itemswhich can often be brought on board free of charge.

Fall under this category medical equipmentthat you need for the trip (attention: evidence in the form of prescriptions / receipts or a certificate from a general practitioner must usually be presented) so that you can bring such medical equipment on board.

It is also sufficient for families Baby food for the young crew allowed for the entire flight. In certain cases, families are also allowed to bring an additional hand luggage bag with a weight of up to 5 kilograms on board (if permitted, you can find this information in most cases under the hand luggage (regulations) section of your airline.

There are also a number of restrictions on hand luggage that limit the type and quantity of certain items that can be carried in hand luggage. Here the airlines differentiate between dangerous objects (also called dangerous goods) and restricted items.

The dangerous objects are not allowed on board. Some examples are:

  • Explosives
  • Fireworks
  • Torches¨
  • highly flammable substances
  • oxidizing and radioactive substances
  • any kind of weapons and objects that could be used as such

However, certain airlines (primarily in Europe) allow this Taking smaller pocket knives with you with a blade length of up to 6 centimeters in hand luggage.

What liquids As far as is concerned, these are not prohibited in principle on board, but there are strict rules when it comes to liquids, which must be followed in any case. These rules are used practically worldwide and in this area there are relatively few exceptions and differences with regard to the handling of the various airlines.

You can find the exact rules for this in our article on Liquids rule in hand luggage.

The transportation of petsis also permitted on many airlines. Depending on the size, weight and special regulations of the respective airline, the pet can be in the cabin or in Holdbe transported.

Usually covered for the transportation of pets fees at. However, there are also airlines that do no pets convey, such as easyJet or Ryanair. Registered guide dogs and assistance dogs can also be transported with these airlines. However, not necessarily on all routes. You can find more information on this here

Checked baggage / cargo baggage / main baggage

The counterpart to hand luggage is that Checked baggage, including checked baggage or cargo / main baggagecalled (English: Checked luggage).

As the name suggests, hold baggage must be checked in at the check-in and in most cases it will be handed in at the Hold transported by the aircraft.

The permitted weight and the maximum dimensions differ depending on the airline. Often a weight of around 20-23 kilograms allowed per suitcase.

On economy flights, the number of suitcases allowed is in most cases limited to one piece. while first and business customers often have a second suitcase at no extra charge (up to 32 kilograms per piece of luggage, depending on the airline).

Of course, the piece of luggage does not necessarily have to be a (roll) suitcase, but can also, as long as the regulations in terms of weight and dimensions are complied with, a large travel backpack or travel bag be handed in as checked baggage.

free luggage

The term free luggage also shows the amount of baggage that can be carried per person without incurring additional costs. The baggage allowance includesaccordingly, as a rule both hand baggage and checked baggage.

How much can be transported effectively (at no extra charge) also depends in many cases on the type of ticket from. While only one large piece of hand luggage is often allowed in economy class, two large pieces of hand luggage can sometimes be brought on board on First and Business flights.

The situation is similar with checked baggage (see above for more details). The Limitation for the maximum number of pieces of luggage that can be carried, based either on the Piece concept (Piece concept) or the Weight concept (Weight Concept).

If the carrier relies on the piece concept, then you are only allowed to take a certain number of pieces of luggage with a certain weight per piece of luggage. The Weight of the luggage is allowed here Not according to your mood redistributed become. In this case, you must absolutely observe the defined maximum weight per suitcase / piece of luggage.

At the Weight concept is received from the carrier Maximum weight specified which per person can be transported without surcharge. In contrast to the piece concept, the weight here can be on several pieces of luggage and sometimes even on several passengers within one booking (trip with family, for example) divided up become.

Excess baggage

In contrast to the free baggage allowance, this is understood as excess baggage the baggage that a passenger carries with him in excess of the free baggage allowance.

The airlines charge for the transport of excess baggage feeswhich have to be paid for either at the airport or via the internet. Prices vary depending on the carrier. In most cases, however, the fees are substantial, so you should definitely try to avoid excess baggage.

You can find out how to avoid excess baggage in hand luggage, for example, in our article 9 tips to avoid extra costs with hand luggage.

who with Animals travels what with most airlines limited to cats and dogs is, who will also be confronted with the term excess baggage in most cases, since the vast majority of airlines charge animals as excess baggage.

Either the usual tariffs for excess baggage will then be charged or the excess baggage tariffs specially applied for pets will be charged. Transporting pets by plane or in the cargo hold is usually very expensive and costs between, depending on the route, weight and size of the pet 20-400 euros each way.

But not everything can simply be declared and transported as excess baggage at the airport. Most airlines deny for example the transport of luggage that exceeds 32 kg. To transport such items of luggage, you must contact a forwarding agent in your area.

In addition to limiting the weight is also a limit to the maximum allowed dimensions common. For example, the airline KLM does not transport items that are L + W + H larger than 406 cm (159 inches).

Bulky baggage / sports baggage / special baggage

Last but not least, the term bulky luggage is often used. Under Bulky baggage is generally understood to mean the baggage which (e.g. due to its size or nature) may not be transported via the automatic baggage container system.

Especially sports baggageis considered bulky baggage by most airlines (especially due to its dimensions, shape and increased weight).

With many airlines a transport is such Special baggage (another term that often appears in this context) within the scope of what is permitted Baggage allowance possible free of charge.

You can find more detailed information on the respective provisions of various airlines in terms of bulky luggage / sports luggage / special luggage on this page with comprehensive information on Bulky baggage (on the plane)

Hand luggage terms in English

True globetrotters of course often come across luggage terms in English on their travels. Because German is not spoken everywhere in the world, we probably agree on that. That is why the guru quickly wrote an article with the most important hand luggage terms in English. Voilà: Hand luggage vocubular in English

Hello everybody! It's Marcel, the hand luggage guru. On my website handgepaeck-guru.de I present you 20 years of experience in the field of hand luggage and provide you with valuable tips and tricks - for the most relaxed air travel possible!