What is checked baggage?

2020-02-20
Checked Luggage

If you’re wondering “What is checked luggage?” you needn’t be intimidated by the check-in process. If you arrive with a properly-weighed bag and have taken stock of restricted baggage items, checking your luggage in will take a few seconds. The differences between checked and carry-on luggage that matter most are their size, weight, and restrictions.

Most flights allow you 21 to 23 kilograms of checked in luggage and 8 to 10 kilograms of cabin bags. If your luggage is heavier than permitted, you’re usually able to pay for the extra weight. Since each plane has its own weight restrictions, this isn’t guaranteed, so it’s best to arrive at the check-in counter with the correct luggage weight.

Prohibited items vary between checked-in and carry-on luggage, and understanding the difference will keep you from losing precious items during the TSA process. These items should be moved into your checked-in luggage:

  • Liquids and gels of over 100 millilitres.
  • Tools of over seven inches in length including screwdrivers and pliers.
  • Sharp objects such as scissors, straight razors, and knives.
  • Firearms.
  • Clubs and rackets.
  • Pepper spray.
  • Lighters and matches.

Your Rights

If your checked-in luggage is damaged, lost, or delayed, and your airline is responsible, you have a right to compensation, but the amount you receive depends on the airline you’re using and the country your loss occurred in. If your flight is delayed, you’re entitled to essential items such as underwear and toiletries. You won’t necessarily receive full coverage for replacement and repair, and you might be required to provide receipts to demonstrate the value of your luggage.

Perishables and valuables are generally not compensated for. Valuable items such as art and jewellery aren’t supposed to be stored in our checked in luggage, so it’s generally best to keep them in your carry-on bags or not travel with them at all. Your carrier is also required to cover the costs of delivering your replacement items to you. If you have to pay for necessities while you wait for your compensations, you can claim for those costs as well.

Airlines aren’t required to compensate you for inconvenience or missed flights that result from your baggage delays. That said, they are required to compensate you for missed connections that occur due to their own mismanagement. The key to managing your checked in luggage is maintaining good paperwork. When you file a complaint, include evidence of damage and replacement receipts. Planes aren’t allowed to take off if baggage isn’t accompanied by a passenger, so bag delays are unlikely. Such circumstances can, however, make you prone to panic. Since reimbursement carries stiff deadlines, so you should lay a claim as soon as possible. Damaged items must be reported within a week, and delays within 21 days.

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