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Lufthansa baggage size and weight rules

If you have flown on Lufthansa for a trans-Atlantic flight recently can you tell us about the check-in and boarding experience? We've looked over the Lufthansa Economy rules for baggage: One carry-on at 21.6"x15.75"x9" at 17.64 lbs and one personal item at 15.75"x11.18"x4" no weight given. (converted from metric)

How closely is this checked? Are the bags put into a open box and/or weighed?

Thanks
Bob

Posted by
1293 posts

I flew Lufthansa last March and in 2017. in 2017, my bag was weighed at the gate (met the requirements) Last March, I personally was never checked (I carry a Rick Steves backpack) Others were checked both for weight and outside measurements and were required to gate check if it was over in either category. (lots of arguing going on) . This was being done a people were boarding. (They were held up at the entrance to have their bags checked)

FYI: how crowded the flight is did not matter. Our flight in 2017 was half full and they were still checking. They did allow a friend who was slightly over the weight limit to shift a heavier item to his personal item.

Posted by
1453 posts

The “no weight given for the personal item” is the key. I’ve flown Lufthansa a number of times in the last couple years. Every time at the international check-in counter they weighed my carry-on bag. They have never weighed the personal item. They also never have checked the size with the measurement box- likely because they are experts at eyeballing luggage size. I have found if you get the carry-on down to 17.6 pounds and put the weight ( liquids, books) in the personal item and into the jacket I wear, once you walk away from the counter, you can shift items between bags. Usually my personal item- a shoulder bag- weighs more than the carry-on as I get weighed in.

Posted by
2770 posts

We flew 14 trips on Lufthansa (6 full trips, two where Lufthansa was only half) from 2011 through 2019. We fly with Rick Steves convertible carry-ons only. From the US we fly out of Philadelphia and connect onward in Frankfurt (one trip was Newark and Dusseldorf), our returns were from Venice, Budapest, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam, all connecting in Frankfurt, and once connecting in Munich (via a non-Lufthansa start). All trips were economy.

The packs are on our backs, and we were never asked to put them in the sizer nor weigh them. From our home scale we knew we were right at the limit and could move something to our folded up and packed away daypack for a hand item if need be. This included a couple times even stopping by the Lufthansa check-in counter in Philadelphia because I thought our home-printed boarding passes were not clear enough and I wanted their hard copies, no questions asked as we stood there.

The closest we ever had to a hassle was a gate agent in Frankfurt for our connection to Dubrovnik -which IIRC was a code-share and not specifically Lufthansa - stopping my wife behind me because her pack, on a 5' 1" person, was clearly too big. I turned and suggested that we switch packs, since they were identical and mine was not questioned. Gate agent was dumbfounded and we simply kept on walking to our A320, on which the bags easily went into the overhead.

Posted by
8590 posts

I dont remember how long ago it was, but flying Lufthansa via ORD. At the gate area in ORD, the gate agents walked through the waiting area and chose bags that they would test through the sizer, and weigh. And they did indeed send many to be gate checked. Generally, they only picked wheeled bags to check. Do they do this all flights? Who knows.

Posted by
144 posts

My flight in 2017 they walked through the waiting to board area and picked cases to weigh. I was told they were strict so was under the required weight. They did send several to be checked. Better safe than sorry in my mind.
Kathleen

Posted by
6113 posts

Airlines make money from checked bags not carry ons, so more scrutinisation seems to be happening.

Posted by
4543 posts

Remember the Ryanair trick, if your bag is overweight start putting on clothes until you look like the Michelin man but your bag is OK

Posted by
18522 posts

I am facing a crunch on weight with KLM on Monday. And they are not accepting checked bags on flights with transfers.. My solution will be cargo pants.

Posted by
9 posts

Update, Lufthansa in Chicago-Ohare did not check any of our carry-on luggage for size or weight. TSA did limit us to 2 items to get through security. We were trying to make it easier for the search by carrying our jackets (with pockets filled) as a separate item. We had to exit the line and stuff everything back into our suitcases. We weren't the only ones, either.

Posted by
2144 posts

On 9/4 we flew Denver>Munich>Athens>Chania (Crete) on Lufthansa. A few hours prior to the flight we got an email from Lufthansa saying our Denver flight was very full and recommending that we check our carryon bags, at no charge. So we did, fearing they might be gate checked if we didn’t and get lost somewhere.

It was with immense relief that we saw our bags on the conveyor belt in Chania! And admittedly it was nice to not have to carry those bags through three airports.

Posted by
18522 posts

bob.blustar you stuff the pockets when checking in to meet the weight requirement. Then put it in the bag before security. I'm sorry? Did I recommend that? My bad.

Posted by
9 posts

Mister E, we came to the same idea, no worries.
It was almost laughable because we over-thought, planned and it was the TSA that foiled us!

Posted by
18522 posts

Use to be it was hard to get boarding passes prior to getting to the airport. Not everyone (it appears) is doing it digitally in advance. So, no need to go to the check-in counter which is the only place the scale is. So ................. But I am almost (?) anal about following the rules and the last trip in July I was about 2 pounds over. So I over rationalized and decided that it wasnt cheating to put in my pockets those things I might normally carry in my pockets (phone back up battery for instance, oh and a fly reel). Turns out I didn't have to.

Size is another issue all together. That can be checked any time. But I love how my legal bag just glides into the overhead on the narrow side leaving lots of room for others.

Posted by
7 posts

Where is the carry-on luggage being examined and weighed? At the check-in counter where bags are dropped off and tickets are checked, at the gate where the plane is boarded, or both?

Posted by
18522 posts

My experience has been the weight only at the check in counter. But rules are rules and who is to say the won't put one of those size boxed and a scale at the gate

Posted by
1293 posts

Both times I talked about above, it was done at the gate. I do carry on only, so never have to go to the counter before security to check in.

Posted by
771 posts

We flew Lufthansa Dulles-Munich -Catania about 10 days ago. We, too, got the “plane us full, check your bag” email. It wouldn’t surprise me if they are sending it to everyone. Our planes were full, and being paranoid, I made sure we met the weight and size requirements. No one asked or checked, and there a few people who brazenly carried on oversized and/or multiple bags on the TA. Munich to Catania was full, and with a smaller plane, things were tight, but again, no one said anything to us.

Posted by
18522 posts

Mixed results, some experienced what never happens, others watch rule breakers ...

Good reason why advice should always be follow the laws and follow the rules.

But do know that Lufthansa does allow two carryon items for economy and 3 in business.

Economy: 1 - 8kg bag no larger than 55x40x23 And one bag with no published weight limit no larger than 30x40x10

BUSINESS: 2 - 8kg bag no larger than 55x40x23. And one bag with no published weight limit no larger than 30x40x10