How Strict Is British Airways About Carry-on Luggage? 2024

So what is allowed on British Airways baggage allowance? and how strict are British Airways hand luggage?

Even though the British Airways has one of the best and generous baggage allowances in the world, there is more chance that they will place your carry-on bag in the sizer to make sure it will be in the overhead bin compartment , while your personal item needs to fit under the seat info of you.

Keep reading to know more about British Airways baggage allowance and restrictions to avoid any last minute charges at the airport.

Let’s dive right in.

All What you need to know About British Airways Carry on & check in baggage

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How Strict Is British Airways Carry On Baggage?

British Airways are not very strict about its carry on baggage, but don’t bring too much, when you travel with ba You are allowed to carry on board 2 items one as hand bag and the other as cabin bag with the following weight and sizes:

carry on size

  • Main carry on (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 56 x 45 x 25cm / 22 x 18 x 10in)
  • 1 handbag/laptop bag (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 40 x 30 x 15cm / 16 x 12 x 6in)

If you hand bag exceeds this free allowance weight and sizes, your baggage may be checked  as  hold baggage.

Does British Airways Charge For Carry On?

Carry on baggage is free of charge with British Airways and the total number of bags as described above must meet the given sizes and weight in addition of the allowances bellow:

  • Your bags must fit into the baggage gauge at check-in (including handles, pockets and wheels).
  • The weight limit applies to each bag; it isn’t possible to split the total weight across multiple bags.
  • You must be able to lift your bags into the overhead locker by yourself.
  • Your handbag/laptop size bag is guaranteed to travel in the cabin.
  • On busy flights, you may be asked to check in your additional cabin bag, so make sure you have no valuables or essential medication packed in this bag.
  • All duty free bags or airport purchases count as hand baggage so if you have more than your free allowance, your extra bags will be checked into the hold.

Infant hand baggage

Infants under 2 years traveling with British Airways accompanied with their parents are entitled to have 1 cabin bag for their essential items during the flight journey (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 56 x 45 x 25cm / 22 x 18 x 10in)

Hand luggage overweight

If your carry-on baggage is over the required weight and sizes you may need to check it.

it will be counted as your checked baggage; and if this also exceeds your free check in baggage you will need to pay an extra charge at the airport.

People also ask:

Checked Baggage

british airways baggage allowance-01

British Airways checked baggage allowance depends on the cabin you travel with and the frequent member statue in addition to other factors.

if you book online you can check your baggage allowance details here in Manage My Booking.  or you can find more information below:

Checked baggage size limits

British Airways customers and BA CityFlyer flights are entitled to check in a bag can be up to 90 x 75 x 43cm (35.5 x 29.5 x 16in); including any bits that stick out, like the handle, pockets and wheels
The weight limit applies to each bag. It’s not possible to split the total weight across multiple bags.

British Airways airport check in charges

BA check in charges increase if they are paid at the airport, rather than online.

For travel to/ from London Heathrow and many major European destinations, for example, it would cost £65 to check in a bag at the airport.

So it is advised to check in online – plan ahead to save time and money on all your baggage needs .

When surpass you checked baggage allowance, you’ll have to pay to put more bags into the hold.

If your checked baggage weighs more than your allowance, you may have to pay a heavy bag charge. 65 GBP / 75 EUR / 100 USD / 100 CAD per overweight bag and one-way journey. If you are leaving from a country that uses a different local currency, the GBP amount will be converted to the local currency. At many airports, including London Heathrow, Gatwick and North America, you can only pay using a credit or debit card. Cash is not accepted.

The weight limit is per bag and can’t be split between multiple bags. No bag over 32 kg can be accepted as checked baggage.

Excess Baggage

BA have Made some changes to its additional baggage allowance The changes apply to hand baggage only (Basic) fares between London Heathrow and selected destinations.

Extra bags on British Airways and BA CityFlyer are detailed as follows:

Each passenger over two years can pay for up to 10 additional bags as ell as their free checked baggage allowance for example if you free checked baggage allowance is one bag you can pay for an extra 10 bags to have eleven in total.

additional bags must be fit British Airways standard checked baggage allowances size and weight

The cheapest price for extra bags is on, except for a few routes where you need to pay at the airport. You can pay online at any time before you check in, otherwise you will need to pay at the airport.

At many airports, including London Heathrow, Gatwick and North America, you can only pay using a card. Please check with a member of our staff at the airport to find out if options are available for converting cash to a payment card.

Special Baggage

Sport equipment and musical instruments policy

you can carry on with you as free baggage allowance, but you may need to pay some extra fees if they are large and heavy, in addition; you may need to contact British Airways so they can plan space in the hold.

You can take many sports equipments your baggage( but not part of your checked baggage allowance).

all the sport items must be packed properly to avoid damage and has to meet the size and the weight of your allowance.

You can take larger sporting items of up to 190 x 75 x 65 cm (75 x 29.5 x 25.5in) if they do not exceed the required weight of your allowance; baggage over 23kg may incur a heavy bag charge.

You can pay to take more checked baggage and this will happen only if you are traveling on hand baggage only ( basic) fare.

you may need to inform the airways that you will bring certain items, such as bikes, so they can plan their loading.

Also some items may be subject to safety and security restrictions and you may need the airways approval to carry them; and to do that you need to contact the airways.

If you are checking in a large piece of sports equipment, please allow an additional 15 minutes so that the item can be safely and securely handed over to the Baggage staff.

If your equipment isn’t listed below or you have any questions, please contact the airways here.

Restricted Items

What items are prohibited in hand luggage?

