Etihad Airways cuts economy cabin baggage allowance — but how do other airlines compare?

Passengers are now only allowed to bring a single piece of cabin baggage, weighing a maximum of seven kilograms, onboard with them

Etihad Airways has updated its cabin baggage policies for economy passengers. Photo: Etihad
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Etihad Airways has updated its cabin baggage policy and will now allow economy class passengers to only bring a single bag, weighing no more than seven kilograms, onboard the aircraft.

Allowances for first and business class passengers remain unchanged.

The airline maintains this will result in smoother journeys as it enters into the busy summer season.

“Etihad has updated its cabin baggage policy to better manage the amount of luggage brought on board as we enter the peak travel season and prepare for a high number of guests on all flights,” the airline said in a statement.

“Excess cabin baggage can impact operations, often causing delays when additional baggage needs to be checked into the hold at the gate. By offering our guests an allowance of 7kg of cabin baggage in one bag, we will reduce the risk of disruption, ensuring on time performance and minimising delays.”

The Carry-On by Away measures 34.8cm x 55.1cm x 22.8cm. Photo: Away

In addition to a maximum weight of 7kg, cabin bags must have a maximum width of 56 centimetres, height of 36cm and depth of 23cm. Passengers flying with infants are entitled to carry one additional cabin bag, with the same maximum dimensions, as well as one stroller, one carrycot or one car seat. “If cabin baggage exceeds our maximum weight or dimension limits, guests will be asked to check bags in,” says the Etihad statement.

This new policy brings Etihad in line with most international airlines, where one piece of cabin luggage, weighing 7kg, is the norm. Qantas, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines all allow one piece of onboard baggage, weighing 7kg, with total dimensions of 115cm, for economy class passengers.

British Airways is one of the more generous airlines when it comes to onboard baggage, allowing one larger cabin bag, with a maximum weight of 23kg, as well as a smaller handbag or laptop-sized bag, which must be smaller that 40cm x 30cm x 15cm. However, the airline does specify: “On busy flights, you may be asked to check-in your larger cabin bag. Make sure your travel documents, valuables and other essentials, such as spare device batteries and power packs, are carried in your smaller bag.”

Virgin Atlantic also allows guest to take one piece of hand baggage onboard its flights, “in addition to the normal stuff you'd carry with you, like your coat or handbag”.

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Updated: June 24, 2022, 2:00 PM