Checked Baggage Rules

Airline Checked Baggage Regulations

Baggage check or airport check-in is a service that every commercial airline offer to their customers. It allows the flyers to carry their luggage in the cargo area of an airplane.

Before boarding the plane, passengers have to turn over their luggage to the airline. Further, airlines always enforce some limits on carry-on bags.

Luggage that exceeds these limits is not allowed into the aircraft's main cabin and need to be checked in. This allows sufficient space in the cabin as well as quicker boarding and disembarkation. 

If you are getting confused regarding the rules of the checked baggage, then you are in the right place. Here in this article, you can learn everything about the checked baggage regulations of airlines.

What is Checked Baggage?

Checked baggage is the luggage in compliance with the airline baggage authorities. These baggages are then given in the custody of the airline and get stored in the cargo hold.

There are some rules for items to be carried on board, and all the passengers have to comply with these rules. 

Rules for the Checked Baggage

Checked baggage has some size and weight limits, and exceeding these limits can charge some fee. Further, checked baggage restrictions vary from airline to airline.

It is very important to find out about the airline rules and baggage fees before you begin packing. You can find out the details of the baggage on your itinerary by selecting your airline from this page or on the airline's website. Following are the rules that you must know

  • All the passengers who are planning for international or domestic flights need to pay attention to the weight as well as quantity limits. According to the requirement set by the IATA, luggage that exceeds the weight of 32 kilograms is not allowed to be stored on the aircraft as checked baggage.
  • The maximum length of the baggage is to be 22 in (56 cm), depth of 10 in (25 cm), and width of 18 in (45 cm). These dimensions also include the wheels, handles, and side pockets.
  • Passengers who are exceeding the free baggage allowance given with the flight ticket have to pay an excess baggage fee for the same.
  • Passengers who are exceeding baggage allowance can also purchase an excess baggage weight.

Checking Your Luggage

At the airport check-in desk, have your documentation ready. Depending on your destination, an airline agent first asks for your tickets, passports (including visas, if required), and other documents.

The passenger then turns over the luggage checking, and once you hand over your luggage for the check-in, the airline company will weigh your bags. If there is any baggage fee, then this is the time to pay for the same.

After making the payments, they will attach the baggage destination tags for each item as this is helpful in case your bags get misplaced. So, you have to be sure to give the correct information.

What Happens to Baggage upon Checking

After your baggage is checked and tagged, it is transported by conveyor belt into the baggage system. Then it is scanned by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or equivalent international authority to check whether there are any prohibited items or not. If there is anything that seems to be questionable, then the agents have the right to open your bag for a search.

Once it gets clear, your baggage is then taken to the aircraft for the process of loading. This process is done by the airport ramp agents who control the baggage movement and make sure that your bags get on the right plane. Most of the airports have scanners with them that sort the tags and direct them to the appropriate gate.

The baggage is then loaded onto the carts that transport the luggage to the plane. Similarly, after landing at your destination, airline personnel unload the cargo once passengers disembark.

The bags are then taken to a conveyor belt in an area of the airport which is inaccessible to passengers. From there, they are transported to the carousel in the baggage claim area from where you can collect all your baggage.

Tips for Checking Baggage

Following are some of the tips that can be helpful for you while checking baggage

Choose Wisely

As excess baggage requires an additional fee, so it is very important to choose the items wisely and to pack your bag lightly. 

Go through the rules carefully

You must be well aware of all the allowances and prohibitions and follow them. Checked baggage restrictions vary from airline to airline, so be sure to get the correct information from your airline. Contact them if anything is unclear.

Carry valuable items in your carry-on

It is also advisable to take laptops, cameras, and other sensitive items in your carry-on. Security scanners may be harmful to these devices and may also be more susceptible to theft. Do the same with medicine, prescriptions, and personal medical supplies.

Put your information inside as well as outside every bag

Make sure to place your name, address, and telephone number on each tag, as it makes it easier for the airline authorities to reunite you if you get separated from your luggage.

Secure your bags

It is advisable to secure all your bags with the help of a padlock. Choose locks approved by the TSA, so TSA agents do not have to destroy your lock if they need to search your bag.

Sturdy and waterproof bag tags

You can have sturdy, waterproof bag tags with opaque covers to avoid displaying your identity to strangers.

As we have discussed in detail regarding the rules of the checked-in baggage, it will be helpful for you to select your goods wisely for the journey to avoid extra charges.