Checked baggage

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A suitcase labelled as checked baggage on arrival at Madeira Airport. The bag tag attached to the handle enabled the baggage handlers to load the baggage onto the correct aircraft. 2015 Madeira Samsung (211).jpg
A suitcase labelled as checked baggage on arrival at Madeira Airport. The bag tag attached to the handle enabled the baggage handlers to load the baggage onto the correct aircraft.

Checked baggage is luggage delivered to an airline or train for transportation in the hold of an aircraft or baggage car of a passenger train. Checked baggage is inaccessible to the passenger during the flight or ride, as opposed to carry-on baggage.


This baggage is limited by airlines with regard to size, weight, and number, usually dependent upon the fare paid, or class of ticket. Baggage exceeding the limits is regarded as excess baggage.

Checked baggage on airlines

Checked baggage policies

Every airline has its own policies with regard to baggage allowance. Often the policy is also dependent on where the flight goes to or comes from. Tickets executed by multiple airlines may have different rules. Usually the exact conditions of a specific booking are mentioned in the ticket information online.

On short-haul internal flights in the US, with some exceptions, [lower-alpha 1] checked baggage is no longer complimentary with most discounted economy tickets, and must be paid for in addition to the ticket price; a passenger generally has to hold a higher or full fare economy ticket, travel in a premium cabin, or hold elite status on an airline to be afforded complimentary checked baggage. For long-haul and transoceanic flights, checked baggage is included as standard.

Low-cost carriers such as Ryanair in Europe and AirAsia in Asia charge for checked baggage, whilst for full-service airlines the cost is included in the ticket price.

Passenger-baggage reconciliation

According to the rules of most air transportation authorities, such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and European Union's Joint Aviation Authorities, should passengers flying internationally with checked baggage fail to arrive at the departure gate before the flight is closed, that person's baggage must be retrieved from the aircraft hold before the flight is permitted to take off. For Singapore, passengers with prohibited items are required to take it out from the bags retrieved at the check-in counter, failing which the baggage will be flagged with prohibited items and will be dumped away before boarding. In the United States, this does not apply to domestic flights since all bags are required to go through explosive detection machines (EDS) prior to loading. Making sure passengers board flights onto which they have checked baggage is called "passenger-baggage reconciliation" and is accomplished automatically through two commercially available systems. [2] The security presumption of passenger-baggage reconciliation is that terrorists will not want to kill themselves, and will not board an aircraft if they have caused a bomb to be placed in its hold. This presumption does not hold true of suicide bombers.

Unaccompanied suitcases led to the downing of four flights, when a bomb inside the suitcase exploded:


Spare lithium-ion batteries, inclusive of battery packs and powerbanks are not allowed on checked-in luggage.

Excess baggage

Excess baggage is the amount of baggage that is in excess of the free allowance in size, number, or weight permitted for the journey. At the carrier's discretion, this may be carried at an extra charge, but no guarantee is made and it may have to be sent as freight instead. Some airlines impose excess baggage embargoes on certain (usually smaller) routes, indicating that they will accept no (or very little) excess baggage.

See also


  1. Low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines is unusual in permitting two pieces of checked luggage without charge. [1]

Related Research Articles

Low-cost carrier Airline with generally lower fares

A low-cost carrier or low-cost airline is an airline that is operated with an especially high emphasis on minimizing operating costs and without some of the traditional services and amenities provided in the fare, resulting in lower fares and fewer comforts. To make up for revenue lost in decreased ticket prices, the airline may charge extra fees – such as for carry-on baggage. As of October 2019, the world's largest low-cost carrier is Southwest Airlines, which operates in the United States and some surrounding areas.

Lost luggage

Lost luggage is luggage conveyed by a public carrier such as an airline, seafaring cruise ship, shipping company, or railway which fails to arrive at the correct destination with the passenger. In the United States, an average of 1 in 150 people have their checked baggage misdirected or left behind each year.

AAdvantage is the frequent-flyer program of American Airlines. Launched May 1, 1981, it was the second such loyalty program in the world, and remains the largest with more than 67 million members as of October 2011.

Baggage reclaim Airport area where passengers claim baggage

In airport terminals, a baggage reclaim area is an area where arriving passengers claim checked-in baggage after disembarking from an airline flight. The alternative term baggage claim is used at airports in the US and some other airports internationally. Similar systems are also used at train stations served by companies that offer checked bags, such as Amtrak in the United States.

Baggage cases or container for storing travelers items

Baggage or luggage consists of bags, cases, and containers which hold a traveller's personal articles while the traveler is in transit. A modern traveller can be expected to have packages containing clothing, toiletries, small possessions, trip necessities. On the return trip, travelers may have souvenirs and gifts. For some people, luggage and the style thereof is representative of the owner's wealth and status. Luggage is constructed to protect the items during travel, either with a hard shell or a durable soft material. Luggage often has internal subdivisions or sections to aid in securing items. Handles are typically provided to facilitate carrying, and some luggage may have wheels and/or telescoping handles or leashes to make moving them easier.

