Overview of British Airways
British Airways is the United Kingdom's flagship airline. This second largest airline of the UK flies to 180 destinations worldwide, including six cities in the UK, and others in Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, South America, and Oceania. British Airways’ short-haul flights are configured with Economy Class and Business Class, while their long-haul flights are configured with First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy Class.
British Airways offering multiple travelling classes is great and all, but the variables can become a bit confusing. One of the most concerning aspects is the baggage allowance. Worry not, as the CabinZero Crew has got you covered. Keep scrolling to read our most comprehensive breakdown of the rather baffling baggage allowance of British Airways.
British Airways Baggage Allowance Policy
Boarding a British Airways’ flight soon? If so, you wouldn’t want to miss this comprehensive guide of the requirements of British Airways’ baggage allowance.
In below, we will go through the most fundamental information you must know if you’re travelling with British Airways, which would help you tremendously with your preparation for the flight.
British Airways allows all customers to bring on-board one piece of hand luggage and one small item (a handbag, a laptop, etc.). These items should meet the following requirements regarding their dimensions and weights:
- In dimensions: Your hand luggage must not exceed 22 x 17.7 x 9.8 in (56 x 45 x 25 cm), while your small items should not exceed 15.7 x 11.8 x 6 in (40 x 30 x 15 cm).
- In weight: all of your items should not exceed 50 lbs (23 kg).
If your baggage exceeds the above limit, it will have to be checked and counted as a checked baggage. In that case, the requirements for checked baggage will apply. If your baggage still exceeds that limit, however, then you will have to incur extra fees.
Music Equipment Policy
If it’s a small instrument and it fits in your bag, then it’s fine. However, if it doesn’t fit inside your bag, or if it is carried within its own case, then it will be counted as a hand luggage. In this case, it must not exceed 31 x 18 x 10 in (80 x 45 x 25 cm).
If your instrument is bigger than this size, then you can still carry it on-board by buying an extra seat. In which case, it is required that:
The instrument is put in a rigid case to protect it from damage;
Maximum size should be 55 x 20 x 16 in (140 x 50 x 40 cm);
The owner must contact British Airways at least 24 hours prior to boarding.
If an extra seat isn’t booked, then the equipment will be checked in, checked into hold and counted as one checked baggage. If it goes over the free limit you will be charged extra.
There will be several factors that decide how many checked baggage allowed per customer. Those include, but aren’t exclusively, booking, route, fare, and ticket type. Each piece should not exceed:
- 36 x 30 x 17 in (90 x 75 x 43 cm) in dimensions (including wheels and handles);
- 50 – 70 lbs (23 – 32 kg) in weights, depending on route or ticket.
The exact number of baggage pieces allowed varies between different boarding classes. The table below illustrates the baggage allowances for each type of ticket. Do note that, this doesn’t apply to flights to/from Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and connecting journeys between India and Bermuda, Canada, and USA.
Regarding the number of pieces of baggage allowed:
- Economy class passengers can check in 1 bag;
- Full-fare Economy, Premium Economy, and Business (Club Europe) class passengers can check in 2 bags;
- Business (First Club World Biz Bed) passengers can check in up to 3 bags.
Regarding weight allowances:
- Economy, Full-fare Economy, and Premium Economy passengers can check in baggage of up to 50 lbs (23 kg) each.
- Business (Club Europe) and Business (First Club World Biz Bed) passengers can check up to 70 lbs (32 kg) each.
Musical instruments and sporting equipment policy
The general consensus is that, if it fits snugly into your hand baggage, it’s free. If it doesn't fit into your hand baggage, it will be checked into the hold as a checked baggage for free as long as it doesn’t go over the limit.
If your equipment has to be checked, in some cases, British Airways will port items as large as 75 x 30 x 25 in (190cm x 75cm x 65cm) and as heavy as 100 lbs (45 kg). Do note that once you exceed the 50 lbs (23 kg) mark, you will have to pay extra.
For Hand Baggage Only Flights
Passengers boarding hand baggage only flights don’t get any free checked baggage slot, but you add a few at will for a fee, which depends on your route. Each bag shall not exceed 50 lbs (23 kg) in weight. Fees will be cheaper if you booked online, so do consider it in advance. The following table illustrates the price range for extra baggage when purchased online or in-airport.
Regarding the price, there will be some variety. Online prices go as below:
- First bag costs £20 - 40;
- Each additional bag costs £36 - 60;
- Bags on connecting flights: £65.
If you purchase slots in the airport, the price will be: £40 - £60
Extra Checked Baggage
Each passenger can check-in up to maximum 10 pieces of luggage per flight, including your free luggage slots. For example, if you’re boarding Economy Class, which allows you one free checked baggage, you can buy 9 more slots.
As always, the price will be cheaper when you book online. When booked online, each piece will cost £36 to £120, but they can go up to £40 to £140 when booked in-airport.
Overweight bags will be charged a fee of £65 per bag, as long as they remain under 70 lbs (32 kg). If they exceed this limit, they will be shipped separately as a cargo. Do refer to British Airways’ baggage guide for further details.
Yes, you can. There are no weight limits nor overweight charges for medical equipment. There is, however, a number limit, which is your checked baggage limit. All checked bags with medical equipment need to be supported by an official medical letter by competent authorities.
The same policy above will apply to children or infants travelling on their own tickets. Specifically for infants travelling without a seat, they can have a 50 lbs (23 kg) checked baggage irrespective of class type.