If the law allowed it, would only be a matter of time before budget airlines began to charge for breathing. Right now they can’t, but what they can do is charge you for checked in luggage, hit you with excess baggage penalties and offer minuscule cabin baggage allowances.
Since most of us flying with budget airlines are looking for the cheapest possible fare we should also look to shun costly checked in baggage in favour of a single cabin bag. Not only is this cheaper, it’s also quicker and far less hassle.
With that in mind we’ve compiled a cabin baggage allowance chart for the some of the most popular budget airlines, including EasyJet, Ryanair, and Flybe. For comparison we've also listed British Airways current cabin baggage limits.
According to a survey on Skyscanner, 82% of UK air passengers want all airlines to have the same cabin bag allowance. Be careful what you wish for, there are some super stingy allowances out there. Yes, we’re looking at you Wizz Air.
|Max hand luggage size||Additional allowance||Maximum
|Gate fee (if oversize)
|Ryanair||55 x 40 x 20cm||1 bag up to 35x20x20||10kg||£50|
|Easyjet||56 x 45 x 25cm (but only 50 x 40 x 20cm guaranteed)(1)||N/A||No limit||£45|
|Flybe||55 x 40 x 23cm||N/A||10kg||£50|
|Jet2||56 x 45 x 25cm||N/A||10kg||£45|
|Monarch||56 x 40 x 25cm||N/A||10kg||£50|
|Thomson Airways||55 x 40 x 20cm||N/A||5kg||–|
|Wizz Air||56x45x25 (but fees charged over 42x32x25) (2)||N/A||No limit||£30|
|British Airways||56x45x25cm||45 x 36 x 20cm||23kg||£30|
|(1) Only bags with a maximum dimension of 50 x 40 x 20cm including wheels and handles are guaranteed to be allowed in the cabin. Slightly larger bags will be checked into the hold free of charge.(2) Between 42x32x25 and 56x45x25 costs £9 each way if booked in advance|
What else can I take on-board?
We’ve had a lot of questions about taking additional items on board. Here’s what you’re allowed to carry onto the aircraft in addition to your cabin baggage allowance.
- One bag of duty free good purchased after airport security
Get the right bag
Our favourite is the Cabin Max Backpack. At 55 x 40 x 20 cm it's suitable for all of the airlines above bar Wizz Air. What's more, it only weighs 660 grams so won't eat into your weight allowance. At this size it's not absolutely guaranteed to be accepted into the cabin on busy EasyJet flights (can be checked into the hold free of charge), but unless it's filled to the brim there shouldn't be any problems.
If you prefer a more traditional trolley bag, then you can't get any lighter than the Cabin Max Stockholm bag that weighs in at just 1.45kg.
Please note: Facts correct at time of publication