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Baggage Allowances on FlightsBaggage
and other related information

Search Words:
Baggage Allowances on Flights, Free Baggage Allowance Information, Excess Baggage Policy, TSA Accepted and Recognized Locks

Lose the weight before you travel - Rules and regulations are constantly being adjusted in today's travel environment. It's best to contact the airline you're traveling on for the most up-to-date and accurate information because the next time you check in at the airport for your next dive adventure, be prepared for a surcharge if your bag weighs in at more than 50 pounds.

Looking to increase revenue, some airlines have lowered the maximum weight limit for any single bag from 75 to 50 pounds. You may still be able to take overweight baggage, but its going cost you. These surcharges can be pretty steep, and can start at US$25 and can be as much as US$130 per overweight/oversized bag depending on the airline!!

So what can you do...

  • Establish Priorities - Decide before you go what activities you'll do, then pack accordingly. Don't try to take everything you might need and only take what you will really use. Once the packing starts and you have make choices, ask yourself a few questions:

    Can I live without this for a week?
    Can I buy this there if I need it?
    Can I rinse this out in the sink?
  • Divide Stuff Up - You can still check two bags and carry on a small one. It's OK to take that big dive bag on wheels, just don't stuff it to the gills. And remember, the dive knife goes in the checked bag.
  • Think Small - The bigger the bag, the more you tend to take. Start with a smaller bag, load toiletries into small travel-sized bottles, don't pack the same multi-purpose products for each person, and roll clothes or use packing aids to save space.
  • Weigh the Bag - The easiest way for most of us without a luggage scale in our garage is to stand on the bathroom scale without the bag, then with it, and do the math.
    Digital Luggage Scale Balanzza Ergo, Digital Luggage Scale
    The only scale that positions the screen horizontally on the upper side in regards to the floor so the user can see the weight while lifting it with one hand; it can also wait for the beep to set it down if lifted with 2 hands. Enlarge Image - Other Luggage Scales

Carry On Luggage Allowance - All airlines place limits on the number, the size, and the weight of what you can carry on to a flight with you. Generally US domestic airlines are fairly liberal with these limits, and rarely choose to enforce them. If you have been exceeding the official carry-on allowances, be warned!! With the airlines starting to charge for checked bags, more passengers are trying to beat these charges by carrying more items on planes - larger and heavier bags. The airlines, in turn, now have a financial incentive to enforce their carry on bag limits, and we anticipate increasing attention and enforcement of carry-on weight limits in the future.

Domestic & International Carryon Luggage Policy variations - International flights often have much stricter carry-on policies, particularly with regard to the weight of carry-on bags. Although most domestic airlines have no limit on carry-on bag weight, internationally, you will find that some airlines set such ridiculously low carry-on weight limits (sometimes as little as 11 lbs) that the weight of an empty carry-on bag is more than the total weight you're allowed to take with you!

You need to be aware of these rules, or else the next time you see someone desperately unpacking and repacking their luggage on the floor by the check-in counter, that person might be you!

International airlines may have different size limits on your carry on bags, too - sometimes smaller in one dimension, even if perhaps larger in a different dimension. If you want a bag that is always accepted on both domestic and international flights, you'll need to choose a size or two smaller than the maximum allowable domestic sizes.

If your flight is on a really small plane, you might find that your luggage allowances for both checked and carry-on items are substantially reduced. For example, some light aircraft operators limit passengers to 20lbs of luggage (both carry on and checked).


Free Baggage Allowances

The standard free baggage allowance on any given airline is the maximum number, size, and weight of bags that each customer is allowed to bring on the plane with no additional charge. Airlines base this allowance on extensive studies of the variables that influence the maximum capacity of baggage on an aircraft. Variables include size of aircraft cargo compartments, dimensions of the doors, fuel requirements, the typical number of passengers on board, and government regulations. These evaluations generally result in the establishment of a standard free baggage allowance that is applied to all flights for that airline.


Airlines Baggage Information

Ensure your travel goes smoothly – know your baggage restrictions and check answers to commonly asked questions in advance. Use the links below to find extensive information pertaining to baggage, including baggage allowances on flights, what constitutes special baggage, and more.

Air Canada
American Airlines
British Airways
Continental Airlines
Delta Airlines
Jet Blue Airlines
Northwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines
United Airlines
US Airways

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) - Pack Smart
Other Travel and Destination information


TSA Approved Luggage Locks

TSA Approved Luggage LocksThe Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has an arrangement with Travel Sentry and Safe Skies to supply TSA screeners with tools for opening and re-locking baggage that use locks that display their logos.

Travel Sentry and Safe Skies are certified locks that are available from many different luggage and accessory companies. If airport security personnel need to inspect your checked bag, they no longer need to cut your locks or force the bag open to screen its contents.

These simple combination locks will securely keep your suitcase closed. Some even offer a green/red color indicator on the front of the lock to alert luggage owners that the lock was opened and re-locked by TSA personnel.

Please email all questions or comments with this site to Technical Support.

- Support#form


Last Modified: December 26, 2011

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