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Spain Budget Airfare Luggage Restrictions

I'm trying to understand what to expect when I show up at the gate for budget travel on Vueling or Iberia. For example, Iberia says that the max dimension on a carry-on are 158 centimeters, but in another section of their guide they indicate that there are also restrictions on max height, width and depth. They also have a weight restriction. Vueling just mentions the dimensions (55x40x20 cm) and the 10 kg. rule. Vueling's dimension limits are much more restrictive than Iberia's.

What's your experience been with this? Is it better to buy a luggage check on-line in advance or take the chance that everything will work out at the gate.

Also, how big can your second item be? I've found that a day pack will fit well under the seat in front of me. Is that kosher on Vueling and Iberia?

Thanks.

Posted by
9363 posts

Here is what the conditions of carriage say:
Vueling:
Each Passenger may only carry one item of hand luggage of up to 10 kg and no larger than 55x40x20 cm.
In addition, the Passenger may carry one extra item free of charge and which must be significantly smaller than 55x40x20 cm, such as a small briefcase, a handbag or camera.

Iberia:
Max 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (fits under seat)
What else can I take on board besides the permitted baggage items?
A handbag or small briefcase.
A laptop computer or photo camera.

If you are going to be flying with both, I would suggest abiding by the most restrictive rules. The physical size limits aren't that different (1cm x 5cm x 5cm). Budget airlines are very strict about their rules, and Vueling will be more strict than Iberia. If you have any doubt that your bag might not be within the rules, it would be safer to check it (and purchase this option when you buy your ticket, not at the airport where it will be much more expensive). Both of these sets of dimensions are designed to fit under the seat, so the personal item (which Vueling says should be "significantly smaller") will also easily fit. A daybag would be fine.

Posted by
21709 posts

American travelers are spoiled by our airlines that claim to have restrictions but do not enforce the restrictions. But the European budget airlines have restrictions and are very eager to enforce because of the additional revenue that is generated. If you are over the limited on any items they will be very glad to take your money quickly. There is no wiggle room.

Posted by
32 posts

I just flew Vueling last month from Santiago de Compostela to Barcelona. I carried on Rick Steves' rolling carry-on, which measured 13½" x 20" x 9". I also carried on a backpack. I can tell you I saw some larger bags than mine being carried on, and they were not checking the weights of the bags when I flew. If you do fly Vueling, just bring your patience for the boarding process. It's a little chaotic, which is why I believe they don't focus their attention on bags as much. And you have much less legroom than what we'd consider normal - I even put my backpack up above the seats, so I'd be able to move my legs (I'm only 5'6").

Posted by
295 posts

We spend three months each winter in Spain (in Barcelona now and leave February 8). Vueling has always been easy on checked luggage and carryons. We fly them four or five times a year (to get here from Dortmund, and to visit our daughters in Germany and Switzerland at Christmas, and also sometimes when we spend our springs and summers in different countries). Their service is friendly and efficient, including loading the plane. We used to worry about their restrictions, but we have brought a really big case this year (need more stuff in the winter for a long stay) and they just checked it through. Have a great time traveling!

Posted by
6609 posts

Vueling and Easyjet usually enforce the one carry on rule -- that means one -- not one and a backpack or purse or computer bag. I have seen people turned away at Easyjet and forced to last minute check a too large bag at very great cost (probably more than the plane ticket itself costs) It is important to read the web site. For example, Easyjet has no weight limit for carry on but a strict size limit. We were traveling for 3 mos and two seasons and so getting our checked bag to 20 kg was not easy -- we carried all heavy stuff, computers, cameras, books, etc etc in our carry on messenger bags and made it for the two check ins.

If you buy your checked bag luggage when buying the ticket, it is fairly cheap; if you wait until you get to the airport it is more expensive; if you wait till the gate it is more expensive still.

Vueling has a strict weight and size limit for carry ones. We are not doing European travel with less than 10 kg total so we always buy a bag check when we get the tickets. You also of course need to check sunscreen and other liquids that don't fit the limited carry on rules.

Posted by
107 posts

Thanks for all the advice, we'll definitely be using roller boards that meet the size restrictions. There are new ones that are very lightweight, and we know how to pack thin and light.

Plus, we expect to get away with a day pack for the heavier items. We'll see what happens.

In retrospect, we probably should have bought checked bag tickets, and not had to worry about anything.