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On the commercial transportation, mostly with airlines, the baggage allowance is the amount of checked or carry-on luggage the airline will allow per passenger. On some airlines, this is the amount that is allowed free of charge. In other cases, this is the firm limit, and carrying additional weight for an extra payment is not an option.


General Overview

The general allowance per passenger depends on the policies of the particular airline. On U.S. domestic flights, it was typical for an airline to allow passengers to check up to 2 pieces of lugagge that are up to 50 pounds (22.7 kg) each free of charge (total 100 pounds = 45.4 kg), and this can be exceeded for a fee. This changed during 2007 with most airlines now charging for both the first and second bag. However, within Europe, and often on flights between the United States and Europe, the limit is as low as 40 pounds (18 kilograms) total per passenger, and many airlines do not allow passengers to exceed this amount, even with payment of a fee. Many passengers complain about this limit, because after the typical 15-20 pounds (7–8 kg) of the suitcase itself, little room remains for any other items.

Checked luggage is usually measured by weight. All checked items are generally weighed by the airline, and if they exceed the limit, the passenger is informed by the airline. To avoid any fees, the passenger often must switch some of the items found in the suitcase to another suitcase, or else carry it on.

Carry-on luggage tends to be measured more in dimensions. Passengers can thereby skip weight restrictions by carrying on the item. However, there are more restrictions on the types of belongings that can be carried on the plane.

Piece Concept

On flights to and from the United States, as well as flights to and from Canada (and on selected flights which vary by airline), passenger baggage is controlled by the so-called Piece Concept. Under the Piece Concept, passengers are permitted to check two bags with a per-bag weight of up to 50 pounds (23 kilograms) for Economy Class, and up to 70 pounds (32 kilograms) for Business or First Class. Certain airlines operating under the Piece Concept may add additional checked baggage allowance for their Elite Level fliers (see below sections). Weight restrictions are per bag, unlike the Weight Concept (described below). Most airlines have changed the policy and allow as of November 2009 only one bag to be checked in for free. The second bag will cost between $50-55. [1]

Weight Concept

On flights not serving the United States or Canada (or other locations specified by the airline where the Piece Concept does not apply), passenger baggage is controlled by the so-called Weight Concept. Under the Weight Concept, each passenger is permitted to check a total bag weight in however many bags they have. Typically, Economy Class is permitted to check in up to 44 pounds (20 kilograms), Business Class is permitted to check in 66 pounds (30 kilograms), and First Class is permitted 88 pounds (40 kilograms). Unlike the Piece Concept, in which weight restrictions are per bag, the Weight Concept allows passengers to combine their bag weight into fewer bags which would otherwise be too heavy to travel under the Piece Concept.[1]

Star Alliance

  • Policy
    • The baggage allotment for the Star Alliance member airlines tends to be the same across the board so as to ensure seamless travel for passengers, minimizing confusion.
  • Exceptions
    • The Star Alliance allows an extra baggage allowance of 20 kilograms (44 lbs) or one additional piece of luggage for Star Alliance elite members. That includes all Star Alliance Gold members.[2]


  • Policy
    • Oneworld alliance differs greatly from the Star Alliance in the fact that the maximum weight allowed is determined by each individual airline's policies and procedures.

Customers are advised of the most restrictive allowance for their Oneworld itinerary at time of booking or check-in.[3]

  • Exceptions
    • Oneworld currently offers no exceptions to any respective member airlines baggage allowance due to it being set by them in the first place.

External links


  1. ^ a b IATA Baggage Information
  2. ^ Star Alliance, Star Alliance frequent travel benefits. Retrieved on September 21, 2007.
  3. ^ Oneworld, Oneworld baggage information. Retrieved on September 21, 2007.


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