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View Full Version : BA Hand Baggage Allowance - Really?


old,not bold
18th Dec 2018, 16:23
Mrs ONB just spotted that BA's website says that on a Eurotraveller ticket each passenger is allowed 2 pieces of hand baggage (as well as 1 hold bag, 23Kg).

Yes, well, I knew that; what I didn't know is that the maximum allowed weight of each piece is 23Kg, ie 46Kg per person. Size restrictions apply, of course.

Now if, say, 100 passengers on a flight use that allowance that would add 4.6 tonnes, quite a lot, even if they could manage to heave it into the cabin in the first place.

t's unlikely, of course, to put it mildly, that anything like that would or even could happen.

But I am wondering why BA set the figure so high. Can anyone throw some light on it?

Hotel Tango
18th Dec 2018, 16:56
If it did say that it would be a typo. However, I can't find anything on their site which suggests you can take 2 pieces of hand baggage, each weighing 23Kg. On certain flights you can take 2 pieces for the hold, weighing a maximum of 23Kg total (not 23Kg per bag).

old,not bold
18th Dec 2018, 17:47
If it did say that it would be a typo. Yes, I thought so too, and said so to Mrs ONB. Then she showed me the webpage she had seen. I then searched the site and found Hand Baggage Allowances. (https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/baggage-essentials/hand-baggage-allowances)

This was a different page to the one she had showed me, but it says exactly the same.

So I called Customer Services, got through promptly (now there's a first), and was told that the allowance is indeed 23Kg per item, for 2 items of hand baggage, ie 46Kg in all. I asked her several times to confirm that is is correct, which she did.

DaveReidUK
18th Dec 2018, 18:06
Now if, say, 100 passengers on a flight use that allowance that would add 4.6 tonnes, quite a lot, even if they could manage to heave it into the cabin in the first place.

It's unlikely, of course, to put it mildly, that anything like that would or even could happen.

Exactly.

You would have to try fairly hard to cram 23 kg into a bag sized for the overhead bin, let alone one that will fit under your seat (unless you're a bullion dealer:O). So it's a pretty safe assumption on the part of BA that only a small proportion of pax will fall into that category.

In other words it's basically marketing, to differentiate the airline from LCCs.

Ignore the HUD
19th Dec 2018, 15:12
Slight thread drift maybe ..The wife flew with BA short haul last week and chose hand baggage only. She received an e mail the day before saying that it would be allowed to be check into the hold at no cost and then at LHR told it would have to go into the hold no choice in the matter. Several other passengers with hand luggage were told this also. Having valuable items that she did not want to be placed in the hold she was reluctantly alllowed to take her hand baggage on board, it was nowhere near the weight limit. This particular German destination always has issues with hand baggage... so be prepared if your in the last boarding group!

RevMan2
19th Dec 2018, 16:16
What’s the maximum permissible loading for an overhead bin? IIRC around 40kg. Isn’t that the limiting factor?

Hotel Tango
19th Dec 2018, 16:18
I'm still trying to get my head around the 2 x 23kg CABIN baggage. Despite having now seen it with my own eyes, it just doesn't equate. Certainly never heard of before, other than the old Aeroflot days of course! :) The highest hand baggage allowance I have personally ever seen in my travels was 10Kg. Many restrict it to as low as 6Kg! I'm still wondering if it's a monumental cock up and should read 23lbs (just over 10 Kgs).

Asturias56
19th Dec 2018, 17:33
I don't think I've ever made a 23 kg single bag in the hold.. maybe if I had gold bars...

wiggy
19th Dec 2018, 19:03
Slight thread drift maybe ..The wife flew with BA short haul last week and chose hand baggage only. She received an e mail the day before saying that it would be allowed to be check into the hold at no cost and then at LHR told it would have to go into the hold no choice in the matter. Several other passengers with hand luggage were told this also. Having valuable items that she did not want to be placed in the hold she was reluctantly alllowed to take her hand baggage on board, it was nowhere near the weight limit. This particular German destination always has issues with hand baggage... so be prepared if your in the last boarding group!

It’s now (sadly) seems pretty standard across the network. There will normally be an announcement made at the gate that “the flight is very full..we are looking for volunteers willing to have their hand baggage hold loaded in return for priority boarding”. If they aren’t enough volunteers chances are a suitable amount of handbaggage will be fairly positively “culled” at the gate.

You’d almost think the gate staff (BA or contract) had a target to meet...:rolleyes:

DaveReidUK
19th Dec 2018, 21:53
Itís now (sadly) seems pretty standard across the network.

And not just on BA, I've seen the same thing many times on EZY and RYR.

