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Air/ Flight Travel Tips
Air Line Baggage Rules

With all the different prices, deals, rules and regulations, air travel is considerably more complicated than most passengers feel it should be. Just look at an Airline�s ticket code rate schedule and you�ll see why even many Airline employees find it confusing. You also have all the different luggage hassles and the fear of arriving with a ticket that you paid for months ago, only to find there is no room on the plane for you. A little research, planning and preparation can go a long way in helping you avoid hassles and get you back on your way when you run into trouble. We can help you become informed so that for you, air travel is as simple as it should be.

Creature Discomforts :

Air Travel TipsSpace Limitations | Air Sickness | Air Quality | Temperature | Food | Jet Lag

Before You Leave:

Do I need to confirm my reservation?

Air Line Baggage Rules - Before You Fly:

Checked Baggage | Cabin Baggage | Security | Connecting Journeys

Air Line Baggage Rules - Before You Fly:

British Airways


Space Limitations:


One obvious problem is lack of space. This does vary considerably from airline to airline, and from airplane model to airplane model. If you travel a lot, you might want to sample different airlines and airplanes to determine your preferences. If you are very tall, you may prefer an aisle seat. This will hopefully give you a chance to stretch your legs into the aisle from time to time. Even better is to get a "bulkhead seat": there is usually more legroom in those positions. Be advised, however, that those seats go quickly; it pays to book ahead!

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Air Sickness:


If you get motion sick easily, you may be more comfortable if you take some sort of motion sickness drug before you fly. Note that you must take the drugs before you get sick; there is unfortunately nothing that I know of that will relieve motion sickness once it has started.

Motion sickness is caused in part by a discrepancy between what the eye sees and what the inner ear feels. (This is why the driver of a car gets sick much less frequently than a passenger: the driver is continuously watching the road, getting a good idea of what is coming next.) It may help to close your eyes the moment you start to consider thinking about getting airsick.

If you do come down with discomfort, one relatively easy but embarrassing way to feel better is to empty your stomach. "Barf bags" are usually located in the pouch on the back of the seat in front of you. Frequently, using them reduces and/or eliminates the discomfort.

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Air Quality:


The air that you breathe inside an airline cabin isn't nearly as good as what you will find most other places. The cabin is pressurized, since the air is so thin at altitude. However, they don't pressurize it to sea level; it is substantially weaker. (This is part of why air travel can be so draining; you can end up with mild altitude sickness!)

Furthermore, the air is very very dry. This can lead to dehydration, which can also make you feel lousy. I strongly advise bringing a litre or two of water with you, and guzzling that non-stop throughout the trip.

Finally, the air is filled with the exhaust products of your fellow travelers. One of these can be cigarette smoke; while smoking has been banned on domestic US flights, such rules are not followed around the globe. Although it might horrify some Americans, not all countries even mandate separate smoking sections!

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Because of the altitude, airplanes can also be quite cold (especially the floor). I always take a jacket with me on the plane and take one of the blankets that the airline provides. Wool socks are not a bad idea either. On the larger planes, there is usually a little fan that blows on you. The airflow can be adjusted by twisting the unit.

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Food on airlines is about what you would expect, considering that all the food must be prepared ahead of time and served to a large number of people with very different taste preferences. It is amazing that the food is as good as it is, but still, it frequently will not please you.

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Jet Lag:


Jet lag is your body's way of asking you not to abuse it by upsetting its normal cycle. Basically, your body is used to falling asleep at certain times of the day. If you go waltzing across multiple time zones, your body doesn't much care: it still wants to fall asleep at its normal time, and it doesn't much care if it happens to be three in the afternoon.

Two good rules of thumb: it takes about one day per hour of time shift to totally get over jet lag. It is also much harder to travel east than it is to travel west.

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Do I need to reconfirm the reservation?


Yes, it never hurts to confirm your reservation directly with the Airline, especially if you depended on someone else to book that reservation. This will give the Airline the opportunity to update to any changes in flight information. Verify all your ticket information, including the spelling of your name. You also want to verify that any special requests are listed on your reservation. Now most of the Airlines has got an SMS facility to update you with the Flight Arrival / Departure details.

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Before you Fly - Checked Baggage?

