How to take something on a plane that you can't put in a suitcase

How to take something on a plane that you can't put in a suitcase

A regular flight is sometimes comparable to an entire journey. After all, if you are going on a trip with a small child or, say, going to a ski resort, you need to take non-standard luggage with you – a stroller or skis. The question immediately arises: how to do this and how much it will cost?

The category of oversized (or excess) baggage includes the above-mentioned baby strollers, sports equipment, musical instruments, equipment, carpets and other items that cannot be placed in a suitcase. As a rule, such things need to be registered at a special counter at the airport and reported to the air carrier no later than 36 hours before the flight. It’s best to do this immediately when purchasing a ticket, since there is a possibility, especially during the ski season, that there simply won’t be enough space in the luggage compartment.

How to take something on a plane that you can't put in a suitcase

What you don’t need to pay for?

Many airlines offer to carry sports equipment, tools and even bicycles for free, if they do not exceed the standard checked baggage limits – no more than 32 kg and 203 cm in total (you need to add the height, width and thickness). Things must be in a case and not exceed one item, that is, one snowboard, one pair of skis or one guitar per person. Accordingly, if you also want to take a suitcase with you, you will need to pay for it as an additional piece of luggage. Airline rates vary, so the cost can range from 25 to 150 euros.

In addition, you can carry a baby cradle, crutches, stretcher or wheelchair for people with disabilities, as well as a guard dog or guide dog, free of charge in the aircraft cabin. Sometimes, with the consent of the carrier, you can take a cage with a bird into the cabin as hand luggage.
Some airlines offer free transportation of skis and snowboards in the winter season, and diving equipment in the summer, even if these items exceed the established size and weight standards.

How to take something on a plane that you can't put in a suitcase

What must be carried for a fee?

Carriers set different rules for the transportation of excess baggage. In general, it should not exceed 32 kg, although some airlines allow luggage weighing up to 50 kg and set special rates for it. For example, the airline iFly offers to pay 10-15 euros for each kilogram in excess of the norm (depending on the season). Aeroflot has set a tariff for baggage weighing from 32 to 50 kg at 150 euros. UTair will ask you to pay extra for luggage of the same weight of 50-80 euros.

If the kilograms are okay, but the luggage size is larger than the total 203 centimeters, the carriers also have special conditions. Utair, for example, has a tariff for such items of 20-40 euros, and Lufthansa even considers that excess baggage is baggage over 23 kg and 159 cm, so for such a relatively small item you will need to pay an additional 50 to 100 euros.

Sometimes musical instruments, sports equipment or fragile items are allowed to be carried in the cabin on the next passenger seat. For example, Aeroflot allows you to take with you a musical instrument up to 75-80 kg and size up to 130x50x30. It will cost from 50 euros.

How to take something on a plane that you can't put in a suitcase

Transportation of animals

Pets can be carried both in the cabin and in the luggage compartment, depending on their size and the airline’s rules. As mentioned above, you can carry a service dog and a guide dog in the cabin free of charge. They must be wearing a collar and muzzle, and the dog itself must be tied to a chair at the owner’s feet. Animals are prohibited from walking around the cabin during the flight.

Some carriers allow small breed dogs, cats and small cages with birds to be taken into the cabin. Dogs and cats must be kept in special containers with a waterproof bottom. It is not allowed to release the animal during the flight. Some airlines allow pets to be carried free of charge if their weight together with the carrying bag does not exceed 8 kg (for example, Aeroflot). Others will ask you to pay for them at the rate for the second piece of baggage (S7 Airlines).

If the animal is larger than a cat or small dog, it must be transported in the luggage compartment. To do this, it must be placed in a spacious cage (but no more than that same 203 cm in total) with free access of air and a good lock. The bottom of the container must be waterproof and covered with a special absorbent material (diaper, cat litter). The cage will be paid at the excess baggage rate.

When planning a trip with your pet, remember that all necessary veterinary documents must be issued for him, including mandatory vaccination certificates, and if you are flying abroad, dogs and cats must be microchipped.

Fragile items

If you’re carrying fragile luggage that won’t fit in your carry-on bag, there are several ways to get it safely. The safest thing is to pay for an additional piece of luggage and carry it in the cabin on the next seat, like a musical instrument. If this option seems expensive, you can ask the baggage check-in counter to mark it as fragile – they will place a special tag on the suitcase. However, this does not guarantee that you will receive your cargo unscathed, since for baggage workers, speed is more important than your shock-sensitive items. You can also check in such baggage as oversized and pay for it at the airline’s existing tariff. You can also take out insurance for your suitcase – if something happens to your things, you will at least receive compensation.

How to take something on a plane that you can't put in a suitcase

If luggage is not included in the price at all

Recently, some airlines have stopped including checked baggage in the price of an economy class ticket. This means that you are only allowed to carry free hand luggage weighing up to 10 kg and measuring up to 55x40x20. For example, Lufthansa uses this approach for the cheapest fares. If you still want to take a suitcase with you, you can reserve a place for it online in advance and pay for it from 15 euros. For those who check their luggage at the airport, the cost of the service will be higher.

And one more point that is important for passengers flying with transfers on different airlines. If you are carrying excess baggage, its cost will be calculated at the rate of the dominant (larger) carrier.
When traveling, always check with your airline’s call center about the conditions for carrying non-standard or not included baggage.

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