Everything you need to know about new hand luggage regulations

We will tell you about two new statutes that have been approved concerning hand lugggage that will be of interest to you!

New hand luggage sizes

When we are preparing for a trip, the first thing we think about is what we are going to pack in our suitcase. However, we must take into account the measurements of the main airlines.

A significant percentage of passengers in fact prefer to travel with hand luggage only. And thus save themselves the considerable waiting time at the baggage belts at the airport of destination, in this case Malaga airport.

The new resolution allows travel by plane in the EU with a free hand luggage. It also aims to harmonise the measurements and weight of the different airlines.

The European Union has imposed new rules requiring airlines to allow all passengers to carry one carry-on bag free of charge.

The petition was approved by the European Parliament’s Petitions Committee in September 2023. The resolution recognises the right to travel by air throughout the EU with a free carry-on bag.

Hand baggage is an “indispensable item” for passengers and therefore cannot be subject to additional charges.

Despite, some airlines continue to charge for hand luggage. In August this year, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs opened a disciplinary case against several low-cost airlines for charging for hand luggage. These are Ryanair, EasyJet, Vueling and Volotea.

Measurements of hand luggage

Measurements of hand luggage

According to the IATA (International Air Transport Association), the dimensions of the most common airline hand luggage:

  • Should not exceed 55 x 35 x 20 cm, including wheels, handles and pockets.

Weight of hand luggage

Weight of hand luggage

On the other hand, it is not only the size of cabin luggage that matters, but also the weight.

The total weight of the suitcase was previously limited to 8 kilos in most cases. However, some airlines have extended this to 10 kilos and others have reduced it to 7 kilos.

Carry-on baggage allowance on Ryanair, Vueling and EasyJet

Here is a breakdown of the dimensions of the main low cost airlines.

Carry-on baggage Credit Depositphotos
Credit Depositphotos


Ryanair allows one small personal bag. Such as a handbag or laptop sleeve (40 x 20 x 25 cm), which can be carried on board. It must fit under the seat in front of you.

If you want to check an additional bag weighing up to 10 kg as hand luggage, you will have to pay around €32 per flight.


Vueling allows you to carry a single piece of luggage measuring 40 x 20 x 30 cm free of charge. There is no weight limit, but it must be placed under the seat in front of you without protruding or obstructing the passageway.

You also have the option of checking your 10 kg suitcase in the hold free of charge at the airport counter. (As long as it does not exceed the permitted dimensions).

With Vueling it is also much more expensive to check a piece of luggage (max. 10 kg and 55 x 40 x 20 cm) in the overhead compartment than to check a suitcase of up to normal size in the hold of the plane. 70 € to be exact on a return flight Barcelona-Malaga.


EasyJet allows hand luggage up to a maximum size of 45 x 36 x 20 cm (including handles and wheels) and up to 15 kg. It must be carried under the seat in front of you.

If you also want to take a large piece of hand luggage on board (max. 56 x 45 x 25 cm, including handles and wheels), you can book a large piece of hand luggage for your flight. This option will currently cost you around €130 depending on the distance you are travelling (we searched for Edinburgh-Malaga return flight).

As you can see, these measurements are well below a standard carry-on suitcase. Any luggage that exceeds these measurements will incur a considerable additional cost.

How to complain about hand luggage charges

  • By e-mail or via the airline’s website, attaching all relevant documentation, such as the boarding pass, tickets and reservation.
  • Complain to the Directorate-General for Consumer Affairs of your Autonomous Community or the European Consumer Centre in Spain.
  • File a claim in court: For claims of less than 2,000 euros, it is not necessary to hire a lawyer or solicitor, so the legal action would be free of charge.

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