How to carry hand luggage on an airplane. Laying out on shelves

Everyone who has ever flown with hand luggage knows: you need to take into account the sea of ​​​​everything. We have studied the requirements of airlines and international standards, multiplied by the experience of tourists from all over the world and now we are answering questions. Half an hour – and you’re ready for the next flight.

Putting more things in hand luggage is an understandable desire of every passenger. No one wants to part with their phone, laptop, glasses and a bunch of other necessary little things.

But there are a lot of people, and the cabin is small, so airlines set the maximum dimensions and weight of hand luggage. In addition, airports have strict safety standards, according to which certain things cannot be transported on board an aircraft.

Don’t be intimidated: even with the restrictions, you will be able to take on board more than meets the eye.

Attention. Times are tough for travelers right now. And as the world prepares to reopen in 2021, we stay by your side to keep you dreaming and planning new adventures – whether it’s a short getaway close to home or a flight to uncharted corners of the planet. will help you stay on top of things and not miss the moment when it’s time for your next trip.

Size and weight of hand luggage

The two main requirements that airlines place on hand luggage are size and weight.

The average dimensions of hand luggage are 55×40×20 cm in length, width and height, or 115 cm in the sum of three dimensions. A bag with such dimensions will fit on the luggage rack above your head or under the seat in front of you. Low-cost airlines sometimes restrict the size of hand luggage more strongly.

The standard weight for hand luggage is 5-10 kg. Conventional airlines have more, low-cost airlines have less. There are pleasant exceptions – for example, 23 kg from British Airways.

If your bag looks compact and light, then most likely no one will be interested in its size and weight at the airport. But if there is a voluminous trunk behind your back, then at check-in, in front of the departure area and before the boarding gate, airline employees can:

  1. weigh hand luggage . If an excess is found, then the extra things will have to be checked in (often with a surcharge), or pay for non-standard hand luggage. At the boarding gate, the surcharge may be higher than at check-in;
  2. put your hand luggage in a special frame to check the dimensions. Enter – take it to the salon. Not included – check in your luggage, possibly with a surcharge.

How to avoid unexpected expenses:

  • Find in our plate or on the official website of the airline the requirements for hand luggage.
  • Buy a special backpack or suitcase for hand luggage. They fit the requirements of most airlines. The Airsize backpack holds 44 liters and weighs 760 grams. The American Tourister Bon Air will add 2.5 kg to your luggage, which is nothing for a suitcase.
  • Take a bag or backpack that can fit into your hand luggage. To do this, do not stuff it tightly and tighten the straps on the sides more tightly. Read  that everything fits and nothing is wrinkled.
  • Weigh your hand luggage yourself – at home or at the airport. If you see an excess, then before checking in for the flight: a) put on a sweater and the heaviest pair of shoes, b) shove small but weighty things into your pockets, c) pull out everything that you can take into the cabin without weighing (laptop, book, umbrella) .

Carry-on baggage allowances for different airlines

We consulted Skyscanner statistics and chose the largest airlines in terms of the number of passengers that fly within Russia and abroad. We have collected their carry-on baggage allowances in one table.

How much hand luggage can I take for free in economy class
AirlineDimensionsWeight
Aeroflot55×40×25 cm10 kg
S7 Airlines55×40×23 cm10 kg
UTair40×30×20 cm5 kgThe second hand luggage 55×40×25 cm weighing 10 kg is included free of charge in the Business and Economy Premium fares. For tariffs “Economy-Minimum” and “Economy-Optimum” it can be purchased in addition.
“Ural Airlines”55×40×20 cm5 kg
“Victory”36×30×27 cmThere are no restrictions if hand luggage passes through the 36x30x27 cm calibrator.Another option (optional) is one piece of hand luggage weighing 10 kg (36 × 30 × 4 cm) + free of charge and without weighing items from the FAP list .
Nordwind (“Northern wind”)For the tariffs “Light” and “Optimum” – 40 × 30 × 20 cm, “Premium” – 55 × 40 × 20 cm10 kg
Red Wings40×30×20 cmTariffs “Basic” and “Premium Economy” – 10 kg, tariffs “Standard” and “Light” – 5 kg
Turkish Airlines55×40×23 cm8 kg
Lufthansa55×40×23 cm8 kg
Nord Star Airlines55×40×23 cm10 kg5 kg on flights to Sanya (China), Talakan, Baykit, Vanavara, Tura, Turukhansk, Podkamennaya Tunguska, Igarka, Severo-Yeniseisk, Khatanga and back
“Yamal”55×40×20 cm5 kg
Aegean Airlines56×45×25 cm8 kg
airBaltic55×40×23 cm8 kg including one personal item (30×40×10 cm) in addition to the main piece of hand luggage
Pegasus Airlines55×40×20 cm8 kg
“Nordavia”From March 28, 2021 40×30×20 cm10 kg
“Belavia”55×40×25 cm10 kg
Alitalia55×35×25 cm8 kg
Emirates55×38×20 cm7 kg
Air France55×35×25 cm12 kg (for the Economy Premium fare 18 kg), including personal items in addition to the main piece of hand luggage

The data is current as of March 2021 .

What can I take on a plane besides hand luggage?

In addition to the main piece of hand luggage, you can take a bunch of things into the cabin for free and without weighing. These are the things that you may need during the flight.

Russian airlines are required to let you on board with a backpack, handbag or briefcase. In addition to them, you can grab a bouquet of flowers, outerwear and necessary medicines. You are also entitled to a stroller or bassinet, baby food for the duration of the flight, a suit in a suitcase, a sealed duty-free bag, a cane, crutches, and a foldable wheelchair if it fits on the shelf above or under the chair in front of you. If you are not allowed to take these items in addition to hand luggage, show them 

Foreign airlines usually allow you to add one personal item to your hand luggage, such as a small handbag, a camera in a case or a laptop. Often there are restrictions on volume: for example, the second bag must fit into 40x30x10 cm, and on weight: the total weight of hand luggage should not exceed 7–10 kg. In addition, many still allow an umbrella, outerwear and duty-free bags – all this is not weighed.

Liquids in hand luggage

You can take liquids, gels and aerosols in containers no larger than 100 ml in hand luggage. That is, half a liter of shampoo in one bottle is not allowed, but five small bottles with the same shampoo are allowed. You can’t take a 250 ml jar with shampoo at the bottom either. If the product you want is not available in a mini travel bottle, pour it yourself into a suitable bottle.

All these containers up to 100 ml should be placed in a transparent resealable bag measuring 20×20 cm. One bag per passenger. Please note that the bag must be zipped up, so stuffing with the top will not work. A plastic bag with a zip fastener or a transparent plastic cosmetic bag will do. If you don’t have anything similar on hand, buy a ready-made set of bubbles in a package. At the airport, during security screening, remove the bag of liquids and place it separately on the scanner belt.

Toothpaste, mascara, sun cream, yogurt, jam, pâté, butter, soft cheese like brie and camembert are all gels by airport standards. These things and products must be checked in as luggage or transferred to containers up to 100 ml.

Restrictions on the volume of containers in hand luggage do not apply to:

  • alcohol and perfume from duty free, if they are inside a sealed bag with a receipt. Read more about shopping in duty free ;
  • children food. You can take as much water, juice, milk, formula and baby food for small children (usually under 2 years old) as you need for the duration of the flight;
  • medicines necessary for life (documents from a doctor may be required).

Life hack: If you have already checked in your luggage, and in your hand luggage there is an expensive cream that you are not ready to part with, leave it in the luggage room at the airport. When you return from vacation, pick it up. True, it will not be cheap: at Sheremetyevo you will pay 500 rubles for the first day, and then 250 rubles a day. But you can put outerwear there: why do you need it in Thailand?

Purchases from duty-free on board

If you are flying abroad, you will see an abyss of duty-free shops before the boarding gate. A good reason to buy perfume, a box of chocolates or a bottle of liquor without duties and VAT. But from the point of view of carrying these purchases in hand luggage, there are subtleties that must be taken into account.

  1. Feel free to take liquids from duty free in bottles larger than 100 ml in your hand luggage. Alcohol and perfume from duty free are not subject to restrictions on the carriage of liquids in hand luggage. But there is an important rule: they must be in a branded sealed bag with a receipt attached. Do not open the package until you reach the city at your final destination.
  2. Do not drink alcohol from the airport duty free on board: this is prohibited. If you need a glass of wine for peace of mind, wait for the flight attendant to offer it, or order from the menu. Many airlines do not have alcohol on board, you will have to be patient. Just don’t try to sip secretly. If they notice, they can take away alcohol for the duration of the flight.
  3. Do not buy more alcohol and cigarettes than you are allowed to import duty-free. Purchases in duty free are exempt from taxes only in the country where they are sold. When entering another country, its rules already apply. You can import 3 liters of alcohol duty-free into Russia ; 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, or 250 grams of tobacco. If you are flying to France or Italy, see EU customs regulations , and if you are going to New York, read what you can and cannot bring into the USA .
  4. Please note: sometimes airlines allow only one package from duty free to be taken into the cabin (for example, easyJet). Some specify that purchases must fit into the total weight of hand luggage (for example, JetStar). Duty-free goods can now be transported on Pobeda flights for free, provided that the dimensions of the purchases do not exceed 10 × 10 × 5 cm. But in most cases, you will easily board the plane with a couple of duty-free packages, in addition to the main seat hand luggage.
  5. On connecting flights, shop at the duty free before leaving the last airport.

If on a flight with a transfer they could not resist the duty-free service at the airport of departure, then there are two scenarios:

  • two flights on different tickets. At the intermediate airport, you will have to put your purchases in baggage, which you will receive before check-in for the second flight. But there are exceptions: if you have two flights within Schengen (Rome-Berlin-Prague), it doesn’t matter if you have one ticket or two tickets, then it’s enough not to open the package with purchases from duty free – and no one will say a word.
  • two flights on one ticket. Most likely, you will safely take unopened duty-free packages to your final destination. But it all depends on the rules of the transit airport. For example, if you are flying from a non-Schengen country (Moscow – Berlin – Rome), then you will  to take whiskey in a bottle larger than 100 ml in hand luggage on the second flight.

Life hack: In some countries, duty-free is available upon arrival. We got off the plane – do not rush to customs: first, buy your fill. Here are examples of ideal airports for shopaholics: Sydney (Australia), Beijing (China), Zurich (Switzerland), Oslo (Norway), Reykjavik-Keflavik (Iceland).

What can and cannot be carried in hand luggage

Safety standards are not the same in different countries and even at different airports. Somewhere you will have to throw scissors out of your hand luggage, and in another place they will not pay attention to them. And yet, the lists of things allowed and prohibited in hand luggage are similar. The differences are in the small details. Here are the main things to know:

What you can and cannot take in hand luggage on an airplane
What are you carryingTransportation rules
Deodorant, repellent, shampoo, sun cream in containers up to 100 ml in one resealable bag 20×20 cmCan
Corkscrew, penknifeIt is forbidden
Hairdryer, iron, hair curlerCan
One regular lighterCan
Chocolate, apples, nuts, dried fruits, sandwiches and other solid foodsCan
Phone, camera, laptop, e-book, chargers for themCan
First aid kit with medicines in solid form (tablets, powders)Can
Liquid medicines in containers up to 100 ml or with a certificate from a doctor that they are vitalCan
Manicure setIt is forbidden
Trekking and ski polesIt is forbidden
crutchesCan
electric shaverCan
Wet wipesCan
ToothbrushCan
Electronic CigaretteCan
Fireworks, firecrackers, sparklersIt is forbidden
Empty bottleCan
Lighter refill fluidIt is forbidden

For a complete list of things, see the article on what you can and cannot carry in hand luggage and baggage .

Food in hand luggage

With regular airlines, you don’t have to worry about food: at least they will offer you cookies and juice, and on long flights they will feed you hot food, sometimes more than once. For low-cost airlines, only the flight itself is included in the ticket price, everything else is for an additional fee. Passengers choose meals from the menu during the flight, or order food in advance on the airline’s website, which is half the price.

If you are flying with a low-cost airline and do not want to spend money on expensive in-flight meals, take food with you. Anything that does not wrinkle, does not get dirty and does not deteriorate for a long time will do. For example, apples, sandwiches, nuts, dried fruits, non-fragile cookies, buns, muesli bars. This makes it convenient to have a bite to eat on the way, and no one will have questions at the airport.

Liquid food and purees fall under the usual restrictions: in a container up to 100 ml – you can, more – you can’t. Yogurt, pate, mayonnaise, jam, juice, syrup, butter, pudding in jars larger than 100 ml will not be allowed to take you into the salon.

When can you not take food on a plane?

Some airlines do not allow you to eat your own food and drink your own drinks on board. This is what AirAsia and Scoot do. In this case, you can take food in hand luggage, but according to the rules, it must be in your backpack until the end of the flight. In practice, this is not monitored, and passengers without a twinge of conscience wind up homemade sandwiches. But be aware: flight attendants have the right to ask you to remove your food, and in extreme cases, they can take it away for the duration of the flight.

Please read the customs regulations of both countries before flying abroad. For example, more than 250 g of sturgeon caviar and more than 5 kg of fish and seafood 

 with meat and dairy products.

In the US, any food must be declared , and a lot of things cannot be imported at all, for example, eggs and fresh, dried or boiled meat.

Life hack: Drinking water will be poured on board for free on most airlines.

Hand luggage on the plane: questions and answers

What is meant by hand luggage?

Hand luggage is luggage that you can take with you on the plane.What is the difference between personal items and hand luggage?

Hand luggage is placed on the luggage rack, it can be quite voluminous. Personal items – something that can be taken on board for free and without weighing along with hand luggage: a small bag, a backpack or something from the FAP list .What are the allowed dimensions and weight of hand luggage?

The average dimensions of hand luggage are 55×40×20 cm in length, width and height, or 115 cm in the sum of three dimensions.
The standard weight for hand luggage is 5-10 kg. Conventional airlines have more, low-cost airlines have less.What can you take with you in hand luggage?

You can definitely take gadgets, jewelry, fragile items, liquids, gels and aerosols in containers no larger than 100 ml, baby food, medicines and diet food with you on board with a certificate/prescription from a doctor. Read more about what you can and cannot take with you on a plane .Can I take food in hand luggage?

Some airlines do not allow you to bring your own food on board, so check this point in advance. If the rules allow, you can bring a non-perishable snack with you. Pack apples, sandwiches, nuts, dried fruit, non-fragile biscuits, buns or muesli bars in your hand luggage.How much liquid can you carry in hand luggage?

You can take liquids, gels and aerosols in containers no larger than 100 ml in hand luggage. All these containers up to 100 ml should be in a transparent resealable bag measuring 20 × 20 cm.Can I take a bag and a backpack in hand luggage?

In addition to hand luggage, you can take a bag, or a backpack, or a briefcase with you. But be sure to check the rules on your airline’s website. Some carriers require that the second bag (or backpack or briefcase) fit into 40x30x10 cm, and the total weight of hand luggage should not exceed 7-10 kg.

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