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A guide to carry-on luggage

Carry-on luggage has very much become an everyday term for air travellers across the world. Whether you are going on holiday or a business trip, how much luggage you can carry onto the plane with you is very much an issue when booking a flight.

Increase in airlines and flights

The past fifteen years or so has seen a huge rise in the number of air travellers, either flying internationally or domestically. This has almost purely due to the increase in budget airlines offering hugely discounted flights to a vast amount of destinations. Back in the mid-1990s airlines such as Easy Jet and Ryan Air changed the way we fly forever, seeing an opportunity to maximise passenger numbers whilst minimizing costs, this involved not providing in-flight meals, not serving complimentary drinks and not presenting passengers with a reserved seat for their journey, all aimed at cutting costs which were then passed down to customers in terms of cheap fares. One of the key areas in the war against costs is luggage. In the eyes of the airlines the less luggage passengers take with them, the quicker the turn-around time, allowing airlines to provide a quicker and therefore cheaper service. Charging a baggage allowance also provides valuable income for the carrier. Initially there were few if any restrictions on what carry-on luggage a passenger could take but due to the constant effort to reduce prices and increase revenue in the on-going price war rival these restrictions have changed somewhat.

Baggage restrictions exist but it's complicated

Many budget airlines see charging passengers to check-in their luggage as a way of earning extra income as well as reducing the amount of luggage they may bring. This often leads to passengers trying to take as much of their luggage as possible in carry bags. Because of this loop-hole different policies on the size and weight of your hand luggage exist amongst carriers, though it is worth stressing that it is not just budget airlines that enforce size regulations on a passenger’s hand luggage. Most major flag carrying airlines will allow passengers to take hand luggage onto the plane with little restrictions, though there are basic requirements. Should your bag be too large to carry onto the aircraft it will be put in the luggage hold. As for budget carriers, their restrictions are more stringently enforced. If your bag exceeds the limits on weight and size you often have to pay for the bag to be relocated to the hold. Depending on the airline this can cost as much as £15 for each leg of the journey and it is worth noting that sports luggage such as skis and golf clubs could cost much more.

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