Hotel Tango
19th Dec 2018, 22:23
Well, as far as most completely full flights are concerned, most carriers now do this. I've seen it on numerous different carriers, both loco and legacy. The main space consumers are all the bloody wheelie bags, many of which are the size of a medium suitcase! I still carry a soft shoulder bag and no one has ever tried to take it off me.

RevMan2
20th Dec 2018, 06:11
I still carry a soft shoulder bag and no one has ever tried to take it off me.

Delta from Boston to New Orleans. Last pax to board. "You can't take anything on board. This flight's completely full"

"This fits under my seat"

"You can't take anything on board. This flight's completely full" ad nauseum
At some stage, a grown-up appeared........

wiggy
20th Dec 2018, 06:12
Well, as far as most completely full flights are concerned, most carriers now do this.

I know they do....though there is a bit of a credibility issue when you just happen to know ;) that there are 40 plus empty seats on the 320 you will shortly be boarding but the gate staff still announce “we have a completely full flight today therefore .......”

Ignore the HUD
20th Dec 2018, 08:41
And not just on BA, I've seen the same thing many times on EZY and RYR.

Agreed last time out of LGW with EZY the cabin crew asked certain people after we had boarded to request that their hand baggage be put in the hold. One person flatly refused to do this . A standoff occurred until another passenger kindly volunteered their baggage to be put in the hold instead. It had got to the stage when the pilot came to ask his crew what the problem was as we were in danger of loosing our slot. I am concerned about this as I often travel with very expensive camera gear as hand baggage ( within BA weight limits), this would be not covered by insurance in the hold and am very reluctant to let it out of my sight.
BTW the passenger concerned who refused to let their hand baggage go in the hold was of the view that a) if you book hand baggage that is what youve paid for and should receive. b) Aircraft type selected for the route should be capable of doing so without inconveniencing passengers to this degree. This is not my POV but just thought it may prove of interest in one way or another.........

Hotel Tango
20th Dec 2018, 10:13
I am concerned about this as I often travel with very expensive camera gear as hand baggage

So do I, always, which is why I will never surrender my bag to the hold. However, as it is a relatively small soft bag (but which I can gets loads of stuff in) it never attracts the attention of gate staff who tend to focus on the wheelies.

Asturias56
20th Dec 2018, 10:35
A guy I worked with once was on an SQ flight out of Zurich where a passenger had a dis-assembled racing bike (with wheels) as cabin baggage - what was weird was he was only challenged when on board... and it took the arrival of the Captain before the thing was taken away......

PAXboy
20th Dec 2018, 12:06
I'd say this is a typo. But, any pax taking any item of baggage with the intention of taking it into the cabin - needs to read the small print! If you do not cooperate - they can remove you from the flight without compensation. Unfortunately, many pax do not read the small print and "'But when I travelled out with BA last week - it was OK!" Is not a valid argument. :rolleyes:

Asturias56
20th Dec 2018, 12:21
well it is TBH but they won't accept it................

Unless and until the National Authorities enforce baggage limits we'll continue to have this nonsense

Ignore the HUD
20th Dec 2018, 12:24
I'd say this is a typo. But, any pax taking any item of baggage with the intention of taking it into the cabin - needs to read the small print! If you do not cooperate - they can remove you from the flight without compensation. Unfortunately, many pax do not read the small print and "'But when I travelled out with BA last week - it was OK!" Is not a valid argument. :rolleyes:
Point taken, the event I witnessed there wasnt really an argument the passenger flatly refused to let the baggage be put into the hold. As you said it could have resulted in offloading. I guess we would have missed our slot etc etc.
Having travelled often with valuable camera gear and irreplacable family heirlooms I hope you can understand my extreme reluctance to have them it put in the hold. If I have to of course then thats it or I get off the flight ..but hopefully it wouldnt come to that.
Has anyone read the small print on this as a matter of interest?

Hotel Tango
20th Dec 2018, 13:35
Small print or no small print, if they force a customer to be off loaded because that person wouldn't allow $$$$ worth of camera equipment, in a soft bag which meets the airlines cabin baggage dimensions, to be thrown into the hold, I would be very interested to see the legal ramifications. There's always a need for small print, as long as it allows staff the prerogative to use a little common sense according to the circumstances. That never used to be a problem in the distant past. Unfortunately these days it is all too common to see low paid handling agents' staff using any initiative. Indeed, they are often severely discouraged by their employers to do so!

PAXboy
20th Dec 2018, 16:30
I certainly understand travelling with high value items - and you follow the rules to keep them with you. As I have said befoe, it would require EVERY carrier and EVERY airport to follow the rules without favour - and that is never going to happen.

zed3
20th Dec 2018, 16:31
HT... unfortunately the lack of common sense firstly lies with those pax who turn up with massive roller hand baggage. Admittedly the check-in/gate staff should control this also. The other gripe I have is the pax at the rear of the a/c who walks down the aisle and dumps their hand baggage in a locker towards the front, depriving the pax seated there of the space. It's modern day selfishness.
Harrumph.

