How Strict Is Emirates Baggage Allowance?

When flying with Emirates all passengers get a free cabin baggage allowance and a variable check-in baggage allowance.

However, Emirates’ check-in baggage allowance rules are quite complicated, and the amount of check-in baggage you can take with you varies by route, your class of travel, and for economy passengers, also by your fare type.

The other key feature of Emirates’ baggage policy you should take note of is the fee structure for any baggage you wish to take in addition to the free allowance – the charges are relatively high.

So, when flying with Emirates, my top tips are as follows:

  • Familiarize yourself with your particular cabin and check-in baggage allowances as these will depend on your route, class of travel, and your fare type.
  • Try to avoid taking check-in baggage that exceeds your free allowance as this will turn out to be a costly affair.
  • If you really do need more check-in baggage than the free allowance permits, make sure you buy that online before you travel, or arrange another method of carriage.

Emirates Cabin Baggage Allowance

When flying with Emirates your cabin baggage allowance depends on your class of travel:

  • First Class and Business Class passengers – one item of carry-on baggage, with a maximum weight of 7kg (15lb), and one personal item such as a briefcase or garment bag, also with a 7kg (15lb) weight limit.
  • Economy Class passengers – one item of carry-on baggage, weighing up to 7kg (15lb).
Emirates Carry On Size

The maximum dimensions for the First Class/Business Class/Economy Class carry-on baggage item are 55 x 38 x 20cm. The maximum permitted dimensions of the second item permitted in First and Business Class are 45 x 35 x 20cm.

Duty-free purchases such as liquor, cigarettes, and perfume are also permitted in reasonable quantities for all classes of travel.

There are some exceptions to the standard cabin bag size and weight rules as follows:

  • Customers boarding in India are allowed one piece of carry-on baggage. The size of the carry-on baggage item may not exceed 115cm (length + width + height).
  • For all flights departing from Brazil, passengers can carry up to 10kg of cabin baggage.

Emirates Check-In Baggage Allowances


Your free Emirates check-in baggage allowance varies according to your route, your booked cabin class, and your fare type.

Emirates’ free baggage allowance is based on either the total amount of weight or on how many pieces of luggage you have – the weight or piece concepts.

The weight concept applies to most routes. The piece concept applies only on flights to and from the Americas and Africa.

Emirates’ stated allowances are described below for each class of travel and for each fare type. As the rules are a little complicated you are advised to check the exact baggage regulations printed on your ticket.

Weight Concept Routes (Most Routes, Except the Americas and Africa)

Your free check-in baggage allowance is based on the total weight of all your baggage.

You can check in as many bags as you like up to the total weight allowance for your travel class. Each individual bag must not weigh more than 32kg.

The total weight allowances by class of travel/fare type, are shown in the table below:

Class/Fare TypeTotal Weight Allowance/kg
Economy Special20
Economy Saver25
Economy Flex30
Economy Flex Plus35

There are two exceptions to these rules:

  • Passengers flying on Economy Special fares for flights between UAE and India are allowed 25kg.
  • Passengers flying on Economy Saver fares for flights originating in Australia or New Zealand are allowed 30kg.

The total dimensions (length + width + height) of an individual weight concept check-in bag should not exceed 300cm (118in). Emirates will not accept bags that exceed this limit as check-in luggage.

Piece Concept Routes (the Americas and Africa)

You can check in a specific number of bags, and each bag has a maximum weight allowance.

The piece concept applies to flights to/from the Americas, and for tickets issued after August 9th, 2021, it also applies to flights to/from Africa.

The piece concept of check-in baggage allowances are as follows:

EconomyOne item up to 23kg for Economy Special fares  
Two items up to 23kg each for Economy Saver, Flex, and Flex Plus fares
Business/FirstTwo pieces up to 32kg each

If your journey originates from Africa and your ticket was issued before May 11th, 2020 you are allowed two check-in baggage items, each weighing up to 23kg when traveling on an Economy Special fare.

Different rules apply for passengers traveling on Economy fares for flights within the Americas and between the US and Europe:

  • One item up to 23kg for Economy Special and Saver fares.
  • Two items up to 23kg each for Economy Flex and Flex Plus fares.

If you are traveling from Australia, New Zealand, or Asia to North or South America and this includes a stopover in Dubai longer than 24 hours, or a sector in Europe, the weight check-in baggage concept will apply for your entire ticketed journey.

If you are traveling into Africa with a stopover of more than 24 hours, the weight check-in baggage concept may apply.

The total dimensions (length + width + height) of an individual piece concept check-in bag must not exceed 150cm (59 inches). You will be charged an additional fee for any individual items of baggage exceeding these dimensions, up to a maximum allowable 300cm (118in). If an individual item of check-in baggage exceeds these maximum allowable dimensions, it will need to be sent as cargo or freight.

Emirates Skywards Frequent Flyer Programme Members

If you’re an Emirates Skywards Platinum, Gold, or Silver member, you benefit from an extra baggage allowance on routes that use the weight concept as follows:

  • Silver – +12kg
  • Gold – +16kg
  • Platinum – +20kg

When traveling on routes that use the piece concept, Gold and Platinum members are eligible for one additional check-in baggage item up to 23kg in Economy Class and one additional check-in baggage item up to 32kg in Business Class and First Class over and above the limit stated on your ticket.

