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Checked Baggage Size for International Flights

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If you’re planning to travel internationally by air, you might be wondering how big your checked baggage can be. Different airlines have different rules and limits for the size of your luggage. This can be confusing and frustrating, especially if you have to pay extra fees for oversized baggage.

To help you avoid any unpleasant surprises at the airport, we’ve put together this guide on checked baggage sizes for international flights. We’ll explain what checked baggage is, how it’s measured, what the common size limits are, and how to pack smartly for your trip.

What Is Checked Baggage?

Checked baggage is any luggage that you check in at the airport counter or kiosk and that travels in the cargo hold of the plane. It’s usually larger and heavier than carry-on baggage, which you can bring with you into the cabin.

Checked baggage is also subject to different rules and fees than carry-on baggage. Depending on your airline, destination, and ticket class, you may have a certain allowance of checked baggage included in your fare, or you may have to pay extra for each bag you check in.

How Is Checked Baggage Size Measured?

The size of checked baggage is measured by adding together the length, width, and height of the bag. This is called the linear dimension or linear measurement. For example, if your bag measures 30 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 12 inches high, its linear dimension is 62 inches:

30 + 20 + 12 = 62

What Are the Common Size Limits for Checked Baggage?

The size limits for checked baggage vary by airline, destination, and ticket class. However, there are some common standards that many airlines follow.

Most international airlines adhere to a common size limit of 62 linear inches (158 centimeters). This is also the same limit as most airlines in the US. However, some airlines may have lower or higher limits, so it’s always best to check with your specific airline before you pack.

For example, here are the size limits for checked baggage on some popular international airlines:

