When traveling with Japan Airlines your free cabin and check-in baggage allowances vary depending on whether you are traveling on a domestic or an international route, and also depend on your selected class of travel.
In this article, I explain Japan Airlines’ free cabin and check-in baggage allowances, and I set out the fees for additional and excess baggage.
Japan Airlines has separate web information pages for domestic and international baggage matters:
Baggage – JAL Domestic Flights
Baggage – JAL International Flights
Japan Airlines Cabin Baggage
You can take one item of carry-on baggage and one personal item such as a handbag, or a shopping bag. The combined weight of these two items must not exceed 10kg (22lb).
The permitted size of these items depends on the aircraft that you will be traveling in:
Domestic aircraft with more than 100 seats (Boeing 777,787, 767, and 737) – the total dimensions are to be within 115cm, and width within 55cm, height within 40cm, and depth within 25cm (22in ×16in x10in).
For domestic aircraft with less than 100 seats (Embraer, Dash, ATR, and Saab) – the total outside dimensions are to be within 100cm, and width within 45cm, height within 35cm, and depth within 20cm.
Cabin baggage sizes include handles, pockets, and wheels.
If your baggage is oversized or overweight, or unable to be stowed in the cabin, it may need to be checked in at the boarding gate.
Passengers can take on board the aircraft one personal item (shopping bag, handbag, etc.) and one carry-on bag. The combined weight of both bags cannot exceed 10kg (22lbs). The total dimensions cannot exceed 115cm (45in), and the maximum permitted individual dimensions are width within 55cm, height within 40cm, and depth within 25cm (22in ×16in x10in).
If your carry-on bag is oversized or overweight, or unable to be stowed in the cabin, it may need to be checked in at the boarding gate.
Japan Airlines Check-In Baggage
All passengers on Japan Airlines domestic flights receive a free check-in bag allowance of a total weight of 20kg or 45kg for first-class passengers. There is no limit to the number of bags. The maximum outside dimensions (length + width + height) of each bag must be within 50cm x 60cm x 120cm (20in x 23in x 47in).
Standard check-in baggage allowances on Japan Airlines international flights are as follows:
Frequent Flyer Members
Members of Japan Airlines’ frequent flyer program – JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) Fly On and JAL Global Club (JGC) members are entitled to enhanced international check-in baggage allowances as follows:
Additional baggage allowances are also available for members of other oneworld alliance frequent flyer programs. The following table shows how the Japan Airlines and oneworld frequent flyer status tiers match up:
Additional and Excess Baggage
Check-in baggage items that exceed the 20kg free allowance (45kg for first class passengers) up to a total accepted weight of 100kg (maximum of 32kg per baggage item), may be checked in as excess baggage with a charge.
On certain smaller aircraft, the total accepted weight must not exceed 45kg (maximum of 32kg per baggage item).
The domestic excess baggage charge is ¥200 to ¥400 per 1kg ($US1.50 to $US3.00 per 1kg).
If your baggage exceeds the standard free allowance for your class of travel, additional baggage charges (per item) apply, and these vary by route:
- Zone 1: Between Japan, Asia, India, Oceania and Hawaii, North/ Central/ South America, Europe, Russia (Moscow), Middle East, and Africa
- Zone 2: Between Japan and Asia, Guam, Russia (Vladivostok), and Oceania
- Zone 3: Within Japan (when international conditions of carriage apply)
Route-Based Check-In Baggage Rules
- London, Paris, Helsinki, Dubai, and Australia: Check-in baggage items exceeding 32kg (70lbs) are not accepted
- Seoul (Gimpo) Airport: Check-in baggage items exceeding 200cm × 90cm × 90cm are not accepted
Japan Airlines treats sports equipment in the same way as normal carry-on and check-in baggage. Additional and/or excess baggage fees apply for items that exceed the standard baggage size and weight limits.