Ignore the HUD
21st Dec 2018, 06:05
HT... unfortunately the lack of common sense firstly lies with those pax who turn up with massive roller hand baggage. Admittedly the check-in/gate staff should control this also. The other gripe I have is the pax at the rear of the a/c who walks down the aisle and dumps their hand baggage in a locker towards the front, depriving the pax seated there of the space. It's modern day selfishness.
Harrumph.

Have only seen this once enforced on a SH LH flight , pasenger in question was not happy to be asked to move his bag to a location nearer his seat. But guess in todays free for for all for overhead locker space its only to be expected. Unfortunately think the situation will only get worse.

TCU
21st Dec 2018, 09:37
In November I used the new T5 auto luggage drop facility, flying to JNB. You plug in your ID/Booking Ref, drop the luggage on the scale and a machine prints out the baggage tag for you, which you attach to your luggage and then hit the send button.

After doing my main bag (22.8kg) I was offered the chance to check in a second bag, so did indeed get rid of my carry-on so as to avoid the upper deck bag scramble on the A380.

What I now wonder is whether I could have checked in a second "cabin bag" at 23kg? This would put BA's overall luggage allowance closer to EK and QR

The auto facility included a credit card machine ready to squeeze a bit more revenue from the unwary.

The area was manned by a very nice Customer Chappie who was ready to help. Whilst system did work, my only comment to him was it was a shame to lose another element of human contact in the travel process.

old,not bold
21st Dec 2018, 14:04
In November I used the new T5 auto luggage drop facility, Yes, so did we the other day. Very nice and easy, but here's a cautionary note for the unwary.

The first of our two bags went through OK, 18 Kgs. Put the second one on the scale, dear me, 24.5 Kgs, please pay £65.00. Called over a charming staff member, but she could do nothing, it's a case of "computer says no". So we cancelled the transaction, grovelled about to transfer a few Kgs to our hand baggage, and sent the case on its way.

This is where the human contact, aided by some common sense, would normally have meant the two cases being accepted by a human bag drop operator or check-in agent, certainly with BA at T5, in a hangover from pooling days.

The exercise of transferring weight from one bag to another is pointless and stupid.

The ethics of demanding £65 for an additional 1.5 Kg is another matter. If an airline believes that it is acceptable to punish its customers in this way may God help it, because I won't. It might look clever on some bean-counter's spreadsheet, but all it does for me is confirm what I sadly suspected, that BA under its present ownership and management is in a race for the bottom. When I was on the payroll, admittedly decades ago, the management may have been inefficient, but at least they were decent and understood how to retain customers. The present bunch seem determined to lose them.

DaveReidUK
21st Dec 2018, 16:32
The first of our two bags went through OK, 18 Kgs. Put the second one on the scale, dear me, 24.5 Kgs, please pay £65.00.

Under a fiver, including delivery:

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/230x480/scales_5e0e8388a2a1bd3a8d880b54cc3b1d19c9335e5a.jpg
Avoids nasty surprises. :O

https://www.ukdj.co.uk/tools-c8/engineering-automotive-tools-c48/measuring-tools-c76/ukdj-suitcase-weighing-scales-32kg-hand-held-hook-analog-baggage-luggage-travel-p6530

Hotel Tango
21st Dec 2018, 16:56
Be aware of an experience I had several years ago (with Delta Air Lines) in Tampa, that 3 scales adjacent to each other displayed 3 different weights. The one used at check-in showed over, the other 2 under. After calling a supervisor, and proving the point, no more was said and the suitcase was duly accepted at no extra charge. So, the gadget above (depending of course on its own accuracy), can be a reasonably good guideline. We have something similar in our home (only for my wife's suitcase)!!! :)

Mark in CA
22nd Dec 2018, 09:01
I generally just step onto the bathroom scale without and then with the suitcase. I've found these scales consistently under-report the weight by 2-3 kilo compared to readings at the check-in counters. Just coincidence? ;)

esa-aardvark
22nd Dec 2018, 12:47
My KLM flight from Rome to AMS & onwards allows 12kg cabin baggage one or two bags.