AirlineStandard Bag Size
Aegean Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Aer Lingus62 inches
(158 cm)
Aeroflot80 inches
(203 cm)
Aerolineas Argentinas62 inches
(158 cm)
AeroMexico62 inches
(158 cm)
Air Canada62 inches
(158 cm)
Air China62 inches
(158 cm)
Air Europa62 inches
(158 cm)
Air France62.2 inches
(158 cm)
Air India62 inches
(158 cm)
Air India Express (Air Asia)62 inches
(158 cm)
Air New Zealand62 inches
(158 cm)
Air Serbia62 inches
(158 cm)
Air Tahiti Nui62.2 inches
(158 cm)
Air Transat62 inches
(158 cm)
Air Vanuatu62 inches
(158 cm)
AirAsia126 inches
(319 cm)
Alaska Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Alitalia62 inches
(158 cm)
Allegiant Air80 inches
(203 cm)
American Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
ANA (All Nippon Airways)62 inches
(158 cm)
Asiana Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Austrian Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Avelo Airlines62 inches
(157 cm)
Avianca62 inches
(158 cm)
Azerbaijan Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Azul Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
British Airways82 in: 35 x 30 x 17 in
(208 cm: 90 x 75 x 43 cm)
Brussels Airlines62.2 inches
(158 cm)
Cape Air62 inches
(158 cm)
Caribbean Airlines62 inches
(157 cm)
Cathay Pacific62 inches
(158 cm)
Cebu Pacific Air117 in: 39 x 39 x 39 in
(297cm: 99 x 99 x 99 cm)
China Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
China Eastern62 inches
(158 cm)
China Southern62 inches
(158 cm)
Condor62 inches
(158 cm)
Copa Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Croatia Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Czech Airlines64 inches
(163 cm)
Delta Air Lines62 inches
(158 cm)
easyJet108 inches
(275 cm)
Edelweiss Air62 inches
(158 cm)
Egyptair62 inches
(158 cm)
EL AL62 inches
(158 cm)
EmiratesPiece concept: 59 in (150 cm)
Weight concept: 118 in (300 cm)
Ethiopian Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Etihad Airways81 in: 35 x 28 x 18 in
(207 cm: 90 x 72 x 45 cm)
Eurowings62 inches
(158 cm)
EVA Air62 inches
(158 cm)
Fiji Airways62 inches
(158 cm)
Finnair83 in: 35 x 30 x 18 in
(210 cm: 90 x 75 x 45 cm)
Flydubai65 inches
(165 cm)
Frontier Airlines62 inches
(157 cm)
Garuda Indonesia62 inches
(158 cm)
Gol62 inches
(158 cm)
Gulf Air62 inches
(158 cm)
Hainan Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Hawaiian Airlines62 inches
(157 cm)
Iberia62 inches
(158 cm)
Icelandair62 inches
(158 cm)
IndiGo Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
ITA Airways62 inches
(158 cm)
Japan Airlines80 inches
(203 cm)
JetBlue Airways62 inches
(157.48 cm)
Jetstar117 in: 39 x 39 x 39 in
(300 cm: 100 x 100 x 100 cm)
Kenya Airways62 inches
(158 cm)
KLM62 inches
(158 cm)
Korean Air62 inches
(158 cm)
Kuwait Airways62 inches
(158 cm)
La Compagnie62 inches
(158 cm)
LATAM Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Lion Air126 in: 47 x 47 x 32 in
(319 cm: 119 x 119 x 81 cm)
LOT Polish Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Lufthansa62 inches
(158 cm)
Lynx Air62 inches
(158 cm)
Malaysia Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Middle East Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Nok Air66 in: 30 x 20 x 16 in
(165 cm: 75 x 50 x 40 cm)
Norwegian Air Shuttle173 in: 98 x 44 x 31 in
(441 cm: 250 x 112 x 79 cm)
Oman Air62 inches
(158 cm)
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)
Peach Aviation80 inches
(203 cm)
Pegasus Airlines
Philippine Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Porter62 inches
(158 cm)
Qantas62 inches
(158 cm)
Qatar AirwaysPiece concept: 62 in (158 cm)
Weight concept: 118 in (300 cm)
Royal Air Maroc80 inches
(203 cm)
Royal Brunei
Royal Jordanian62 inches
(158 cm)
Ryanair10 kg: (55cm x 40cm x 20cm)
20 kg: (120 x 120 x 80 cm)
SAS (Scandinavian Airlines)62 inches
(158 cm)
Saudia62 inches
(158 cm)
Scoot Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Singapore Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
South African Airways62 inches
(158 cm)
Southwest Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
SpiceJet62 inches
(158 cm)
Spirit Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Spring Airlines Japan80 in
(203 cm)
SriLankan Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Sun Country Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Sunwing Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
SWISS62 inches
(158 cm)
TAP Air Portugal62 inches
(158 cm)
Thai Airways62 inches
(158 cm)
Tigerair Taiwan80 in [longest side: 47 in]
(203 cm [longest side: 120 cm])
Transavia Airlines64 in: 28 x 24 x 12 in
(160 cm: 70 x 60 x 30 cm)
TUI fly64.9 in: 31 x 24 x 9.9 in
(165 cm: 80 x 60 x 25 cm)
Tunis Air62 inches
(158 cm)
Turkish Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
United Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
UTair Aviation80 in
(203 cm)
Vietnam Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Virgin Atlantic81 in: 35.5 x 29.5 x 16 in
(208 cm: 90 x 75 x 43 cm)
Virgin Australia55 in (140 cm)
Vistara62 in
(158 cm)
VIVA Aerobus62 inches
(158 cm)
Volaris62 inches
(158 cm)
Vueling Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
WestJet62 inches
(158 cm)
WizzAir173 in: 67 x 59 x 47 in
(439 cm: 171 x 149 x 119 cm)
Xiamen Airlines62 inches
(158 cm)
Airline Checked Baggage Sizes

As you can see from the above table, the vast majority of airlines use 62 linear inches (158 centimeters) as the standard size for checked baggage.

However, there are a few airlines that buck this trend. We’ll now examine some of these anomalies so that you know what to look out for when you’re figuring out how your airline’s size limits apply to your checked baggage.

157 CM Instead of 158 CM

Some airlines use a metric linear size of 157 cm instead of 158 cm for checked baggage. To convert inches to centimeters, you multiply by 2.54. So, converting 62 linear inches to centimeters:

62 x 2.54 = 157.48

Technically, 157 centimeters is more accurate. However, most airlines round up the value to 158, considering it’s almost at the midpoint between the two numbers.

For the same reason, some airlines use an imperial linear measurement of 62.2 inches instead of the industry convention 62 inches. These airlines have converted the imperial measurement from 158 cm by reversing the above formula:

158 ÷ 2.54 = 62.2

Lower Standard Checked Baggage Size

Some airlines have a significantly lower standard checked baggage size. One such airline is Virgin Australia. The airline’s standard checked baggage linear size is 55 inches (140 cm).

