How much of your photography gear can you carry on to a plane? If you want to take you camera and gear abroad, every airline has specific carry-on restrictions based on size and weight.
We’ve rounded up the current hand luggage allowances for some of the major airlines to hopefully save you from making a difficult choice to pack your treasured lenses when you get to the airport!
When it comes to expensive and fairly fragile cameras, lenses, flashguns and other accessories, there’s a lot to be said for the security of taking your kit onto the plane with you as carry-on luggage.
The rigours of airport baggage handling systems and an aircraft’s cargo hold are much less appealing.
A good quality, medium-sized photo backpack is an obvious choice for taking camera kit as carry-on luggage, but there are factors you need to be aware of. The maximum size allowed for a carry-on bag varies between different airlines.
In some cases the dimensions can be as much as 56x45x25cm, or as little as 55x38x20cm. That said, photo backpacks often become a little more compact than their stated dimensions once the various chest and waist straps are pressed in, along with the often deep padding in the back and shoulder areas.
A bigger issue is the maximum allowed weight of the bag, with much greater differences between different airlines and tour operators.
Some airlines merely stipulate that you must be able to lift a carry-on bag into an overhead compartment, unaided. Others have a relatively low weight limit that’s likely to be exceeded even if the backpack is only half full of camera kit.
The table above shows the current carry-on baggage restrictions for various popular airlines, when travelling economy class. However, these are subject to change, so it’s important to check with the airline you are using before you set off on your travels.
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