Planning a holiday involves a lot of considerations, from packing essentials to ensuring your documents are in order.

However, it’s crucial not to overlook the stringent hand luggage rules imposed by airlines and with a recent Government U-turn regarding liquids, restrictions may be different to what you think.

The era of complimentary checked-in bags is long gone. Nowadays, even fares that only include hand luggage come with restrictions.

Airlines such as TUI, easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways each have their own policies regarding what passengers can bring onboard flights for free, whether it’s one small bag or two.

To help you avoid any unpleasant surprises, we’ve compiled a guide to the 2024 bag rules for the UK’s largest airlines, with up-to-date rule revisions.

Updated liquid restrictions

Over the weekend, the Government announced a last-minute U-turn on rules regarding the amount of liquids passengers can carry in their hand luggage when departing through UK airports.

This means all passengers leaving the UK must revert back to only carrying 100ml liquids, pastes and gels in their hand luggage until further notice.

The announcement comes after some airports were given the greenlight to allow passengers to carry up to two litres of liquids in their hand luggage, following the installation of new CT scanners.

Have you been caught out about the Government U-turn on liquid restrictions? Email us at

Ryanair hand luggage rules

Every Ryanair fare includes a small personal bag that must fit under the seat in front of you. For example a laptop bag or handbag. It will need to measure 40x20x25cm.

If you wish to bring an additional bag, you’ll need to pay extra. For instance, with Priority and 2 Cabin Bags, you get to board the plane first and take both your small personal bag (40x20x25cm) and a 10kg wheelie bag (55x40x20cm) on board.

This means you won’t have to wait for your bag at the terminal when you arrive. If Priority is sold out, you can purchase their 10kg Check-in Bag, which must be dropped off at the check-in desk.

You can find out more on the Ryanair website.

Jet2 hand luggage rules

Passengers are permitted to bring one piece of hand luggage on board for free, as long as it’s no heavier than 10kg and doesn’t exceed 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, including wheels and handles.

If your hand luggage is larger or heavier, it will need to be checked into the hold, and you may have to pay an additional fee. You are also allowed to bring a small personal item on board, such as a handbag, laptop bag, or airport purchase, as long as it fits under the seat in front.

However, you’re not allowed to drink any alcohol bought at the airport or beforehand during the flight. A Jet2 spokesperson said: “All hand luggage is carried in the cabin at our discretion, and we reserve the right to check it into the aircraft hold for operational or capacity reasons. If this happens, make sure you take all valuable items (including travel documents, money, medication, keys, spare lithium batteries, and any electronic items containing lithium batteries) and carry these with you in the cabin.”

EasyJet hand luggage rules

Everyone who is flying with easyJet can bring one small cabin bag per person on board for free.

It can be a maximum size of 45 x 36 x 20 cm (including any handles or wheels) and needs to fit under the seat in front of you. easyJet says this should be enough to bring all the essentials for your journey or for a short trip.

Your bag can weigh up to 15kg, but the airline says you’ll need to be able to lift it and carry it yourself.

If you fancy bringing a larger cabin bag on board, you can do so for an extra fee with Speedy Boarding – but bear in mind your bag will still be subject to a maximum size of 56 x 45 x 25 cm, including any handles and wheels.

For those who are easyJet Plus cardholders or customers who have booked a FLEXI fare, you’re also allowed to bring a large cabin bag on board (in addition to your small cabin bag) as part of your membership or fare benefits.

You can find out more on the easyJet website.

British Airways hand luggage rules

For those who’ve booked hand luggage only fares, you’re allowed one personal bag such as a laptop bag or handbag measuring max 40x30x15cm including handles, pockets and wheels. You’re also permitted an additional cabin bag weighing no more than 23kg and measuring no more than 56x45x25cm.

This includes the airline’s hand luggage only fares. It’s worth noting that while your handbag/laptop size bag is guaranteed to travel with you in the cabin, on busier flights you may need to check in the additional larger bag.

Any extra bags will need to be checked-in and will count towards your checked luggage allowance. Some British Airways fares include this as part of the booking, but if you exceed your allowance because you’re adding extra hand luggage, then you may be charged.

You can find out more on the British Airways website.

TUI hand luggage rules

The luggage allowance with TUI varies depending on the type of holiday you book. For package holidays, each person (excluding infants) can take one piece of hand luggage weighing up to 10kg and with maximum dimensions of 55x40x20cm on a TUI Airways flight.

You must be able to lift your hand luggage into the overhead storage compartments yourself. A Trunki case is acceptable as hand luggage, provided it weighs no more than 10kg.

In addition to the piece of hand luggage, you can also bring one small personal item, such as laptops, handbags or a briefcase, which must be small enough to be stored under the seat.

For flights only bookings, the rules slightly differ. You can carry one piece of hand luggage of up to 10kg for free.

The maximum dimensions of your hand luggage can be 55x40x20cm and you must be able to lift your hand luggage into the overhead storage compartments yourself. In addition to the piece of hand luggage, you can also bring one small personal item, such as laptops, handbags or a briefcase, which must be small enough to be stored under the seat.

More information can be found on Tui’s website.

Virgin Atlantic hand luggage rules

Hand baggage is included as part of all Virgin Atlantic tickets. The size of your bag needs to be a maximum of 23×36 x56cm.

You can carry one piece of hand luggage weighing up to 10kg and a smaller bag such as a handbag or rucksack (only in Economy or Premium cabins) for free. Infants and toddlers aged 0-23 months are entitled to one bag each, up to 6kg, while children aged two or older have the same hand luggage allowance as adults.

For more details, visit the Virgin website

Wizz Air hand luggage rules

Wizz Air has similar luggage rules as Ryanair, wherein you are allowed to bring one bag no larger than 40x30x20cm that must fit under the seat in front of you, such as a handbag or laptop bag, not weighing more than 10kg.

If you need to bring a second bag for the overhead locker, you may upgrade to a WIZZ Priority booking which includes an additional cabin bag of no more than 55x40x23cm and weighing no more than 10kg. Alternatively, you have the option to pay to add checked luggage to your booking.

As per Wizz Air’s policy, the measurements don’t include wheels; however, they “must add no more than 5 cm to the size of the bag”. For more information, visit the Wizz Airt website.

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