How do Weight Limits on International Flights Work?

Traveling abroad can be an exhilarating experience. In the excitement of getting to see the world, it’s important to remember that flying to your destination might come with a different set of rules than flying domestically. Different countries and airlines have varying requirements and restrictions when it comes to luggage. It’s good to familiarize yourself with the general rules of international travel to save yourself trouble at the airport. Check your airline’s rules well in advance of your departure so you can pack and plan appropriately.

weight limits international flights

Carry-On Luggage

You can always bring carry-on luggage aboard your international flight as long as it passes inspection and is of a reasonable size. Rules vary, but the generally accepted weight allowance is 40 pounds or lower. Soft bags might be easier to squeeze into overhead containers, but hard-shelled cases are a better bet for safely transporting valuable electronics or computers. Plus, many of them lock and can keep your belongings more secure. To avoid problems at inspection, familiarize yourself with the latest regulations regarding what you can and cannot bring on the flight.

Checked Bags

If your checked luggage is between 50-70 pounds you generally won’t accrue any additional baggage fees. Rules vary from airline to airline, so you’ll want to check in advance to ensure that you’re not in for a nasty surprise at the airport. As with domestic flights, mark your luggage clearly.

Transferring Flights

If you are changing planes overseas, particularly if you’re taking a budget or smaller airplane, you’ll want to be very clear on the weight limits of your connecting flight. Many people assume that if their baggage passes through on the first airplane, that it automatically will for every additional flight, but this simply isn’t the case. Often, connecting airlines will charge you for an additional baggage fee, which could be excessive depending on how far over you are. In the worst-case scenario, they might even decline to put your bag aboard the aircraft. The last thing that you ever want to happen is to arrive for your vacation with no bags! Save yourself the headache and make sure you check the rules of all flights.


International flying can be hassle-free if you do your homework. Remember, every airline is different, so check ahead to find out what the carry-on and checked luggage weight limits are. Always double-check your connecting flights and pay any fees in advance if applicable.

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