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News easyJet hand luggage explained, and how to maximise your baggage allowance

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easyJet hand luggage explained, and how to maximise your baggage allowance

Don’t get caught out by easyJet's new hand luggage allowances when the world opens up. We've summed up the airline's latest baggage restrictions, plus a few tips on how to avoid paying cabin bag fees when you finally get to go on holiday.

Many of us have been unable to travel since the first lockdown began in March 2020. With plans for non-essential holidays to resume this summer, we thought it was time to give you a refresher on easyJet’s cabin baggage policies – and how to maximise your allowance.

Although it’s not currently possible to leave the country for non-essential purposes, we want to give you the information you need so you’re prepared to get back out there once going abroad gets the all-clear.

Things change quickly. Before booking your flights it’s important to double check the FCDO’s travel advice. Check COVID-related restrictions in the country you’re flying to, and whether or not you need to self-isolate in a hotel when you get back to the UK. Finally, make sure you follow COVID-19 safety rules – such as keeping hands clean and avoiding touching your face – if you do need to travel.

Suitcase filled with rolled items of clothing, with a passport, sun hat and earphones beside it. Someone is securing the clasps.

easyJet hand luggage allowance and cabin bag size

easyJet updated its cabin bag policy on 10 February 2021. The number and size of pieces you can bring on board now depends on your seat type.

  • Everyone can bring one small cabin bag on board (max 45 x 36 x 20cm, including handle or wheels). This can go under the seat in front of you.
  • Passengers with an Up Front or Extra Legroom seat can bring an additional large cabin bag on board (max 56 x 45 x 25cm, including handle or wheels). This goes in the overhead locker.

It’s worth noting that, if you’re randomly allocated an Extra Legroom or Up Front seat , you’ll only be allowed to take one small underseat bag. So you can’t escape that extra fee!

There’s no weight limit for easyJet hand luggage, which makes things easier, but you do need to be able to lift it into the overhead locker yourself. The generic 10kg is a good weight to aim for.

How can you save money on the easyJet hand luggage allowance?

Now that easyJet has reduced the amount of bags you can bring on board, we’ve got seven suggestions for you, to make sure you definitely won’t be caught out by hidden charges.

1. Pack lighter

Young woman sitting on an airport chair, working on a laptop and wearing a small canvas backpack.

If you’re heading off for a short break, try to fit everything into your small cabin bag. That way you won’t need to pay for a seat upgrade. It’s all about packing light. Choose a canvas tote bag: they’re flexible and can expand, plus double up as a handbag or beach bag once you arrive at your destination. When you’re booking your accommodation, look for places with an on-site laundrette (or one nearby) so you can wash and re-wear your favourite pieces. Try to avoid bringing multiple pairs of shoes. Think about the facilities at the hotel – for example there’s likely to be a hairdryer in your room, so that’s one less thing to bring along.

If you’re not sure what to leave behind, read our article on 10 things you really shouldn’t be packing.

2. Wear your easyJet hand luggage

Man viewed from behind, standing outside airport with a suitcase in his hand. He's wearing a bomber jacket and chinos.

We don’t mean using your suitcase as a makeshift sunhat or stuffing your rucksack down your trousers. We’re talking about a new generation of ‘wearable luggage’ or ‘luggage jackets’ – essentially clothing that allows you to carry your belongings about your person when flying. These have plenty of hidden pockets that you can fill with folded clothing and valuables. Okay, so you’ll probably be a bit hot and stuffy but you can sling it over your arm while you queue or take it off as soon as you board. Plus, if you pad it with your holiday outfits, it’ll make a comfy travel pillow.

Read our review of the best wearable luggage products around for more sneaky ways to boost your baggage allowance.

3. Book a cheaper flight

Young woman wearing a hat, reading her phone and sitting cross-legged at the airport

You’ve probably noticed that airfares go up and down due to supply and demand. The cheapest tickets usually go on sale first, and quieter routes often have lower prices as fewer people snap them up. It’s the same for Flexi and Extra Legroom seats – they go up and down as well. Extra Legroom seats can be as cheap as £7.99 and as high as £39.99. By choosing to fly on a quieter route, booking your seats during a sale or getting your tickets early, it’s likely you’ll find these upgraded seats – with their increased hand luggage allowance – for less.

Read our tips on finding cheap last-minute flights.

4. Check in your bag

An overstuffed suitcase sitting half open on a bed while someone tries to press it closed.

It might sound like admitting defeat, but checking in what used to be your easyJet hand luggage can save you a big wedge of cash at the airport. If you sneakily bring a larger cabin bag (measuring up to 56 x 45 x 25cm) without paying for the seat upgrade, you’ll be charged £24 at the gate. According to easyJet’s terms and conditions, it can cost as little as £6.99 to check in a 15kg bag if you book online in advance, so on most routes it pays to book your bag in.

How much does easyJet charge for hold luggage?

Like its airfares, easyJet luggage costs fluctuate depending on the flight route and time of booking.

  • Online in advance: between £6.99-£35.49 for a 15kg bag, and £9.49-£42.49 for a bag up to 23kg
  • Airport bag drop desk: flat rate of £48
  • Boarding gate: £24 for bags measuring between 5x36x20cm and 56x45x25cm, or £48 for bags larger than 56x45x25cm.

5. Become a member

Woman standing with her suitcase handle in one hand, a canvas backpack slung over her shoulder, and her passport and ticket in the other hand

Frequent flyer? Join the easyJet Plus scheme (annual fee £215). As well as automatically being allowed to bring a larger cabin bag on board, you also get to upgrade to Upfront or Extra Legroom seats for free. Other benefits include a dedicated bag drop desk, fast-track security and speedy boarding. Bear in mind that Plus benefits only extend to the person with the membership, so your partner or kids won’t get to bring an extra bag or join you in the faster queue. Obviously it isn’t the cheapest option, but it could work out well if you travel more than 10 times per year and need to bring a large bag on every trip.

6. Book a FLEXI fare ticket

Man sitting at airport holding his suitcase handle in one hand and his passport and ticket in the other.

If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to full membership, treat yourself on a case-by-case basis by opting for the FLEXI Fare. These are more expensive than standard tickets, but have a bundle of goodies including that coveted extra cabin bag plus a 23kg hold bag. Fast-track security, speedy boarding and an in-flight bistro voucher are also included in the price. Another great benefit is free flight and route changes +/- one day from your travel date. And if the past year has taught us anything, it’s that it pays to be flexible.

You can find flexible tickets easily with Skyscanner. Just tick the box marked ‘flexible tickets only’ before you search. You can also find this option on the search results page. It’s on the left-hand side, underneath ‘Stops’ and above ‘COVID-19 safety rating”.

Read our flexible travel guide for more tips on finding changeable tickets.

7. Use another airline

Woman standing at airport checking the departure board.

If you really object to this new clampdown on hand luggage, then make a stand and fly with a different airline. There’s often a choice of carriers flying different routes. British Airways is known for having a generous cabin baggage allowance, letting passengers bring two pieces on board. However Ryanair is even tighter than easyJet, with standard passengers only being allowed to bring one piece of underseat baggage – measuring 40 x 25 x 20cm (smaller than easyJet’s 45 x 36 x 20cm). You can instantly see which carriers fly on your route using our flight search.

Compare airline hand baggage policies in our guide to size and weight restrictions.

Find out which borders are currently open

Need more practical travel tips?

Information correct as of 7 April 2021, obtained from http://www.easyjet.com/en/help/baggage/cabin-bag-and-hold-luggage. Please always check the latest guidance before booking a trip.