In the past, travelers could combine baggage allowance. Recently, this depends on the airline. American Airlines, for example, doesn’t allow combining baggage allowance. Emirates, on the other hand, allows it. In general, it all depends on the airline of your choice.
So can baggage allowance be shared? Let’s explore…
Back in the day, anyone could do anything on airplanes.
You may have seen videos of passengers even smoking during flights. And airlines never cared.
But today, there are different rules travelers have to live by. These restrictions may or may not make sense to some travelers. But these rules are there for a reason.
One of these rules is on combining baggage allowances.
In previous decades, travelers can combine each other’s baggage allowances. But recently, this is something that is not always allowed.
While some airlines allow it, most airlines don’t.
Here, we understand more about the concept of combining baggage allowances. We also talk about whether it is actually allowed or not.
Finally, we’ll name the airlines that allow travelers to combine baggage allowances. Of course, we’ll also give you the airlines that don’t.
Combining Baggage Allowances for Checked Luggage
These days, some airlines allow travelers to combine checked baggage. This is as long as the passengers share the same booking.
For example, let us say you are flying with your friends. There are three of you with allowed checked luggage of 20kg each.
In this concept, you would all be able to share 60 kg amongst each other. It does not matter if you have 10kg and your friend brings a 25kg-luggage. It is fine as long as the total does not exceed 60kg among the three of you.
Airline regulator IATA has restrictions on checked baggage.
IATA stands for International Air Transport Association. IATA is the country’s largest airline regulator. And they have recently made restrictions for the benefit of the baggage handlers.
IATA restricts all baggage to be at 32kg or less in weight. The dimension is actually limited to 62 inches.
And as expected, airlines adhere to these guidelines. Most of them anyway.
And so, even if the airline allows the pooling of baggage, no single bag can go beyond these measurements.
This means that if there are three of you with total luggage of 60 kg, there can only be a few bags allowed.
Most airlines in the US do not allow combining baggage. This is especially true for flights that fly to or from the US and Canada.
In other continents, combining baggage allowances is actually allowed.
For example, airlines in Europe and Asia allow the practice. Travelers can combine baggage weight allowances.
Later, we will talk more about who allows this and who doesn’t.
Combining Weight Allowances for Hand Luggage
Most of the time, combining weight allowances for hand luggage is not allowed by airlines in the US.
For example, there is you and your friend with an allowed weight of 15kg carry-on each.
In this example, you cannot expect to bring a carry-on of 10kg and your friend to bring a carry-on of 20 kg.
The total of both your carry-ons is maybe 30 kg. But note that you are only allowed 15 kg each. This means your friend has an excess of 5 kg.
In most airlines, the rules state that each of you can only bring this much baggage.
So, if we go back to the example above, each of you can only bring a carry-on of as much as 15kg each.
What friends do is usually transfer items between bags. And this is common, especially for traveling friends and family members.
For example, each of you has a limit of 15kg each.
On such a flight, your carry-on is only 10kg. Your friend has a carry-on of 17kg.
With that said, your friend can actually have you bring the extra 2kg in your carry-on. This brings your total weight to 12kg and your friend’s weight to 15kg.
The tip, of course, is only applicable if you know the person you are sharing the weight with.
As always, never share baggage weight with strangers.
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What does it mean when you combine baggage allowances?
Combining baggage allowance means sharing the total baggage weight restrictions between passengers. Doing so allows at least one passenger to go beyond the allowed weight. This is as long as the total weight of the shared baggage does not exceed the restrictions.
As discussed earlier, most airlines do not allow passengers to combine baggage allowances.
But for airlines that do, they call this combining or pooling baggage allowance.
What does pooling baggage mean?
It means you can share baggage weight restrictions with another.
The practice is usually done with friends or family members.
For example, each passenger is only allowed 15kg of checked baggage. This means that you and your friend have a total of 30kg of checked baggage when combined.
In such an instance, you can have checked baggage of 10kg. Your friend can have 20kg of checked baggage. This brings your total to 30kg of checked baggage.
Most airlines do not allow this practice.
But if they do, sharing is only for those passengers in the same booking.
This means that you both are taking the same flight. It also means that you and your friend should have the same booking number.
Sometimes, airlines allow sharing of baggage allowance. And when they do, they don’t care whether you are friends or family.
Sharing can be between friends. It can also be between colleagues. It is fine as long as you have the same booking number and are on the same flight.
For most airlines, the pooling of baggage allowance is a matter of a gray area.
Some airlines allow the practice. Other airlines put on their websites that they do not allow it.
For other airlines, they seem to stay mum about the idea.
Sometimes, the airlines would publicly-declare say they allow sharing of baggage allowances.
But at the end of the day, the final decision rests on the check-in officer.
Will the check-in officer allow it? That’s for you to find out once you check in.
But to be safe, you can weigh your baggage before leaving for the airport. This should ensure that the luggage you have is within the allowed weight.