This is due to the airline servicing a domestic market primarily. Virgin Australia does offer international flights, but they are all short-haul, so the smaller baggage size can be forgiven. I suspect this allowance will increase if the airline adds medium or long-haul flights to its flight network.

Interestingly, Qantas’ checked baggage size is also 55 linear inches for its domestic flights.

Standard Checked Bag Size of 80 Linear Inches

Certain airlines allow a more generous 80 linear inches (203 centimeters) for their standard checked baggage size.

This seems to be a regional trend, as many East Asian and Russian airlines use this baggage size. Airlines that adopt this baggage size include:

  • Japan Airlines
  • Peach Aviation
  • Spring Airlines Japan
  • Aeroflot

Interestingly, the only U.S. airline that I’m aware of that doesn’t use 62 linear inches for its checked baggage dimensions is Allegiant Air. This is surprising, as the airline is an ultra-low-cost carrier and doesn’t fly to international destinations.

Longest Side of 39 Linear Inches

A couple of airlines on our list express the standard dimensions for checked baggage by placing a limit on the longest side.

Cebu Pacific Air does this, rather confusingly in my opinion, by expressing it as follows:

When I first read this, I understood it as meaning that your checked bag had a 39 linear inches size limit imposed upon it! However, it refers to your bag’s longest side. Essentially, the checked baggage dimensions are 39 x 39 x 39 inches. Me thinks that Pacific needs to be more specific (sorry).

Jetstar is another airline that uses this model for its checked baggage dimensions, but expresses it far more clearly:

“Any bag or item with a single side longer than one metre (1000mm, 39in), including wheels, handles and packaging is oversized.”


Checked Baggage Size Limited by Fixed Linear Dimensions

Some airlines have a checked baggage size limit expressed in specific dimensions: length x width x height. In other words, your bag must not exceed each of these measurements, not the overall size.

British Airways’ size limit is expressed in such a way:

  • Length: 35 inches (90 cm)
  • Width: 30 inches (75 cm)
  • Height: 17 inches (43 cm)

So, instead of calculating your bag’s size by adding each measurement together and comparing this total to the size limit, you have to make sure that each dimension of your luggage doesn’t exceed the limits above.

This is how carry-on size limits are decided, and this is understandable. Carry-on items need to be a specific size and shape as they need to be able to fit in confined spaces: either under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bins.

However, the cargo holds of a plane aren’t as restrictive. Explicitly imposing size limits for each side of your bag limits your choice of luggage. Not only does your luggage need to meet the overall size limit of your luggage, but it also needs to adhere to a specific shape.

Very Large Checked Baggage Sizes

Certain airlines have checked baggage allowances which are significantly larger than the competition.

A couple of examples include:

  • AirAsia: 126 linear inches (319 cm)
  • easyJet: 108 linear inches (275 cm)

This literally gives you plenty of room to play with, although you need to be disciplined when packing to not exceed your airline’s baggage weight limit.

Also, if your trip includes multiple flights with different airlines on separate bookings, the value of having such a large baggage size limit is diminished. Your luggage will still need to adhere to the airline with the most restrictive size limit.

Baggage Size Limit Based on Itinerary

Some airlines have different size limits based on your destination. This often occurs for airlines that use both the piece concept and weight concept to determine their baggage allowances.

Piece Concept vs Weight Concept

Piece Concept

Under the piece concept, airlines allow passengers to carry a certain number of bags, each with a maximum allowable weight. This baggage allowance system is used primarily for flights to and from the U.S. and Canada.

For example, an airline might allow a passenger to check in two bags, each weighing up to 0 pounds (23 kilograms).

This means that as long as each bag is within the weight limit, the passenger can carry the specified number of bags without additional charges.

Weight Concept

Under the weight concept, airlines focus on the total weight of all the baggage a passenger is carrying. This baggage allowance system is commonly used in Europe and Asia.

Airlines specify a maximum allowable weight that a passenger can bring.

For example, an airline might allow a passenger to bring a total of 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of luggage, whether that’s in one bag or distributed across multiple bags.

Two airlines of note that use different baggage size limits based on the baggage concept in effect:


  • Piece concept: 59 linear inches (150 cm)
  • Weight concept: 118 linear in (300 cm)

Qatar Airways

  • Piece concept: 62 linear inches (158 cm)
  • Weight concept: 118 linear inches (300 cm)

Other airlines have different baggage size limits for specific destinations.

