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British Airways increases short-haul heavy baggage charges

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British Airways announced on Monday that it has, with immediate effect, increased the charges for ‘heavy baggage’ on short-haul flights.  There is also an increase in baggage charges for anyone on a ‘hand baggage only’ fare.

If your suitcase weighs more than 23kg, and you do not have oneworld status, you will be required to pay an extra £65 each-way at the airport for short-haul flights.  This is a £25 increase on the current £40 fee.

British Airways Globe-Trotter BOAC suitcase 2

This rule does NOT apply to departures from London Gatwick where the fee will remain at £40.

The maximum case weight remains 32kg.  Bags heavier than this will not be accepted and must be sent as cargo.

For passengers booked on ‘hand baggage only’ fares, there is also a change in the fee if you realise at the last minute that you do need to take a suitcase after all (or if BA decides that your hand baggage is too large to take onto the aircraft).  The current fee is £20 each way.  This now increases to a sliding scale of £20 – £40 each way based on the destination.

If your ticket was booked before 30th September, you do not need to pay the new, higher rates.  There is bound to be some confusion at check-in desks so you may need to remind them to look at the booking date in the system.

Full details of the old and new rates can be found on this page at

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Comments (24)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Idrive says:

    Oh, good to know! I booked in June and this saves me this charge so in addition of more than 50% discount i should factor this! Also future redemptions get more value! Thank you for the important info!

    • Phillip says:

      How long will it be before future redemptions become hand-baggage only? Watch this space!

      • Idrive says:

        For the time being i am going to book now for the next spring.

      • Nick says:

        It would stop being competitive if it did. European reward flights are one of the only good ways to get value from avios now, and even then a return price is effectively £150 if you value your avios at about 1p each. If they are then going to charge an additional £40-£80 for the baggage, it will almost certainly be cheaper and easier to just pay cash to a low-cost competitor.

  • Jimmy says:

    “If your suitcase weighs more than 23kg, and you do not have oneworld status…”

    Does the charge apply to non-status pax in a premium cabin? Is there any difference between short and long-haul in this regard?

    • Kurshee says:

      Also what weight allowances are there for oneworld Status. I thought it was number bags that benefitted from OneWorld Status and not weight. Can someone shed some light?

    • Rob says:

      Club Europe pax gets 2 cases but still 23kg max IIRC unless you have status.

      • Alan says:

        Indeed – here’s the relevant page from

        Status gives both additional item and weight allowance:

        Executive Club Gold and Silver members and oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members receive additional checked-baggage benefits when flying on British Airways flights.

        Executive Club Gold and oneworld Emerald members

        An additional free checked bag in any class of travel for the cardholder and any customer travelling on the same booking (excludes hand-baggage only fares and group rate bookings).
        A weight allowance of 32kg (71lb) per checked bag in any class of travel for the cardholder only.

        Executive Club Silver and oneworld Sapphire members

        A checked baggage allowance of two pieces in any World Traveller, Euro Traveller and Domestic cabin for the cardholder and any customer travelling on the same booking (excludes hand-baggage only fares and group rate bookings).
        A weight allowance of 32kg (71lb) per checked bag in any class of travel for the cardholder only.”

        • czechoslovakia says:

          Learn something new everyday, I thought I had “got away with it” at the weekend when one of the 4 suitcases checked-in came in at just over 25Kg – Wife had sneaked something extra in without telling me…

        • Kurshee says:

          Thank you so much for that information. I’ve been restricting the about I take to 23kg.

      • Adam W says:

        CE still get 2 x 32kgs not 23kg (unless BA have neglected to update their own website).

  • SB says:

    Leaving the magnitude of the price increase to one side, I can’t help but wonder (just out of interest) if there is another airline out there that has different baggage allowances for airports in the (technically) same city?

    • Phillip says:

      But then, which other airline has two major bases in the same city? And there is a clear distinction between business and leisure at each. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, just not an easy one to find comparison for.

      • SB says:

        Not that dissimilar to the US legacy airlines in NYC. United does it’s long haul from EWR (LHR equivalent) and it’s shot-haul from JFK (LGW equivalent). Likewise for AA – Long-haul from JFK and short-haul from LGA (as well as JFK).

  • Metatone says:

    Not thrilled by the ratchet up on hand baggage fare + pay for luggage. BA have taken to false advertising, putting hand baggage fares through sites like Expedia with no marking to show they are hand baggage only…

    • Metatone says:

      Of course you can argue that it’s a correction because of broken pricing algorithms. Sometimes it has been cheaper to buy the hand bag only fare on a consolidator site and pay for luggage than to buy a fare with the same amount of luggage included.

      Still, I think most people would appreciate more transparency.
      If BA wants more people booking through then they should stop giving the consolidators special deals…

  • JohnG says:

    I can understand why they may want to price heavier luggage higher. What I struggle to understand is why they continue to ratchet up the cost of taking checked bags on some flights. On 3 of my last 4 flights the overhead lockers were rammed and flight attendants were asking for volunteers to have cabin bags stowed in the hold. The airlines are driving people to avoid the hold, and passengers are responding by buying maximum size cabin bags and bringing on the largest ‘personal item’ they can.

    • callum says:

      Because they want more money and increasing baggage prices is less obvious to the consumer than increasing fares.

  • Daniel says:

    The increase in the cost of adding a bag later on after you have bought a hand baggage only fare is making BA sound more and more like Ryanair!

    I wonder will BA next start charging more for baggage during the ‘high season’.

  • Lady London says:

    Heaven only knows what BA are planning to do to longhaul baggage charges then.

    We always knew that hand baggage only fares were a con. Hand baggage only fares were so clearly a backdoor way of introducing more and ultimately higher luggage fees that would in the long run affect most of their passengers.

    Interesting to see how as soon as business improves, the more fees BA is whacking on. Except for elites and the deals given to corporates. Wonder where the next attack will come?

  • Cheshire Pete says:

    I flew with air nostrum on hand baggage only and they allowed me 1 checked bag due to status. BA should also conform to this. The difference in hand baggage only fares is just £10 so why they disallow baggage status is really boggling.

    • squills says:

      More like £15 difference; can’t see your point re status, these are hand baggage only prices

      • squills says:

        If you mean the variable cost of giving you 23kg gratis is <£15 and you should get it free because you have status, most of the rest of us would say just pay the £15 yourself, you can surely afford it

        • Cheshire Pete says:

          It’s not about the 10 or 15 quid. Anyone can book a hand baggage fare Status or non Status. The price is the same. Status is meant to get you benefits. Like I said Iberia allow 1 checked bag for Emerald and Sapphire on hang bagged fares.

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