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.
The limits vary per airline and depend on the class, elite status, type of ticket, flight origin and destination. If a flight is booked together with another flight it may also have different limits (e.g. if another flight on the same ticket is a long-haul flight). The exact baggage conditions are mentioned in the ticket information online.
Types of baggage
For checked baggage, stored in the aircraft hold, usually the weight is the limiting factor. All checked items are generally weighed by the airline during check-in, and if they exceed the limit, the passenger is informed by the airline. To avoid any fees, the passenger often must switch some of the items found in the suitcase to another suitcase, or else carry it on.
Carry-on luggage is judged primarily by size. Bags are measured by dimension or in total linear measurement (length + width + height). However, there may also be other restrictions on the types of belongings that can be carried on the plane.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released recommendations for limits on checked baggage and carry-on luggage. Some companies adhere to these recommendations, some adhere partially and some don't adhere at all to them.
The recommendations for checked baggage are: advised maximum weight 23 kg, weight limit 32 kg, advised maximum size 158 cm length + width + height, limit 203 cm. The limit of 23 kg is present because of similar limits in health and safety regulations.
Because of the wide variation in hand/carry-on luggage limits, in 2015 IATA released a size recommendation for suitcases meant as hand/carry-on luggage. These state that suitcases should have a maximum size of 55 cm long, 35 cm wide and 20 cm deep. If they meet these requirements, the bag may carry the logo "IATA cabin OK". This limit is tighter than most current airline limits, so bags with this logo are practically allowed everywhere.
Two concepts for baggage weight limits are in use.
Under the Piece Concept, passengers are permitted to check in a certain amount of suitcases with a per-bag weight of up to 50 pounds (23 kilograms) for Economy Class, and up to 70 pounds (32 kilograms) for Business or First Class. The allowed weight per suitcase and the number of suitcases varies per airline and depends on the class, elite status, type of ticket, flight origin and destination.
Under the Weight Concept, each passenger is permitted to check in a total weight regardless of the amount of suitcases. Often passengers traveling together can also combine their allowed weights. The total weight varies per airline and depends on the class, elite status, type of ticket, flight origin and destination.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Flight baggage.|
New IATA link for reference: http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/passenger/baggage/Pages/check-bag.aspx