For example, Kenya Airlines has a standard checked baggage size allowance of 62 linear inches (158 centimeters) for most flight routes.

However, this airline’s checked baggage size limit is 71 linear inches (180 cm) for the following destinations:

Size Limit Based on Combined Size of Luggage

Certain airlines may use the standard 62 linear inch baggage size limit for each piece of luggage yet impose an overall size limit for multiple bags. This restriction applies to itineraries that use the piece concept and for Economy class passengers only.

For example, Air India has a size limit of 62 linear inches per bag. However, when traveling with 2 pieces of luggage, their combined size can be no greater than 107 linear inches (273 cm).

So, if you’re flying with Air India and one of your checked bags is 59 linear inches in size, your second bag can be up to 48 linear inches:

59 + 48 = 107

Minimum Size Limit for Checked Baggage

Not that I could see this presenting as an issue too often, but some airlines specify a minimum size limit for checked baggage.

For example, Air China won’t accept checked baggage smaller than 24 linear inches (60 centimeters).

Maximum Length Limit for Checked Baggage

As well as having a checked baggage size limit, some airlines specify a limit to the maximum length of any one side. This is similar to the longest side of 39 linear inches section above, except in this case, each of your dimensions (length, width, and height) don’t have to be the same. You still have a certain degree of flexibility with the size and shape of your luggage.

This policy is definitely not pole-vault-friendly!

Airlines May Not Accept Oversized Checked Baggage

Airlines may not allow checked baggage that exceeds their standard checked baggage limit. This is more common with regional airlines.

Another reason why oversized baggage may not be accepted by an airline is due to a baggage embargo being in effect. This is most common for flights south of the U.S. border. For some destinations, the baggage limitation is seasonal, while others are subjected to a permanent embargo.

Under these conditions, you need to ensure that your checked bag is within your airline’s size limits, otherwise your airline may refuse to accept your bag at the check-in counter.

A variation of this issue is that if you intend to travel with oversized baggage, some airlines require prior notice. The amount of notice required varies by airline but could be up to 36 hours before your scheduled flight. So, if you intend to bring an oversized bag, make sure that you’ve checked your airline’s policy by visiting their website.

Different Baggage Size Limit Based on Cabin Class

An airline allowing a larger checked baggage size limit based on your cabin class is quite uncommon. Usually, premium cabin classes receive a greater weight allowance only.

However, there is one airline on our list that bestows you with an increased baggage size limit as well: Kuwait Airways.

If you’re traveling in the airline’s First or Royal Class (now you know why I used the word, “bestow”), each of your checked bags can be up to 98 linear inches (250 centimeters) in size.

Special Size Limits for Special Items

Some airlines apply specific size limits for non-conventional types of baggage, including:

  • Sports equipment
  • Musical instruments
  • Assistive devices
  • Medical equipment

Often size and weight limits are increased to accommodate these types of baggage, sometimes without being subject to an extra baggage fee.

A few airlines waive fees for certain types of sports equipment. For example, SWISS allows you to check a bag of ski or snow equipment at no charge.

In the case of assistive devices and medical equipment, there is no size limit imposed and check-in fees are waived.

Airline baggage policies vary, so be sure to visit their website before you travel.

Unusually Shaped Luggage

Many specify in their baggage policies that they won’t accept checked baggage that doesn’t conform to a rectangular shape. I assume this is for stability when your checked baggage is stored in the plane’s hold.

Similarly, your luggage should have some semblance of a frame. For example, many airlines won’t accept luggage that’s essentially a round, cloth sack. No beanbag covers!

Essential Tips

In this section, I’ll share my tried and tested tips on how to ensure that your checked baggage meets international size requirements, so you don’t have to pay for oversized fees or, worse yet, have your bag refused at check-in.

Research Airline-Specific Policies

Before packing your bags, the first step is to research the specific baggage policies of the airline with which you’ll be flying. Most major carriers have this information readily available on their websites. Pay close attention to the allowed dimensions, weight limits, and any additional fees associated with oversized or overweight baggage. Familiarize yourself with the baggage policy, as it may vary between different fare classes or destinations.

