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How to transport what you can’t put in a suitcase

Oversized (or excess) baggage category just includes the above-mentioned prams, sports equipment, musical instruments, appliances, carpets and other items that cannot be placed in a suitcase. As a rule, such things should be registered at a special counter at the airport and reported to the air carrier no later than 36 hours before the flight. It is best to do this right away when buying a ticket, as there is a possibility, especially during the ski season, that there is simply not enough space in the luggage compartment.

What you do not need to pay for?

Many airlines offer free transportation of sports equipment, tools, and even bicycles, if they do not exceed the norms of ordinary checked baggage – no more than 32 kg and 203 cm in total (you need to add the height, width and thickness). Things should be in a case and not exceed one unit, that is, one snowboard, one pair of skis or one guitar per person.

Accordingly, if you want to bring a suitcase with you, you will have to pay for it already as for extra baggage. Airline rates are different, so the cost can range from 25 to 150 euros.

In addition, a baby cot, crutches, a stretcher or a wheelchair for people with disabilities, as well as a guard or guide dog, can be transported free of charge in the cabin. Sometimes, with the consent of the carrier, you can take the bird cage into the cabin as hand luggage.

Some airlines offer to transport skis and snowboards for free in the winter season, and diving equipment in the summer, even if these items exceed the established standards for size and weight.

What do I need to transport for a fee?

Carriers set different rules for the transportation of excess baggage. Basically, it should not exceed 32 kg, although some airlines allow baggage weighing up to 50 kg and set special rates on it. For example, iFly offers to pay 10-15 euros for each kilogram over the norm (depending on the season). Aeroflot has set a tariff for baggage weighing from 32 to 50 kg in the amount of 150 euros. UTair will ask you to pay extra 50-80 euros for baggage of the same weight.

If everything is in order with kilograms, but the luggage size is more than the total 203 centimeters, carriers also have special conditions. At the same Utair, the tariff for such items is 20-40 euros, and Lufthansa even believes that excess is luggage more than 23 kg and 159 cm, so already for such a relatively small item you will need to pay from 50 to 100 euros.

Sometimes musical instruments, sports equipment or fragile items are allowed to be carried in the cabin in an adjacent passenger seat. For example, Aeroflot allows you to take a musical instrument with you up to 75-80 kg and a size of up to 130x50x30. It will cost from 50 euros.

Transportation of animals

Pets can be transported both in the cabin and in the luggage compartment, depending on their size and airline rules. As mentioned above, you can transport a service dog and a guide dog free of charge in the cabin. They should be wearing a collar and a muzzle, and the dog itself should be tied to a chair at the owner’s feet. During the flight, the animal is forbidden to walk around the cabin.

Dogs of small breeds, cats and small cages with birds, some carriers are allowed to take to the salon. Dogs and cats must be kept in special containers with a waterproof bottom. It is not allowed to release the animal during the flight. Some airlines allow you to transport pets free of charge if their weight with a carrying bag does not exceed 8 kg (for example, Aeroflot). Others will be asked to pay for them at the rate of the second piece of baggage (S7 Airlines).

If the animal is larger than a cat or small dog, you need to transport it in the luggage compartment. To do this, it must be placed in a spacious cage (but not more than those 203 cm in total) with free access to air and a good lock. The bottom of the container should be waterproof and covered with a special absorbent material (diaper, cat litter). The cell will be paid at the excess baggage rate.

When going on a trip with your pet, remember that all necessary veterinary documents must be drawn up on it, including mandatory vaccination certificates, and if you fly abroad, dogs and cats must be microchipped.

Fragile items

If you carry fragile luggage that does not fit in your carry-on bag, there are several ways to keep it safe. The safest way is to pay for extra baggage and carry it in the cabin in the next seat, like a musical instrument. If this option seems expensive, you can ask the baggage reception to mark it fragile – a special tag will be placed on the suitcase. However, this does not guarantee that you will receive your goods safe and sound, because for luggage employees, speed is more important than your shock-sensitive things. You can also hand over such baggage as oversized and pay for it at the existing fare in the airline. You can also get insurance on your suitcase – if something happens to your things, you will at least get compensation.

If baggage is not included at all

Recently, some airlines have stopped including checked baggage in the cost of an economy class ticket. This means that for free you are allowed to carry only hand luggage weighing up to 10 kg and sizes up to 55x40x20. For example, Lufthansa practices this approach for the cheapest rates. If you still want to bring a suitcase with you, you can pre-book a place for it online and pay for it from 15 euros. For those who check in baggage already at the airport, the cost of the service will be higher.

And one more thing that is important for passengers flying with transfers by different airlines. If you carry excess baggage, its cost will be considered at the tariff of the dominant (larger) carrier.

When traveling, always check the conditions for the carriage of non-standard or non-included baggage in the call center of your airline.

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