Hold Luggage Travel Insurance Exceptions

Travellers are being warned of exceptions that surround baggage cover travel insurance when hand luggage is placed in the aircraft hold.


  • Overhead locker space is at a minimum
  • Travellers with hand luggage is at a maximum
  • Limited space means many low-cost, budget airline passengers are having their hand luggage placed in the main hold

In a report this week by consumer watchdog magazine, Which?, it asked more than 7,000 passengers about their experiences regarding hand luggage.  Their responses revealed that a staggering 25% of passengers had been force to place their hand luggage into the main hold when flying with Aer Lingus, easyJet, Jet2, KLM, Monarch and Ryanair.

Rather worryingly, the survey found that five of the UK’s largest travel insurance providers wouldn’t pay out if hand luggage went missing, or was damaged, when placed in the hold.

When travelling with hand luggage only, many travellers opt out of covering their luggage, because they assume it will be with them at all times.  However, as the popularity of hand luggage only passengers increases, many travellers find themselves forced into placing their cabin bags into the hold by Cabin Crew upon boarding the aircraft.

Even today’s modern aircraft only have limited space for hand luggage in the overhead lockers.  As a result, Cabin Crew can determine whether or not there will be room for all hand luggage pieces.  If not, many will need to go in the main hold.  On a typical low-cost, budget airline flight, the aircraft most commonly used can accommodate around 189 passengers, yet there are just 90 spaces for hand luggage.

When asked to put handluggage into the hold, many travellers often forget to remove valuables: electronic devices, keys, important documentation, cameras etc. Should the hand luggage go missing, valuables aren’t covered under their travel insurance policy.

And it’s not just baggage loss or damage that a traveller might not be insured for, it’s also missing a connecting flight.  If a passenger misses a connecting flight because they have been delayed waiting for their hand luggage to come off the baggage carousel often they will not be insured.  And, in many airlines’ terms and conditions they will not accept responsibility and therefore will not compensate either.

Whilst there is nothing anyone can do to prevent hand luggage going into the main hold, it could be advisable to look at adding baggage cover to travel insurance policies if regularly flying on low cost, budget airlines.  And don’t forget, it you’re hand baggage has to go into the hold, remove valuables and lock your bag before handing it over.