Choose the Right Luggage

Selecting the right piece of luggage is fundamental to ensuring that you follow the check-in baggage size limits of your airline. Look for suitcases and bags that explicitly state their dimensions on the label or product description.

Don’t rely on these measurements. Luggage manufacturers will present these figures in the most favorable light to get a sale.

Hot Tip: Make sure that you take your own measurements when you receive it, to confirm that the luggage meets your needs.

Ensure that you buy your luggage from a retailer that allows returns, in the event that the item isn’t suitable.

If you’re going to shop for a suitcase in person, take a tape measure along with you.

Hard-shell suitcases often provide better protection for fragile items, but they may have less flexibility in fitting into size restrictions. Soft-sided luggage, on the other hand, can be more forgiving.

If you’re a frequent international traveler who often flies on a variety of airlines, I would recommend buying a medium-sized checked bag which is expandable. This will meet the size requirements of most airlines.

Related: Best Lightweight Luggage Sets for International Travel

What Do We Mean by Medium Sized Luggage?

When luggage manufacturers design a piece of luggage, especially a suitcase, they often create 3 different versions:

  • 21-inch: designed as a carry-on bag
  • 24-inch: medium-sized checked bag
  • 28-inch: large sized checked bag

The 28-inch model is perfect for airlines that have a 62-inch size limit for checked baggage. Actually, you’ll often find that these bags slightly exceed 62 inches.

However, airlines aren’t too strict with luggage sizes. If your bag doesn’t look obviously oversized, there shouldn’t be an issue.

I have been traveling with checked baggage (usually 2 pieces) on dozens of flights, and I’ve never had any of my bags measured at check-in. Airlines are very diligent with weighing your bags though.

Measure Your Baggage Before Departure

To avoid any last-minute surprises at the airport, measure your baggage before leaving for the airport. Use a tape measure to get exact length, width, and height readings. Ensure that your measurements fall within the airline’s specified limits.

Consider Potential Weight Restrictions

In addition to size restrictions, most airlines also impose weight limits on check-in baggage for international flights. The standard weight allowance is typically 50 pounds (23 kilograms).

If your luggage exceeds this limit, you may face additional charges per pound or kilogram.

Be cautious when packing and consider using a luggage scale to weigh your bags before heading to the airport.

Account for Connecting Flights

If you have a connecting flight with another airline, you should check the baggage rules of both airlines, as they may differ. The most significant carrier (MSC) rule usually applies, which means that the airline with the longest leg of your journey determines your baggage allowance and fees.

However, for flights to or from the U.S. or Canada, it’s applied differently. In this instance, the airline that operates the first international segment of your itinerary will determine your baggage allowance for the itinerary.

However, if your connecting flight is on a separate reservation, the operating airline for each flight determines your baggage allowance for that segment.

Consider Your Return Flight

If your trip includes a return flight, and it’s with a different airline, don’t forget to check the return airline’s size (and weight limits) as it may differ. What may have been the perfectly sized piece of luggage on your outbound flight may turn into an imperfectly sized piece of…. but I digress.

Final Thoughts

I hope you’ve enjoyed our exploration of checked baggage sizes for international flights.

The good thing is that most airlines follow the 62 linear inches standard. You essentially only need to measure your bag once, and then never have to worry about it for subsequent trips. However, as they say, the devil is in the detail. You may find yourself on that one airline that does things a little differently and, if you haven’t done your homework, you may find yourself having to pay oversized baggage fees. Worse yet, the airline may refuse to check your bag.

Airlines are more concerned with the weight of your luggage, rather than your size. So, as long as your bag doesn’t look abnormally large, there shouldn’t be a problem.

Finally, I’ll end this post with a plea for help. You may have noticed that in the table listing airlines with their respective checked baggage sizes, there were two entries missing:

  • Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)
  • Pegasus Airlines

I’ve reached out to both airlines to confirm what their policy on baggage size limits are and where they can be found on their respective websites.

I still haven’t received a response from Pegasus. However, I did get a reply from Pakistan International Airlines. I was advised that I would need to provide a reservation confirmation number or Passenger Name Record (PNR) to be given the information(!). Now, I’m not suggesting that PIA is being a PIA, but this is incredibly frustrating.

If anyone is familiar with these airlines or knows where this information can be found, please let me know.

Remember to always check your airline’s website or contact their customer service for the latest information about their baggage policies.

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