Skip to Content

Do Airlines actually even WEIGH Hand Luggage?

Do Airlines actually even WEIGH Hand Luggage?

Weight Limit Hand Luggage


Weight restrictions for hand luggage is a standard for practically all airlines. Most airlines set a weight limit of around 6 to 8 kilograms for the large hand luggage piece. Many airlines allow passengers to bring on board another, smaller piece of hand luggage in addition to the large piece of hand baggage. Some airlines also have a weight limit for this piece of hand baggage, some don’t. A question that arises in this context is the following: Do airlines explicitly check the weight of hand luggage? And if so, where and when is this check carried out at all? Let us shed some light on this interesting topic!


Is the weight of hand luggage checked/weighed by your airline?

The short answer would be: It depends. Because in many cases the weight of the hand baggage is still not explicitly weighed as long as the piece of hand baggage is not noticed negatively. Reasons for an explicit check may be, for example, the suspicion of non-compliance with the maximum permitted dimensions or the maximum permitted weight.

If your hand luggage is effectively weighed, the check is usually made at the check-in counter. You will then be asked to place your hand luggage on the conveyor belt. In some cases, hand luggage will only be inspected by the airlines at the gate and, if necessary, checked for weight. Whether and under what circumstances your hand luggage is weighed depends primarily on the airline with which you fly.


NO weight limit for hand luggage

easyjet weigh hand luggage

The airline easyJet is one of those very few airlines that actually has not set any weight restrictions for hand luggage! Photo: © Tis Meyer /



With some airlines, this question about the weight of hand luggage, fortunately, doesn’t even arise, because they decided NOT to set a limit for hand luggage weight. Those are the airlines that chose to do so:

  • Air Canada
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Allegiant
  • American Airlines
  • easyJet
  • Southwest
  • United
  • Virgin America
  • WestJet

At a glance, however, it becomes evident that these are almost exclusively American airlines. With one exception: easyJet.

Other airlines, on the other hand, have defined a very high limit. These include British Airways, for example. British Airways allows hand luggage to weigh 23 kilograms!

For further information about the permitted weight for all popular airlines worldwide, please consult epic list.


This is how the airlines check hand luggage weigh

At first glance, you might think that airlines are all pulling in the same direction when it comes to hand luggage regulations. But unfortunately, that’s anything but true. There are indeed lots of differences when it comes to specific rules such as allowed baggage weight, permitted dimensions and items that may or may not be carried onboard the aircraft.

This also holds true when talking about how (if at all!) Airlines do weigh Hand Luggage. So let us now have a closer look at how specific airlines deal with the matter.


Does British Airways weigh hand luggage?

As a rule, British Airways does not explicitly check the weight of hand luggage.

However, at the check-in counter, it may happen that you are asked to place the piece of hand baggage on the conveyor belt so that the weight can be checked.

At the gate, it is also possible that hand luggage may still be checked (dimensions/weight). However, the probability that this will happen is rather low.


Does easyJet weigh Hand Luggage?

With easyJet this problem does not arise at all, because with easyJet there is NO weight limit for hand luggage at all. With easyJet, in connection with the hand luggage regulations, you only have to make sure that you comply with the rules regarding the maximum permitted dimensions. For EasyJet, these are 56 x 45 x 25 cm. You can also find that information in our epic list.


Does Lufthansa weigh carry-on baggage?

As a rule, Lufthansa does not explicitly check the weight of hand luggage. However, such checks are carried out on a random basis at check-in. You may, therefore, be asked to place your piece of hand luggage on the conveyor belt so that the weight can be checked.

Later it may also happen that your hand luggage is still checked or weighed at the gate. However, this happens rather rarely.

On direct request to Lufthansa I received the following answer from Lufthansa in connection with this topic:

Please see our hand luggage rules here It is up to the check-in colleagues at the airport to decide if the cabin luggage is checked.

Unfortunately not very helpful. And under this link, this question is of course not answered. Conclusion: Sometimes it is just checked, sometimes not.


Does Ryanair weigh carry-on baggage?

At Ryanair, there will be new carry-on baggage regulations from 1 November 2018. Essentially, you can then only bring a small piece of hand luggage on board at the cheapest rate.

However, there is no weight limit for this small piece of hand luggage. If you have purchased the Priority Boarding option, you can still bring on board a large piece of hand baggage weighing up to 10 kilograms. This piece of hand luggage is always weighed by Ryanair. At least that is what the staff told me on Ryanair Live Chat. You should, therefore, avoid excess baggage when carrying a large piece of hand baggage.


Does SWISS Airlines weigh carry-on luggage?

The statement of the Swiss airline SWISS on this subject was:

Hand luggage can be weighed either at the check-in counter or the gate. The decision lies with the check-in staff.SWISS


Choose a lightweight suitcase

If you want to be on the safe side, it’s better not to play with fire at all when it comes to hand luggage bag weight and make sure right from the start that you don’t exceed the limit in the first place. A lightweight suitcase can make a significant contribution to the success of this project. Also, the purchase of a suitcase scale is worth a consideration depending upon.


List with all the hand luggage weight regulations

Last but not least, we would like to mention at this point that we already published an article where you can easily check which airline allows how much weight for hand luggage: carry-on baggage size/weight allowance. By the way, the table can easily be filtered by airline. Simply enter the desired airline in the search field at the top right and you are ready to go.