Hand baggage allowances

British Airways and BA CityFlyer flights

These allowances also apply on our hand baggage only (Basic) fares, available on selected British Airways short and long haul flights.

  • Your bags must fit into the baggage gauge at check-in (including handles, pockets and wheels).
  • The weight limit applies to each bag; it isn't possible to split the total weight across multiple bags.
  • You must be able to lift your bags into the overhead locker by yourself.
  • Your handbag/laptop size bag is guaranteed to travel in the cabin.
  • On busy flights, you may be asked to check in your additional cabin bag, so make sure you have no valuables or essential medication packed in this bag.
  • All duty-free bags or airport purchases count as hand baggage so if you have more than your free allowance, your extra bags will be checked into the hold.

If your hand baggage is over these free allowances, the excess may be checked into the hold at bag drop or at the gate. Be aware that, if you exceed your checked baggage allowance, any extra hold bags are chargeable.

Tips on packing essentials


All flights
Adults, young adults and children

1 handbag/laptop bag (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 40 x 30 x 15cm / 16 x 12 x 6in)


1 additional cabin bag (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 56 x 45 x 25cm / 22 x 18 x 10in)

Infants (under 2) 1 cabin bag for items required during the flight (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 56 x 45 x 25cm / 22 x 18 x 10in)


How to store your bags on board

To help you put your baggage away safely and quickly on board, and get to your destination on time, we'll attach a yellow tag to your handbag or laptop bag. This is the cabin bag that we guarantee you can take into the cabin. These yellow tags are also available from our bag-drop desk or from a member of British Airways staff.

Place your smaller cabin bag with the yellow tag under the seat in front of you. If you are travelling in First, Club World, Club World London City, or if you sit in an exit row or bulkhead seat at the front of the cabin, this bag must go into an overhead locker.

Your additional cabin bag goes into the overhead locker. If we do not have space on board, this bag may need to be checked in the aircraft hold. For this reason, please make sure you have no valuables or essential medication packed in this larger cabin bag.


We guarantee that you can take your handbag/laptop sized bag with you on board, provided that the yellow tag is attached and visible for boarding and that your bag is within your hand baggage allowance.

Exceeding your allowance

If any of your hand baggage is over the size or weight limit, or you have more hand baggage than your allowance, you will need to check it in and it will count towards your checked baggage allowance. If this then takes you over your free checked baggage allowance, or if you are travelling on hand baggage only (Basic) fare, you will need to pay for extra baggage at the airport rate.

If your bag also exceeds the weight limit of your checked bag allowance, you may need to pay an overweight bag charge as well.

Charges for extra or overweight baggage

What you can take with you

We recommend to place any essential items you may need during your flight into your hand baggage. However, there are a number of rules and restrictions about what you can carry in your hand baggage.

If you are travelling with gifts, please ensure they are unwrapped. Security staff may need to open items to inspect them.

Airport security may ask you to turn on any electronic devices, e.g. mobile phones, tablets or laptops, so please ensure they are charged.


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