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I'm flying with El Al and am taking 3 suitcases. Do they allow for averaging the weight allowance across the suitcases? The allowance for each suitcase is 23 kg. One of my suitcases is around 25kg, but the other two are each a few kilos below the limit so the average is below 23kg. Is this ok or it might cause an issue when checking them in?

  • I don't know. But in forty years of air travel: when baggage is weighed, it's always weighed individually. The weight limits are, in part, to protect the ground crew who have to move them around. – David Jun 2 at 10:08
  • One of the reasons behind the limit is the rules for what the handling crew may carry. Those rules (probably) vary from country to country, so it would be quite a puzzle for the check-in crew if they should handle all those rules, so they will probably refuse any request (even though that might not violate the rules of all the stops on the specific journey) to deviate from the airlines own rules. – Henrik Jun 2 at 10:20
  • Interesting. As far as I know, a suitcase isnt allowed to be over 32 kg for that reason, but 25 kilos is within the amount someone could pay overcharge for - so it doesnt seem like it would be an issue of handling. – Rachel W Jun 2 at 10:25
  • @RachelW, in much of Europe (not sure about elsewhere) any thing that needs to be carried by one person should not exceed 23 kg in weight, by law. Heavier weights should be marked as such and either handled with the help of mechanical lifters or by two people. (This does not always happen but it does not change the law.) – Willeke Jun 2 at 10:36
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From experience I can tell you that that is the case. You're allowed a total weight Y composed of nr. of suitcases x X (based on ticket class). If you're allowed 3 suitcases you're allowed 3 x 23kg for a total of 69kg.

Depending on you're destination the maximum the ground crew is allowed to lift is somewhere between 23kg and 32kg, usually 23kg now a days, however this isn't always taken into account.

I've travelled a lot with El Al on the route TLV-AMS and have regularly flown with suitcases of 25kg or heavier (and have only seen a couple of times that an "extra heavy" tag has been attached to my suitcase). If you stay under your total allowed weight it should be alright.

If however you'll be slightly overweight in total it'll depend on how early you are to the flight and the mood of the check-in attendant if they'll let you check-in without extra charge.

Either way when flying with El Al it's good to come early to the flight as in my experience you then can usually "get away with" more things.

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