The cabin bag rules that could see people slapped with hefty fines at check-in

Check in queue
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Holidaymakers risk losing money at the airport this summer if they fail to follow the strict rules implemented by UK airlines. By simply turning up with the wrong size hand luggage, some passengers could risk additional charges of up to £75 per item.

An expensive way to start a holiday, many UK carriers are fining travellers following a clamp down on strict hand luggage rules. Frustratingly, each airline has its own individual size requirements, making it harder to stay ahead of the rules.

To prevent unwanted expenses before take off, passengers should carefully check their tickets in advance of departure day. Failing to abide by the exact measurements of each airline is the easiest way to spoil a holiday before it's even started.

READ MORE: Common holiday mistake 'could cost you thousands'

To ensure that you can save your holiday money for Sangria in the sun, we've compiled a list of all the measurements you need to know for the UK's top five airlines.

British Airways

British Airways plane
BA passengers could be charged as much as £70 per oversized item -Credit:British Airways

The flag carrier allows each passenger to bring one cabin bag measuring no more than 56 x 40 x 23cm and one personal item measuring no more than 40 x 30 x 15cm with them on the flight. Passengers must also be able to lift them into the overhead lockers and bags must not weigh more than 23kg.


Ryanair is super strict when it comes to hand luggage restrictions -Credit:Ryanair

All Ryanair passengers are entitled to bring a small personal bag with them on board free of charge, which must fit under the seat in front and measure no more than 40 x 20 x 25cm. Passengers looking to maximise their packing power can pay £38 per person for Priority Booking which includes a cabin case of up 55 x 40 x 20cm and weighing no more than 10kg on board.

It's important to weigh and measure your cabin bag before you leave for the airport too as some airlines will also charge for bags that are too heavy. Ryanair charges a gate bag fee of £11 per extra kg and any oversized cabin bags will be placed in the hold.


EasyJet passengers can pay extra to book a bigger cabin bag with Speedi Boarding -Credit:EasyJet

Every easyJet passenger can bring one small cabin bag measuring no more than 45 x 36 x 20 cm (including any handles and wheels) on board. It can weigh up to 15kg and must be compact enough to be kept under the seat in front of you.

Passengers who need more space can book an additional large cabin bag that measures no more than 56x45x25. Prices start from £5.99 per bag (more during the high season), but every customer who books a large cabin bag can also enjoy the benefit of Speedy Boarding.

If you are travelling with easyJet be sure to pay attention to the allowance included in your booking as the airline charges an 'airport bag fee' of £48 to anyone caught bringing an oversized cabin to the departure gate.


TUI restrictions vary depending on ticket type and destination -Credit:TUI

TUI has updated its bag rules for passengers jetting off on holiday in 2024 but the new rules aren't straightforward. Sunseekers who booked on or after December 21, 2023, and are travelling from May 1, 2024, onwards, can now take up to 20kg of checked-in luggage on any TUI flight in a bag or cabin case that measures no more than 55 x 40 x 20cm.

Holidaymakers who booked a TUI BLUE, Sensatori by TUI BLUE, Holiday Village, A La Carte or a TUI River Cruises package with TUI Airways flights, get a bigger 25kg allowance per person.

Passengers must check their entitlement before they fly though as anyone who exceeds their baggage allowance could be charged an excess luggage fee at the airport of £14 per kg, or £55 per 15kg bag. This increases to £18 per kg or £75 per 15kg bag on longer haul flights.


Jet2 has one of the most generous hand luggage allowances in the UK -Credit:Jet2

Jet2 passengers can bring one piece of hand luggage on board free of charge, as long as it weighs no more than 10kg and is no larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, including any wheels and handles. Jet2 are strict about their size allowance and any luggage that weighs or measures more than this will need to be checked into the aircraft hold and passengers may have to pay an additional charge.

Travellers can also bring a small personal item on board as long as it fits underneath the seat in front of you. Jet2 doesn't specify a size limit for this bag. Passengers who exceed their allowance may be charged £12 per kg.