If you travel frequently by air, you will probably be aware of how airline carriers and airports manage your luggage throughout your trip, checked baggage in air travel. But, if you do not travel frequently and want to know how to fly with your baggage and what things to avoid, you will find useful information here.
In this blog, we will do a detailed review of checked baggage, including the allowed luggage size, weight, policies, and much more.
What is a Checked Baggage/Luggage?
In air travel, the term “checked baggage” can be defined as the baggage (or luggage) that a passenger carries, which is stored in a separate cargo compartment of the aircraft throughout the trip.
Due to the fact that checked baggage can be big and contain lots of items, it thus, cannot be stored in the aircraft’s overhead bin or under the seat. Therefore, airlines provide a separate storage area inside their plane, in the rear, where such luggage of passengers is kept and delivered to their respective destination airports. From here, passengers can easily collect their luggage that is tagged with labels from the airport’s baggage claim area upon arrival.
When you are at the airport to board your flight, the airport makes it mandatory for passengers to have their luggage screened at the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) section. It is a security measure and the officials may also hand-check your luggage if deemed necessary. Today, almost all airports throughout the United States have had the TSA service since 2001.
What is Excess Baggage?
Generally speaking, if you are carrying luggage that is over the standard limits that are allowed by airline carriers, such luggage is referred to as “excess baggage”.
Additionally, if your baggage exceeds the allowed standard limits, which include size, weight, and quantity, then the airline may charge fees. The excess baggage fees usually vary from one airline to another.
It is always a good idea to enquire about luggage restrictions before purchasing your flight ticket and avoid paying extra fees or fines.
How is Checked Luggage Different from Carry-on?
As mentioned above, checked baggage is the luggage that passengers cannot carry inside the aircraft due to their size and weight. Therefore, the airport staff stores passengers’ luggage in the aircraft’s cargo section until the aircraft arrives at the destination airport. The luggage is then dispatched to the airport’s baggage claim area, where passengers can collect their belongings before leaving the airport.
For example, checked baggage include trolley bags (usually with handle and wheels), suitcase, and handheld bags. These bags are generally used for storing a number of items, such as clothes, edible items, and more.
A carry-on bag, on the other hand, is different from checked baggage. Passengers are allowed to carry one bag with very few items in it, which can be easily stored either in the plane’s overhead bin or under the passenger’s seat.
For example, items that you can carry in a carry-on bag include the following:
- Laptop computer (certain models only)
- Ladies handbag
- Adventure backpack
- Musical instrument
- Babies’ essential items
While most airlines allow passengers to carry only one carry-on bag inside the plane, there are a few airline carriers that permit up to two carry-on bags, and without charging additional fees.
What Policies do Airline Carriers have for Checked Baggage?
Now that we have seen what checked baggage is and how it is different from a carry-on bag, we shall also take a look at the policies with regard to checked baggage.
Airline carriers maintain strict regulations when it comes to passengers traveling with luggage.
Weight, Size, and Quantity of Luggage
A few important factors of checked baggage are its size, weight, and quantity. Since an aircraft has limited capacity for storing luggage and seating passengers and crew members, the overall weight distribution can affect the plane’s stability when en route to its final destination.
Therefore, this is one of the main reasons, each airline carrier issues checked baggage standards in their travel policies that passengers must comply with.
There are no set restrictions for checked luggage. A standard size that is very common across many airlines is 62 inches (158 cm) linear. Also, the standard weight usually depends on the flight’s cabin. However, sometimes, the maximum weight checked baggage can be (with or without overweight charges) is 32 kg (70 pounds).
Cost and Service Fees Applicable for Checked Baggage
While some airline carriers may charge you upfront for checked baggage, specific airlines, on the other hand, may include the cost in your flight’s ticket price. It is also possible that certain airlines may not charge you for checked baggage at all.
If your luggage is larger or heavier than the allowed limits, the airline can charge extra fees.
When you are on your next trip to your favorite destinations, getting to know beforehand about checked baggage will surely keep you away from any inconvenience.