BlankBox
22nd Dec 2018, 23:43
...poooof...too easy...
https://www.netflights.com/useful-tips/baggage-allowances.aspx#V

old,not bold
23rd Dec 2018, 09:05
BlankBox, yes, thanks, we knew what the allowances are. And we had weighed the bags on the bathroom scales, both under the 23Kg even allowing for error with the scales. The tip we learned is to put the heaviest through the auto bag drop first, so that if it's overweight you can cancel the transaction and transfer stuff to a lighter bag. (Once you've labelled it and confirmed that, the bag disappears.)
My real gripe is the excess charge of £65 for 1.5 Kgs. I have been on the other side of the counter in the past, handling BA inter alia, when people turned up with hugely excessive hold baggage, and happily charged them for it, sometimes on BA's behalf. But I could never in all conscience have asked for £65.00 per 1.5Kg on any flight, let alone the short-haul one we were on the other day. It is simple extortion, and BA should be thoroughly ashamed.

Imagegear
23rd Dec 2018, 09:17
BA are no different than a corner grocery shop.

Normally people find and remove 1.5 kgs and stuff it in their pockets/trouser leg/ hang it round their neck, etc.

IG

Asturias56
23rd Dec 2018, 11:07
Or, if you are Australian, claim it's all bananas at the self check-out................

PAXboy
23rd Dec 2018, 11:37
BA are just doing what everyone else is doing. Being 'decent' does not get you customers any more.

Unfortunately, across the last 20 years, the public have regularly confirmed that the 'headline' price is what catches them. Also, a very large number of people now book through search engines - these ONLY look at the headline price. Sometimes the pax do not realise there is a tech stop or full transit until after they have booked. Earlier this year, friends of mine did this travelling on BA and then found they had booked the chepaest option without a checked bag. As they were going to a wedding in Italy, they needed full suitcase allowance and had to add in later. I don't know if the total was then more than they would have paid if they had done it all direct.

vctenderness
23rd Dec 2018, 14:18
I had the auto check in problem as illustrated here. Computer says 65 quid. I removed bags went to Club check in which had a long queue. But it paid off when dealing with a sensible human being who weighed same bag, tagged it and wished me a pleasant journey!
I now avoid auto check in unless no alternativei (Easyjet Gatwick) as you can’t reason with a machine.

Tech Guy
24th Dec 2018, 14:18
I have been flying Lufthansa to Germany recently, and its cheaper to fly business class to avail oneself of a 2 x checked in bag allowance, than it is to pay the additional cost for the second bag as an economy passenger. As I am frequently traveling with a Peli case full of tools, the auto check in machine and bag drop off is a waste of time for me.

old,not bold
28th Dec 2018, 11:15
ImageGear, I'm still puzzling over why sorting out your baggage weight at the check-in counter is no different from stuffing stuff into your pockets, or trouser legs, or round your neck in the corner grocery shop, an activity more commonly known as "shoplifting".

PAXboy
28th Dec 2018, 18:31
old, not bold I expect all carriers have factored that into their weight calculations for the last dozen years or more.

WHBM
29th Dec 2018, 09:45
Also, a very large number of people now book through search engines - these ONLY look at the headline price. Sometimes the pax do not realise there is a tech stop or full transit until after they have booked.
It's not as if this didn't happen in the "old days". Travel agents got extra bonus from carriers for exceeding sales targets, and would just tell the customers that this was "the flight".

I'm afraid to say that TWA were particularly well to the fore in the UK with this, as those in the travel trade at the time may confirm. Group of colleagues on a business trip London to an Orlando convention, way off any TWA route, were routed by the agency via Chicago AND St Louis on TWA, as if it was the only option (which is what they were told when I, being aware of TWA practices and indeed their current incentive as detailed in Travel Trade Gazette, pointed out the dogleg and the existence of cheaper direct flights). They were then told they "had" to go through Chicago to clear customs. Guess what, they missed the connection and overnighted in St Louis, grossly disrupting the trip.

old,not bold
29th Dec 2018, 12:39
Paxboy, I'm sure they have. From the early '70s onwards, we only weighed people for Islanders, DC3/SC7s with a full load, occasionally F27. Thrust-supported contraptions such as BAC1-11/B737/VC10/L1011/B747 etc could take care of themselves with assumed weights.

What I was getting at was the way IG wrote about sorting out the weight of each bag as equivalent to shoplifting, which puzzled me.

Diverskii
29th Dec 2018, 21:43
Good luck trying to get 23kg in a suitably sized carry on bag. Of course, people like to take on all manner of things as "carry on" these days - hence the need for tagging at the gate. Hand baggage only fares have made the problem much worse in recent years.

As for the complaints about self service machines, £65 quid, and "common sense": the common sense and obvious thing to do is to put the heaviest bag on first as indeed the instructions tell you.

DaveReidUK
29th Dec 2018, 23:48
Good luck trying to get 23kg in a suitably sized carry on bag.

Well yes, that's what I said.

You would have to try fairly hard to cram 23 kg into a bag sized for the overhead bin, let alone one that will fit under your seat