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No More Fees for Carry-On Bags on Planes: EU ruling. Here’s when the changes will take effect.

free carry-on bags on airplanes

Free carry-on bags on airplanes: New EU ruling abolishes fees on hand luggage. According to a new EU ruling, airlines must allow passengers to carry small hand baggage on planes for free. The changes will impact all airlines operating flights within the European Union. Does this mean you can now take free carry-on bags onboard airplanes? Here’s what travelers need to know.
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Carry-on bags on airplanes: what size bag can you take onboard for free?

In the past, when purchasing airplane tickets, including those from budget airlines, a small carry-on bag was generally included in the ticket price. However, over time the situation changed. First, budget airlines, and later also flagship carriers, introduced additional fees even for small carry-on bags.

On October 4, 2023, members of the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on airlines to abolish fees for „reasonably-sized” carry-on baggage and to standardize regulations regarding the size of carry-on baggage. This resolution was informed by the ruling of the European Court of Justice, which states that carry-on baggage – provided it has a „reasonable” size and weight – is an „essential aspect” of air travel and should not incur supplementary charges.

When will carry-on bags be free onboard EU planes? 

Although the proposal by EU Parliament members received unanimous approval on October 4th of this year with 25 votes in favor and no abstentions or objections, the implementation of this change is not immediate. The resolution must go through further deliberation in a plenary session of the European Parliament and then obtain approval from the European Commission. Consequently, while the outlook for the future is promising, the current fees for carry-on baggage currently remain largely unchanged.