BA banned and restricted items that you are not allow to carry with you on its flights are specified clearly in the list bellow ; but some restrictions may varied due to the destination and due to the airline. so always keep checking you local airport and airlines guidelines and rules before you fly.

for example if you have depart from US check the website of the US transport security administration

liquids and restricted items

you can take liquids in your checked baggage with BA; but most countries have different allowance about the quantity you can carry with in their airlines; and this includes any type of liquids, creams and aerosols.

  • toiletries
  • liquid medicines
  • alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
  • liquid components of e-cigarettes
  • food items, such as soups, sauces, jam and jelly (see separate guidance on baby food)
  • powders on flights to USA and from Australia (such as coffee, sugar, spices, powdered milk and cosmetics).

hand luggage requirements

  • Each liquid must be no more than 100ml (3.4oz) and must be in its container.
  • You need to put all items in a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of up to 20 x 20cm (8 x 8in) with a total capacity of up to one litre (approx. one quart).
  • You must be able to completely close the bag and fit it in your hand baggage.
  • You must take the bag of liquids out of your hand baggage to be screened separately.
  • In the UK and EU, the tasting or testing of liquids, aerosols or gels on the skin is no longer a recognised method of screening. These items are screened using special equipment and you may be asked to open them. If you’re traveling outside the UK and EU, please check applicable safety requirements.
  • If you are flying to the US, there is a limit on the amount of powders (eg. flour, sugar, coffee, spices, powdered milk or cosmetics) you may take in your hand luggage. Customers who wish to take more than 350g of powders to the US must pack them into their hold luggage.
  • If you are flying from Australia, there is a limit on the amount of certain powders you may take in your hand luggage


you can take non- radioactive medicine or toiletries such as hair sprays, perfumes, colognes and medicines containing alcohol in your hand or checked baggage.

also non-flammable, non-toxic, non-corrosive aerosols for sporting or home use in your checked baggage only.

please make sure that the total of all mentioned items above must not exceed 1 kg or 1 liter.

duty free

You can purchase duty-free liquids like gel creams and other products in the airport or on board and more than 100 ml, please make sure that the product have been sealed and has a security tamper in the purchase point[ ask the the cabin crew to do this for you].

if you want to leave the airport during your connecting flights, you can take these items with you as long as they are not opened, but you may need to go through the security check again who might need to open your items bag and reseal them in a new bag.

British Airways will not accept any product that are opened during your transfer or disembarkation.


BA allows its passengers carry with them solid food like sandwiches, biscuits and fruits; liquid food are entitled for liquids allowance above. some countries will have different food allowance; this types of food for example are prohibited in many countries -mea, fresh fruits and vegetables.

This is the allowance of things you can bring to the UK whether you are traveling form within or outside the European Union:

The EU also includes Andorra, Canary Islands, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland in this context.

Inside EU

Passengers from the EU are allowed to bring with them any fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy or any other animal products( e.g eggs or honey) to the UK.

Outside EU

If you come outside the EU you are not allowed to bring with you meat products, milk, dairy products or potatoes to the UK unless you come from one of these countries: Iceland, the Faroes Islands and Greenland. you can bring up to 10 kg from these countries.

fruits and vegetables

you can bring up to 2kg of fruits and vegetables( except potatoes) to the UK as long as they are: in a personal bag, for you and your family( not for selling), clean and free from signs of pests and diseases.

Eggs honey and fish

Egg products and honey are allowed to be brought to the UK( up to 2 kg in total), and fish up to 20 kg, and it must be fresh and gutted, cooked, cured, dried, or smoked.

Please make sure to declare any products that’s not allowed if you come from outside the EU, to avoid delays and possible charges.

vist for further information

Electronic device restrictions

you can bring with you, your own personal devices for use such as cell phone, laptop, tablet camera and music player;

Please make sure that the battery for these devices is packed to prevent any accidental activation; keep the batteries in their original packaging(if it is possible) a protective case, or a strong plastic bag; don’t take any damaged battery or equipment with you.

If the watt hour is not showing in the battery or can be determined, then the battery can not be accepted, other way you can calculate the WH rating using this formula Milliamp hour rating/1000 multiplied by the voltage equals Wh. 

Smart luggage

A smart bag is a bag or suitcase with a lithium battery or power bank, that is used to recharge personal electronic items e.g iPhones, tablets, iPads, laptops or provide electro-motive power that provides propulsion to the suitcase. 

If the lithium  battery can not really be removed from the smart baggage by the customer the smart bag will not be accepted in the flight.

if you can remove the lithium battery from the bag; it is permitted for the carriage and it will be subject to the following conditions.

  • Lithium battery/Power banks up to and including 100Wh are acceptable for carriage.
  • Lithium battery/Power banks of more than 100 Wh up to 160 Wh can be carried with the approval of the airline. 

if the Wh of the lithium battery is more than 160 Wh, or the Wh rating cannot be determined(e.g not marked on the battery/ power bank case) the lithium battery / power bank will not be accepted on the flight.

  • If the smart bag will be checked in and will travel in the hold, the lithium battery/power bank must be removed and carried in the cabin(terminals protected against short circuit).
  • If you want to carry your smart bag in the cabin, you must be able to easily remove the lithium battery/power bank, but it can remain in the bag.

Please make sure that your smart baggage meets the BA security requirements and if you are traveling with other British airways partners contact them for more information or take a look at their smart baggage allowance.

Disclosure: Some information for (British Airways baggage allowance ) is pulled from The airline websites as a resource. Airline websites are the authority and can change at any time. For the latest information please visit the Airline website.