Blinds and child safety

A guide to airline hand baggage allowance

Shanna Schreuder

Copy producer,

22 May 2014

Planning to book a city break in the near future? Keep the price low by opting for ‘hand luggage only’ when booking your airline ticket, and save yourself time too by being able to breeze past the luggage carousel at your destination.

Unfortunately the airlines, especially the budget ones, frequently move the goal posts when it comes to your hand luggage allowance, so please note that this information is right at the time of publication. I’ve created a mini guide to highlight the rules of British Airways, Easyjet and Ryanair and made some suitcase suggestions, but please do double check before booking.


Easyjet allows only 1 piece of hand luggage per passenger, so if you always carry a handbag, then they’ll consider that to be your permitted item of hand luggage – best to take a small handbag or clutch that you can easily fit into your bigger piece of hand luggage.

The airline’s maximum allowed size limit is 56 x 45 x 25cm (including handles and wheels). However, they do stipulate that on busy flights they may have to put your bag into the hold, so they also recommend that you take a smaller case that’s no bigger than 50 x 40 x 20cm (including handles and wheels) to prevent this from happening on full flights.

Here’s a selection of cabin suitcases that meet Easyjet’s stricter guidelines:


Ryanair allows you to have 1 piece of hand luggage per passenger weighing up to 10kg with dimensions 55 x 40 x 20cm (including handles and wheels), plus 1 smaller bag measuring 35 x 20 x 20cm (including handles and wheels – so you can have your handbag and a small suitcase or holdall with you in the cabin.

However, each aircraft only has space in the cabin for 90 cabin bags (55 x 40 x 20cm) which means that if you’re in the last group to board there’s a chance that they’ll have to put your bag in the hold (free of charge).

Pick one of these cabin suitcases if you’re flying with Ryanair:

British Airways

British Airways is the most generous, as it allows every passenger to carry on 1 cabin suitcase or bag up to 56 x 45 x 25cm (including handles and wheels) in size and 1 personal bag measuring 45 x 36 x 20cm (including handles and wheels).

Do note though, if you have a separate shopping bag of duty free, then this will be classed as an extra bag and you could be charged for it; so slip it into one of your two pieces of hand luggage, or have it as your second piece of hand luggage.

These cabin suitcases should be accepted by BA as hand luggage: