What Are the Common Luggage Allowances?

Felicia Dye

Luggage allowances are most common and most strictly enforced in the airline industry. It is common for a person to be permitted two carry-on items. One of those is generally subject to strict specifications. The regulations regarding checked luggage tend to vary depending on whether the flight is domestic or international. If the flight is international, a passenger is usually allowed to have more luggage with larger capacities.

Airlines generally have additional luggage allowances for checked baggage.
Airlines generally have additional luggage allowances for checked baggage.

Luggage allowances tend to be most heavily enforced for individuals traveling by air. The regulations can vary from one airline to another, but there are some policies that are widely found, such as those regulating carry-on luggage. Most airlines limit carry-on luggage allowances to two pieces.

Luggage allowances can vary by airline.
Luggage allowances can vary by airline.

The larger carry-on item is generally a traditional piece of luggage, such as a small suitcase, but it does not have to be. This item is usually subject to size and weight restrictions. It may be checked multiple times before departure to make sure that it meets the criteria. If it does not and a person cannot make necessary adjustments, she may be required to check it in and have it carried below the airplane, which may result in additional costs.

The second piece of carry-on luggage is generally referred to as a personal item. There are a wide range of items that may fit into this category, including laptop cases, diaper bags, and backpacks. These are generally not weighed, and their size is usually not assessed unless the item poses an apparent problem. Whether the airline allows a female to carry a purse in addition to her personal luggage item varies.

Airlines generally have additional luggage allowances for checked baggage. The first issue that varies in this regard is whether any of those items are included in the price of the airfare. For a domestic flight, a person is usually allowed to have a single piece of luggage that meets certain size and weight specifications. If the airline charges for all checked baggage, the first piece is normally cheaper than additional items.

For international flights, luggage allowances are usually more liberal. A person may be allowed to check two pieces of luggage, and there is generally no cost to do so. There are, however, still size and weight restrictions, but these also tend to be more liberal than those outlined for domestic flights. Each international passenger is usually allowed to carry baggage that is heavier and perhaps bigger.

Other modes of transportation, such as trains and buses, may have luggage allowances. These are less standard than those in the airline industry, and it is wise for passengers to check with each carrier. When there are luggage allowances, they also tend to be more laxly enforced, if they are enforced at all. In some less developed countries, it is common to find that people travel on these types of transportation with substantial amounts of belongings. The load may be so excessive that items are strapped to the top of the vehicles.

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