What Are the Limitations of Hand Baggage During International Flights?

When you are planning a trip, especially a trip abroad, the first thing you might be interested in is the amount of luggage you can bring with you. Obviously, you’ll have to give your larger bags to airport personnel, preferably wrapping them in the protective layers, but what about hand baggage? You’ll definitely want to take something to the cabin, especially if your flight is long.  To make sure that no difficulties occur when you arrive at the airport and start boarding your plane, there are things that you should keep in mind.

What Things to Take

The things the majority of people tend to take with them to the cabin include the following:

  • Laptops;
  • Small bags with toiletries, certain clothes, books/toys that you might need at hand;
  • Small suits with documents.

A laptop is too fragile to be put with larger baggage as it can be easily broken, so most people take it with them. Things that you’ll need right away during the flight should also be with you, as well as the suitcases with documents you might need to review while flying. So, where does the limit end?


With most airlines, you can take one or two baggage items with you. It depends on the size of the cabin and/or your travel class. If you’re traveling in the Economy class, you’re likely to be allowed to carry only one baggage item. If your class is higher, most airlines allow you to bring two items. Still, limitations regarding size and weight are applied equally to all hand baggage items.

The maximum length of the hand baggage is 22 inches (or 56 cm). Anything longer will not pass unless the longer size is specified by your chosen airline. The depth of your baggage must not exceed 10 inches (or 25 cm) and it mustn’t be wider than 18 inches (or 45 cm). Please note that it includes everything situated on your baggage, such as wheels, additional side pockets, handles, zippers, etc. Also, your hand baggage shouldn’t exceed 12 kg.  If you travel in a higher class, though, you might be allowed to bring the baggage weighing up to 18 kg.

These regulations have been imposed by International Air Transport Association is known as IATA, so they apply to international flights in particular. However, the conditions and limitations might be different for each airline, so check in advance and be attentive when weighing and measuring the baggage that you want to bring with you on board.