Airline Baggage Rules & Regulations


Baggage

Baggage Allowances

These allowances are not definitive but will give you a good general idea of the baggage allowances of most major US & International airlines. All airlines place limits on the number, the size, and the weight of what you can carry on a flight with you.

The limit of one carry-on and one personal item (purse briefcase or computer case) does not apply to medical supplies, equipment, mobility aids, and/or assistive devices carried by and/or used by a person with a disability. For Persons with Disabilities & Medical Conditions

Carry-on baggage must fit under the seat or in an overhead compartment. A good rule of thumb is that the bag should measure on more than 9" x 14" x 22" (total dimensions) and weigh no more than 40 pounds. FAA Baggage Size Requirements

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.

A word of caution: Wheeled suitcases with telescoping handles are very popular today, particularly in the carry-on size. You may be asked to check these pieces, on certain flights, because there may not be enough room on the plane for everyone to bring on this type of baggage. Briefcases and garment bags are generally considered carry-on pieces.

Checked baggage

Checked baggage should generally not exceed a linear dimension (length+width+height) of 62" and a weight of 70 lbs. (each piece). Additional pieces of checked baggage may have lighter and smaller restrictions.

Most airlines will allow oversize or overweight baggage or additional baggage for an additional fee which varies depending on the situation. Please contact a particular airline or visit their homepage for further information.

International flights generally have the same size and weight allowances but may cut down on the number of pieces that can be checked. Also allowance variations can differ depending on the destination country. Check with the specific airline for more information.

Airline Baggage Liabilities

These are general guidelines which most airline carriers abide by:

Liability for loss, delay, damage to baggage is limited to $1250 per passenger on domestic U.S. flights. On International flights liability is limited to $9.07 per pound ($20 per kilo) or a maximum liability of $634.90 per piece of checked luggage. Liability for unchecked baggage is limited to $400.

These limits may be higher if a charge has been paid which specifically values items exceeding these limits (certain items may not be allowed this excess valuation).

Please be aware that almost every airline specifically states that they cannot be responsible for any valuable items (e.g. computers, electronic equipment, camera equipment, jewelry, cash, etc.) in checked or carry-on baggage.

Federal rules allow passengers to claim up to $2,500 if luggage is permanently lost.

For international travel (including domestic portions of international journeys) to which the Warsaw Convention applies, The Airline's liability is limited to approximately $9.07 per pound ($20 per kilo) for checked baggage (not to exceed 2 bags and $640 per bag) and $400 per ticketed customer for carry-on bags. For international travel (including domestic portions of international journeys) to which the Montreal Convention applies, liability for loss, delay or damage to baggage is limited to approximately $1,375 per ticketed customer for checked and unchecked baggage.

DAMAGED LUGGAGE

Airlines have been known in the past to damage pieces of luggage, perhaps it has happened to you. In the past, generally speaking, airlines have paid for repairs to most types of damage to luggage. Today things are changing and airlines are becoming stricter in enforcing the policies regarding the types of damage they are responsible for.

Things airlines will not cover include: normal wear and tear, minor cuts, scratches, dents, or soiling/loss or damage to parts protruding from the case (e.g. wheels, feet, pull-handles, flaps, pull-straps)/damage resulting from oversized or over-packed bags/manufacturer defects.

Airline personnel are not always uniform in enforcing their baggage damage policies. It is best to check over your baggage upon pickup and make a claim with the airline immediately with regard to any damage you may notice.

Most airlines will not accept damage claims unless they are made within a reasonable time frame (usually within 48 hours). Airlines have greatly improved upon the ways in which they handle passenger luggage in recent years. The majority of damage occurs with poorly constructed bags which literally break, tear, and fall apart through normal usage and handling. For many years airlines have been responsible for much of this damage, but recent changes have allowed the airlines, legally, not to accept responsibility for much of this damage. Therefore, it is important that you own a well constructed luggage.

Luggage Precautions

Before departure, itemize your bag's contents and their worth, and label the bags with your name, address, and phone number. (If you use your home address, cover it so that potential thieves can't see it readily.) Inside each bag, pack a copy of your itinerary. At check-in, make sure that each bag is correctly tagged with the destination airport's three-letter code. If your bags arrive damaged or fail to arrive at all, file a written report with the airline before leaving the airport.

If your baggage goes astray or your flight goes awry, complain right away. Most carriers require that you file a claim immediately.

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