  • Ensure that you know your baggage allowance for checked baggage, which goes in the aircraft hold, and for cabin baggage

  • You will not have access to your checked baggage during the flight

  • Any items over your allowance will be charged as excess baggage

  • Make sure you know what items cannot be carried, and which restricted items require special procedures

  • If necessary, check regulations for the carriage of sporting equipment

  • Ensure all baggage is labelled with your name and destination address - we suggest this information is also placed inside each piece of baggage (you can obtain free baggage labels at the airport)

  • Remove tags and labels left over from previous flights - they may cause your baggage to be delayed

  • When accepted, each item of checked baggage will be given a destination tag showing your flight number and you will be given a receipt. Ensure the tag shows the correct destination and flight number and, if you are making connections en route, that your baggage is checked to your final destination

  • There should be no loose straps or other items hanging from the bag - they may get caught in the baggage system

  • When claiming your baggage at your destination, many suitcases look the same, please make sure you have collected your own

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Before you Fly - Cabin Baggage?

  • Ensure that you know your cabin baggage allowance

  • Do not take sharp objects in your cabin bag, including scissors, nail files, penknives , or any item that could be confiscated at security

  • Cigarette lighters are not permitted in cabin baggage or about your person to/from/via the USA

  • Check the full list of items that cannot be carried in your cabin baggage

  • Ensure you take medication, important documents, valuable items or cash in your cabin bag � not in your checked baggage

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Before you Fly - Security?

  • Your hand baggage will be checked by security staff using x-ray machinery which is totally safe and any photographic equipment will also be safe

  • Film material over 1000ASA/31 DIN should be removed and offered for screening separately

  • Do not carry packages with unidentified contents on behalf of other people. If you are asked to do so you should contact the local police, customs or member of staff immediately

  • Checked baggage will be screened by security and matched against the passenger list prior to loading

  • You may lock your bags except when travelling from the USA

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Before you Fly - Connecting Journeys?

  • If your journey requires you to make a connection, your baggage will usually be checked to your final destination. In some instances you may be required to identify or claim your baggage for security or local customs reasons at the connecting point.

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British Airways Baggage Rules?


British Airways has introduced changes to simplify baggage policies and to reduce queues at the airport. These changes will also bring our policies into line with the UK Department for Transport recommendations and the requirements of the UK�s main airport operator BAA.

The new policies will bring changes to hand, checked and excess baggage allowances and will be phased in from early July 2006 across the airline�s global network.

Hand baggage allowances are changing from 5 July 2006

  • All passengers will be able to carry one standard-sized bag and one briefcase, laptop computer bags or equivalent on all flights.

  • The maximum size of the bag, 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (22in x 18in x 10in) has been set in line with the UK Department for Transport recommendations.

  • Passengers must be able to lift their bag unaided into the aircraft overhead locker.

  • Briefcases, laptop computer bags or equivalent must fit under the seat in front.

Free checked baggage allowances:

  • A single allowance system based on the number of bags that can be checked in will be introduced from 11 October 2006.

    FIRST, Club World, Club Europe and World Traveller Plus
    Passengers will be able to check two bags into the aircraft hold free of charge.

    World Traveller*, Euro Traveller and UK Domestic
    Passengers will be able to check one bag into the aircraft hold free of charge.

  • Infants will be allowed to check one bag, plus a collapsible baby buggy, into the aircraft hold free of charge in all classes on all routes.

  • For any connecting journey, the most generous allowance will apply.

  • Passengers will be able to carry one piece of sporting equipment free of charge in addition to their checked baggage allowance.

  • A maximum bag weight of 23kg (50lbs) will apply to all bags.

*World Traveller passengers travelling to or from the US, Canada, Caribbean, Nigeria, Brazil and Mexico will continue to be allowed two checked bags in line with the local government regulations.

Excess baggage charges will be standardised across the network from 11 October 2006

  • All baggage in excess of free checked baggage allowances will be charged at a fixed fee depending on the length of the journey.

  • From 12 July 2006, passengers who prepay online for their excess baggage will receive a 20% discount on airport charges.

  • Passengers transferring flights, a single charge based on the longest flight will apply.

Maximum weight and size

  • We will not accept any item of baggage that weighs more than 23kg (50lbs) or oversized items exceeding 2.4m x 0.75m x 0.75m (94in x 29in x 29in).

  • Advance notification is required 24 hours before departure for exceptional items that weigh between 23kg - 45kg (50 - 90lbs) and which cannot be repacked e.g. musical instruments, electrical wheelchairs, some sporting items, TV news cameras, commercial spares.


We will no longer be able to carry pets as baggage. From 11 October 2006, these will only be carried as cargo.

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