You’ll save yourself a lot of hassle - and avoid extra costs - if you know the baggage allowance for your flight before you check in. This guide will cover everything you need to know about your luggage when flying KLM, including baggage size and weight.
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The size and weight of bags you can take with you on a KLM flight will depend on the ticket type you have - and the route you’re flying. Here’s an overview.¹
Hand luggage refers to the bag - or bags - you can take with you into the aeroplane’s cabin.
If you’re flying Economy Class with KLM, you can take one item of hand luggage and one accessory. Your hand luggage bag can be up to 55cm x 35cm x 25 cm in dimension, while your accessory - which could be a handbag or laptop bag for example, can be up to 40cm x 30cm x 15 cm. The total weight of the two items can not be more than 12 kilograms.
If you travel Business Class with KLM, you can take 2 hand luggage bags, as well as your accessory. The baggage size rules are the same as for Economy Class - but your bags can weigh up to a combined maximum of 18 kilos.
Some KLM tickets don’t come with any automatic hold allowance - the Light ticket option, on most routes, is hand luggage only. If you want to bring a hold bag you’ll need to upgrade or buy more baggage allowance online.
If you have an Economy ticket, you’re allowed to check in one hold luggage bag, which can weigh up to 23 kilograms. The maximum dimensions - so height, plus width, plus length - can’t exceed 158 cm, including the wheels and handles.
If you’re a member of a frequent flyer programme like SkyTeam Elite, or a Flying Blue Silver, Gold or Platinum member, you may be able to take 2 bags of the same size and weight as outlined above.
Business Class passengers can usually bring 2 cases as hold luggage, each weighing up to 32 kilos. If you’re travelling business and also a frequent flyer, you might be entitled to bring 3 hold bags in total - check the details for your ticket type and route.
Your hold luggage is the bags you’ll hand over to the airline staff when you check in for your flight. It’s transported in the plane’s hold, and you’ll be reunited with it once you arrive at your destination airport.
Checked luggage is another way of saying hold luggage. KLM refers to check-in baggage, which also means the same thing.
If you need to, you can buy extra baggage allowance when you buy your flight, after buying a ticket, or when you check in at the airport.² It’s cheaper to buy your extra bags in advance, rather than showing up at the airport and sorting it out there.
If you show up at the airport with more baggage than is included in your ticket type - and you’ve not already bought extra bags online - you’ll need to pay extra when you check in. The price will be higher than if you get things sorted in advance, so if you’ve got a lot to carry, booking extra baggage before you travel could be a smart idea.
The price of your extra baggage will depend on your flight details and ticket type. You’ll need to log into the My Trip area of the KLM website, to get a quote. You’ll get a discount on the price of your first extra case if you’re a Flying Blue frequent flyer member.
If you’re taking connecting flights, you’ll need to double check the luggage policies for each airline involved. Some important KLM rules include:
- Items which will block the baggage system, including ball shaped items and anything wrapped in regular cling film which is designed for food use, will not be transported.
- If your bag is over 32 kilos, you’ll need to check it as cargo, and pay a fee.
- Fragile or unusual items, as well as oversized items, may need to be sent as cargo - check the terms and conditions online when you book.
- You can buy extra hold luggage to a maximum of 10 bags per passenger.
Bear in mind that there are strict rules about what can be taken onto a plane as hand luggage. Your bags will be checked at security and any offending items will be destroyed. Here’s a few of the things you need to know about your hand luggage:
- Liquids and gels should be under 100ml, and in a resealable bag which is around 20cmx20cm. There are exceptions for duty free, some medicines, and baby milk.
- If you’re carrying a lighter it should be in a bag similar to your liquids, and kept separately from the rest of your luggage
- E-cigarettes must usually be carried on your person - not in a bag. However, they are not legal in some countries, so you’ll need to check the rules for your destination carefully.
- Prams, pushchairs and wheelchairs must be security screened
- There are strict and specific rules about electronic items which can vary according to the country you’re flying to - check information for your destination.³
The information here is for general guidance only. Double check the full details for your flight before you travel.
Based on both airline policy³ and UK law⁴, there are some items which are not allowed in hand luggage - and also some which are not allowed on a plane at all. If you’re planning on carrying any of the items listed below, you’ll need to check the rules carefully to understand how to transport your items.
- Stunning devices
- Pointed or edged items
- Workmen's tools
- Blunt objects
- Explosives and flammable items
- Chemical and toxic substances
You can carry a bike of up to 23 kilos in weight on a KLM flight as hold luggage. Your bike will need to be properly packed in a specific carrier, and you’ll need to pay an extra fee. Book the transport of your bike well in advance - it’ll be refused if you just show up at the airport with it.⁵
You can book to fly with your small cat or dog in the cabin of a KLM flight. The total weight of your pet and the kennel for transportation must be under 8 kilos, and the kennel must be small enough to fit under the seat in front.
Larger pets can be transported in the hold of a flight, or as cargo on a separate flight to you. There’s a fee of EUR 30 to EUR 200, depending on your flight details. If you have a layover at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, you may also need to pay more.⁶
You can call the KLM customer service team on +44 20 7660 0293, or get in touch using social media. There’s a full range of contact details, split up by query type, on the KLM website - choose the one which best meets your needs.⁷
Sort out your baggage allowance in advance to save money - and reduce the stress at the airport.
Don’t forget, you can also save time and money when you travel, with a TransferWise multi-currency account and linked Mastercard. Get the mid-market rate when you exchange currencies, and spend easily no matter where in the world you are.
- KLM: Baggage allowance
- KLM: Excess baggage
- KLM: Restricted items
- Direct Gov: Hand luggage restrictions
- KLM: Exceptional baggage
- KLM: Travelling with Pets
- KLM: Customer Support
Sources checked: 14-February 2020.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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