Which airlines allow the pooling of baggage allowances?
Most airlines do not state whether they allow or not the sharing of baggage allowances. But Emirates is one airline that explicitly states they allow such practice. Other airlines like Delta and United Airlines do not have clear regulations on this.
As mentioned earlier, some airlines allow sharing of baggage weight. Others do not.
Now, which airlines do it? And which don’t?
Also, which airlines stay silent on the matter?
Let’s find out.
First up is American Airlines.
For this airline, sharing baggage allowance is not allowed.
And they are public about it.
Going into their website, the airline has a statement. The statement is explicit about bag fees being applicable per person.
This means that when flying with the airline, sharing baggage weight is not allowed.
American Airlines allows bags of 62 linear inches. The weight should not be more than 23 kg for regular passengers and 32 kg for first-class passengers.
Delta is silent on the matter.
They do not explicitly say whether they allow sharing of baggage allowance or not.
But let us assume that the airlines do not allow it.
For Delta Airlines, bags should be 62 linear inches max. The weight allowed is up to 23 kg.
The airline does not allow sharing of baggage allowances.
Just like most airlines, bags should be 62 linear inches max. The weight should also not exceed 23 kg.
Also, note that Southwest Airlines allows each passenger two checked pieces of baggage.
This is another airline that does not allow sharing of luggage weight allowances.
When checking your bags in, they should not exceed 62 linear inches. And like any other airline, the weight should not exceed 23 kg for Economy passengers.
For Business passengers, the allowed weight is 32 kg.
Lufthansa may not be American-owned. But it has flights to and from the US.
The airline does not allow sharing of checked baggage weight allowances.
Like other airlines, their restrictions are actually set at 62 linear inches. The weight should not be more than 23 kg for Economy and Premium Economy passengers.
For Business and First-Class passengers, the limit is 32 kg.
This is one of the few airlines that allow sharing of checked baggage weight allowances.
But be wary of this. Because if your flight is from Africa, this may not be the case. The same is true if you are flying to any of the countries in the Americas.
For Economy Special passengers, you have as much as 20 kg of checked baggage allowance. For Economy Saver passengers, it is 25 kg. Economy Flex has 30 kg while Economy Flex Plus has a 35 kg limit.
Business Class passengers are actually allowed 40 kg of checked baggage allowance. First Class passengers get 50 kg max.
Each bag should not exceed 32 kg in weight. Your bags should also not exceed 118 inches each when it comes to their dimensions.
Similar to most airlines, Qantas does not allow sharing of baggage weight allowances.
The airline has a checked allowance calculator on its website. The checked baggage policy and restrictions vary depending on the flight class. It also depends on which destination you are going to.
Should you need to calculate the baggage allowance allowed, head on to their website.
The airline does not allow sharing of checked baggage allowances.
The allowed weight can be anywhere from 23 kg to 32 kg. This depends on the flight class.
In general, most airlines in Europe and Asia allow sharing of baggage weight. Those in the US mostly do not.
Which airline has the most generous free baggage allowance?
Most airlines that are generous with the baggage allowance are Middle East-based. These are Emirates, Qatar Airways, as well as Etihad. While these are Middle East-based, these airlines also fly to and from the US.
We already know that Emirates is one of those airlines that allow sharing of baggage weight.
But aside from that, the airline is also one of the most generous when it comes to the allowed weight.
The airline can allow anywhere from 20 kg to as much as 50 kg of baggage. The allowance depends on the flight class you have.
Qatar Airways generally allows as much as 30 kg per passenger. Etihad starts at 23 kg to as much as 32 kg per passenger.
There are also generous airlines in the West.
One of them is British Airways.
In the US, Virgin Atlantic is one of those that can allow as much as 32 kg of baggage. United and Air France also have the same allowances. The same is true with KLM. This applies even to their standard economic passengers.
Traveling and Charges
If there is one thing that piques travelers, it is always the cost of airline extras.
Most travelers would consider one airline over another because of extras. Bag charges are just some of these extras that an airline can boast about.
But as a passenger, one should also look at the bigger picture. See and assess why these charges are there.
As you already know, all airlines have an operating cost that eats up most of the bucks. And that is fuel.
A plane can only go up when with fuel.
The heavier the plane is, the more fuel it consumes. It is also safe to say that your baggage contributes to the total weight of the airplane.
As such, if airlines can only lessen the weight, they can also lower down its consumption of fuel. When this happens, it can cut down on its operating costs as well.
Passengers that travel without checked-in bags help the airlines.
But this is not to say you don’t bring your baggage. You still have to. We just want you to look at all that luggage and see what you should and should not bring.
Before heading to the airport, it is wise to weigh your bags and see if you are over the limit.
The last thing you need is to be at the airport and discover that you have to pay for your luggage.
If this is something you don’t want, make sure to weigh it before leaving for the airport.
Know the weight allowed.
And stick with it.