Additional Check-in Baggage


You can buy an extra baggage allowance online, at the check-in desk, or through your local Emirates office. Buying online, or at an Emirates office, up to four hours before your departure time, is cheaper than at the airport.

Weight Concept Routes

For weight concept routes, you can purchase additional check-in weight in blocks of 5kg, up to a maximum of 50kg. On these routes, you can check in as many bags as you like as long as the total weight does not exceed the maximum weight allowance for your particular ticket, and each individual bag must weigh less than 32kg. if you buy additional weight in advance, before you check in, you will get a 50% to 60% discount on the amounts charged at check-in. The additional check-in baggage weight rates charged by Emirates depend on your route and range from $US15 to $US50 per 1kg.

What would this mean in practice? Let’s look at an example of an economy class passenger traveling on an Economy Saver fare between Australia and Europe. This passenger has used up their 30kg check-in bag allowance but wants to take another check-in baggage item weighing 15kg. According to Emirates’ charges, this additional item of baggage would cost $US50 per 1kg each way if bought at the airport check-in, equivalent to an additional $US750 each way! Or, if buying online more than 4 hours before travel, the additional cost would be around half of this value.  

Item Concept Routes

For item concept routes you can purchase additional pieces online, at Emirates offices, or at the airport. The weight allowance for each additional piece is 23kg in Economy Class, and 32kg in Business Class and First Class. Additional allowances bought more than four hours in advance of your flight’s departure time receive a discount of 35% to 50% compared to the price charged at check-in (except for travel to/from Canada). You can buy up to five additional items of luggage in addition to your standard allowance.

The fees charged at the airport, per additional item of check-in baggage, are as follows:

  • To/from Africa – $US200 to $US250.
  • To/from the Americas and Canada – $US100 to $US250.

Excess Check-in Baggage (Item Concept Routes)

If you are traveling with the number of baggage items to match your ticket allowance, but these items exceed Emirates’ check-in bag size and weight limits you will be charged an excess baggage fee at the airport (per item, each way), as follows:

  • Overweight – $US75.
  • Oversized – $US75.
  • Overweight and oversized – $150.

If you have purchased additional items of check-in baggage on top of your standard allowance, and these exceed Emirates’ size and weight limits, the following excess baggage fees will be charged at the airport (per item, each way) in addition to the fee already charged for the extra items:

  • Overweight – $US75.
  • Oversized – $US75.
  • Overweight and oversized – $150.

Watch out if you bought your ticket some time ago, before December 21st, 2020. Much higher excess baggage fees apply. These can be as much as $US400 per item, each way.

Sports Items

Sporting equipment including golf equipment, bicycles, and ski equipment, are accepted by Emirates as check-in baggage, as part of your standard baggage allowance.

Individual items with total dimensions exceeding 300cm (118in) cannot be transported as check-in baggage, and need to be sent as cargo or freight.

Should your overall baggage weight, or the number of bags, including sports equipment, exceed your free baggage allowance, excess baggage rates will apply.

If you intend to take a bicycle as check-in luggage, you must contact Emirates at least 24 hours in advance of your flight’s departure time.

Musical Instruments

Emirates does not provide a free baggage allowance for the carriage of musical instruments. Musical instruments are handled as normal check-in or cabin baggage (subject to weight and size limitations) or can be transported on a paid‑for seat in the aircraft cabin.

If you want to check in your instrument, it will be subject to normal excess baggage charges if it exceeds your free baggage allowance.

Specific conditions and limitations may apply when transporting certain musical instruments. It’s best to contact Emirates to discuss your particular needs – get in touch with us.

Traveling With An Infant

All passengers traveling with infants (under two years of age) are allowed one cabin bag not exceeding 55 x 38 x 20cm (22 x 15 x 8in), and a maximum weight of 5kg (11lbs).

All routes, except to/from destinations in the Americas and Africa, are also allowed check-in baggage weighing up to 10kg (22lb).

You can ask Emirates check-in staff if space is available for you to carry any one of the following items on board free of charge:

  • Fully collapsible stroller/pushchair.
  • Infant carrycot.
  • Infant car seat.

You can take an approved car seat on board if you purchase an additional aircraft seat at the appropriate child fare; you will need to contact Emirates to arrange this.


All passengers flying with Emirates get a free cabin baggage allowance and a check-in baggage allowance. However, the check-in baggage rules are a little complicated, so you should check the exact baggage regulations printed on your ticket.

You should avoid taking check-in baggage that exceeds your free allowance as this will turn out to be very costly. If you really do need more check-in baggage than your free allowance, make sure you buy that online before you travel. If you need to take a lot of check-in baggage with you it’s worth checking whether upgraded fare types or classes of travel, with higher check-in baggage allowances, could be a cheaper option for you. Alternatively, you might consider an alternative method of carriage for any excess baggage.

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