Baggage handler

In the airline industry, a baggage handler is a person who loads and unloads baggage, and other cargo for transport via aircraft. With most airlines, the formal job title is "fleet service agent/clerk", though the position is commonly known amongst airline employees as a "ramp agent", due to the job's location on the airport ramp (tarmac).

Hand luggage luggage small enough to be carried in the passenger compartment of a vehicle

The term hand luggage or cabin baggage refers to the type of luggage that passengers are allowed to carry along in the passenger compartment of a vehicle instead of moving to the cargo compartment. Passengers are allowed to carry a limited number of smaller bags with them in the vehicle and contain valuables and items needed during the journey. There is normally storage space provided for hand luggage, either under seating, or in overhead lockers. Trains usually have luggage racks above the seats and may also have luggage space between the backs of seats facing opposite directions, or in extra luggage racks, for example, at the ends of the carriage near the doors.

Bag tag Ticket attached to luggage for identification

Bag tags, also known as baggage tags, baggage checks or luggage tickets, have traditionally been used by bus, train, and airline carriers to route checked luggage to its final destination. The passenger stub is typically handed to the passenger or attached to the ticket envelope:

Skybus Airlines airline

Skybus Airlines Inc. was a privately held airline based in Columbus, Ohio, United States. It operated as an ultra low-cost carrier modeled after the European airline Ryanair, and aimed to be the least expensive airline in the United States. The business model was heavily reliant on flying routes where other airlines did not have direct flights, as Ryanair did in Europe, thus keeping competition to a minimum, and on flying into secondary airports, rather than heavily trafficked ones.

Airport check-in service counters found at commercial airports

Airport check-in is the process whereby passengers are accepted by an airline at the airport prior to travel. The airlines typically use service counters found at airports. The check-in is normally handled by an airline itself or a handling agent working on behalf of an airline. Passengers usually hand over any baggage that they do not wish or are not allowed to carry in to the aircraft's cabin and receive a boarding pass before they can proceed to board their aircraft.

Interlining, also known as interline ticketing and interline booking, is a voluntary commercial agreement between individual airlines to handle passengers traveling on itineraries that require multiple flights on multiple airlines. Such agreements allow passengers to change from one flight on one airline to another flight on another airline without having to gather their bags or check-in again. Airlines can also promise free rebooking if the connection is lost due to a delay.

Airline ticket entrance ticket

An airline ticket is a document or electronic record, issued by an airline or a travel agency, that confirms that an individual is entitled to a seat on a flight on an aircraft. The airline ticket may be one of two types: a paper ticket, which comprises coupons or vouchers; and an electronic ticket.

Premium economy travel class offered on some airlines

Premium economy class, also known as elite economy class or economy plus class, is a travel class offered on some airlines. This travel class is positioned as a middleground between standard economy class and business class in terms of price, comfort, and amenities. In 1991, EVA Air was the first to introduce Evergreen Class and had since become the first airline to offer this class of service in the world. In some ways, Premium Economy class has become a standard reflecting what Economy class was like 40 years ago ; as an example the seat pitch of United Airlines' Economy Class was 36 inches back in the 1970s, the same seat pitch as most airlines' Premium Economy these days.

Baggage allowance

On the commercial transportation, mostly with airlines, the baggage allowance is the amount of checked baggage or hand/carry-on luggage the company will allow per passenger. There may be limits on the amount that is allowed free of charge, and hard limits on the amount that is allowed.

Ancillary revenue is revenue that is derived from goods or services other than a company's primary product offering. Examples include concessions at sporting events, baggage handling or seat selection revenue received by airlines, restaurant revenue received by hotel owners, and car-wash services sold by gas stations. Ancillary revenue may exceed primary revenues, leading to changes in business models.

NokScoot Thai airline

NokScoot Airlines Company Limited, trading as NokScoot, is a Thailand-based low-cost medium- to long-haul airline. It operates international services out of Bangkok's Don Mueang International Airport.

Cobalt Air was a Cypriot airline headquartered in Nicosia based out of Larnaca International Airport.

Contour Airlines is a regional airline headquartered at Smyrna Airport in Smyrna, Tennessee, United States. All Contour Airlines flights are public charters sold and operated by parent company Contour Aviation as a direct carrier.

Level, styled as LEVEL, is an airline brand under which three European airlines owned by the International Airlines Group (IAG) operate low-cost flights.

Basic economy Type of airfare offered by airlines

Basic economy airfares are charged by a number of airlines for market segmentation. They typically replace standard economy class fares as the cheapest option for passengers and generally come with more restrictions compared to standard economy fares. Passengers traveling in basic economy are generally not allowed to change or cancel tickets or select seats for free.


  1. "Bags fly free - First and second checked bags are free". Southwest Airlines. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  2. "Baggage reconciliation" (PDF). IATA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2018.