The exceptions are surfboards and windsurfing equipment where additional baggage charges are levied which vary from ¥10,000 to ¥20,000 ($US100 to $US200) per windsurfing set or surfboard bag for international flights, and ¥5,000 ($US50) within Japan when international conditions of carriage apply. Up to two surfboards can be placed into one surfboard bag. One set of windsurfing gear comprises one board, one mast, one boom, and one sail.
Instrument cases with total dimensions up to 115cm (or 100cm for smaller aircraft with less than 100 seats) may be carried into the aircraft cabin as carry-on baggage. However, you will need to notify Japan Airlines airport staff if any of the musical instrument case dimensions exceed 55cm, 40cm, or 25cm (or 45cm, 35cm, and 20cm for smaller aircraft). These smaller onboard instruments need to be stored in an overhead compartment.
Instrument cases with total dimensions greater than 115cm (or 100cm for smaller aircraft with less than 100 seats) can either be checked in, or if carried on board the aircraft you will need to purchase a separate seat. Passengers carrying multiple smaller instruments such as violins or violas may secure them all in a single seat as long as the combined width of the instruments is 43cm or less. You can contact the Japan Airlines call center to reserve a seat for your instrument and check that it can be taken on board. Extra seat charges vary by domestic route and vary between ¥5,250 ($US40) and ¥11,500 ($US85).
Loaner cases are available on domestic flights for some types of instruments (e.g. violins, guitars).
For international flights, you will need to check the standard size and weight limits for cabin and check-in baggage, as well as any additional or excess baggage that may apply.
Note that you will need to check with Japan Airlines if they can take any of the following on your particular aircraft/route:
- Bulky baggage with total outside dimensions (length + width + height) over 203cm/80in
- Large baggage that cannot be laid on its side and that has a height of more than 150cm/59in or 79cm/31in for Boeing 737 aircraft)
- Large musical instruments (contrabasses, cellos, etc.) that have a weight of more than 32kg (70lbs)
Traveling With Infants and Children
As space on board the aircraft is sometimes limited, Japan Airlines encourages passengers to check-in strollers. You can use the free baby stroller service provided at some airports in Japan and at London Heathrow airport. No reservation is required.
Otherwise, you may use your own baby stroller up to the boarding gate at some airports. You can check with airport staff if this is possible when you check in.
You may bring your own child seat, or you may use Japan Airlines’ child seat rental service if you do not have one. You will need to book this service four days in advance of travel.
Passengers may bring their own child seats on board the aircraft if the seat meets Japan Airlines’ specifications, and the adult passenger is able to install the child seat in the aircraft seat. You will need to contact the Japan Airlines ‘Special Assistance Desk for Traveling with Babies or Small Children’ at least three days before your departure if you wish to bring your own child seat on board.
Child seats are available to borrow free of charge for children aged between eight days and two years old who have a reserved seat. Please contact the Japan Airlines ‘Special Assistance Desk for Traveling with Babies or Small Children’ at least three days before your departure to reserve a child seat.
No reservation or fee is required if you wish to check a child seat as baggage instead of taking it on board.
When traveling with Japan Airlines, your cabin and check-in baggage allowances will vary according to whether you are traveling on a domestic or an international route, and also with your selected class of travel.
All domestic and international passengers are allowed one free personal item and one carry-on item in the cabin with a combined weight of 10kg. On some Japan Airlines domestic flights operated using smaller aircraft, the size limit for cabin baggage is more restrictive compared to other domestic and international flights.
Free and relatively generous check-in baggage allowances are provided for all passengers. The number of check-in bags allowed and the weight of check-in bags varies according to your travel class and whether you are traveling on a domestic route or an international route. If you are a member of Japan Airlines, or another oneworld alliance member, frequent flyer program you are entitled to an additional check-in baggage allowance.
You can purchase additional or excess baggage allowances if necessary. The excess baggage charges for domestic flights are very reasonable, but watch out for the relatively expensive additional and excess baggage charges on international flights where a very heavy bag could cost you up to $US600!