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I'm travelling to the USA using a large bag (weighs greater than 23kgs) and a medium bag (weighs less than 23 kgs), both of which collectively are within the checkin limit (46 kgs).

But the big one exceeds the individual check-in baggage limit (23kgs). Will there be a problem ? Does the airline weigh each baggage separately ?

  • One reason for the per item weight limit is that the staff who load bags behind the scenes might injure themselves lifting very heavy luggage. Ideally you should redistribute your luggage between your bags. If you cannot do that, Emirates check in staff will probably put a 'Heavy' warning tag on your bag. Extra charges are mainly aimed at people bringing more luggage than the aggregate weight limit for their ticket because this affects airline fuel expenses. – user48290 Aug 3 '16 at 9:49
  • As a small potential problem, I suggest you allow extra time. I had to take some very heavy items (>30kg) to the oversize/overweight area where you take bikes, prams etc.- it took extra time and could have involved more security, also at one airport it wasn't obvious where to go and took a bit of time to find. At the other the very nice check in agent escorted me. – Spehro Pefhany Aug 3 '16 at 14:19
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Yes, airlines usually check bags individually and the limit is per piece, so not a consolidated limit. Having said that, Emirates is not a low cost airline that enforces all the rules so there is a good probability that you won't have to pay more, especially if you are just crossing the limit for 1 or 2 kgs...

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    Emirates is incredibly picky about hand baggage allowances when boarding from Dubai though, even 1 KG above the 7 kg limit (incloding laptop,duty free,etc) will attract a fine – Akash Aug 2 '16 at 20:24
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As long as you are less than the individual bag limit of (32 KG), I think you should be fine:

If you have calculated your allowance to be over 32kg (71lb), please note that Dubai Civil Aviation prohibits the acceptance of any one piece of baggage weighing more than 32kg (71lb), into, out of or via Dubai International Airport.

However, in my personal experience - Emirates weights each bag individually. You can try to sneak in two bags at once though, and try your luck.

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    32 kg / 70 pounds is the business class limit, @BurhanKhalid. Economy has 23 kg / 50 pounds. That doesn't matter for the answer though - except that they are much more lenient with business class passengers. – Aganju Aug 2 '16 at 12:28
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    Actually the maximum (for any class) is 32 KG per bag. You can always pay to carry extra bags, but you cannot pay to carry an individual bag that exceeds 32 KG no matter what class you are in. The restriction on the individual weight is there for Economy (although some Economy fares have more generous allowances). My point was that as long as each bag is less than 32, you should be able to avoid an overweight fee - you just have to be diplomatic about it at the counter. – Burhan Khalid Aug 2 '16 at 12:31
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Theoretically, yes, separately.

Sometimes they are sloppy and don't care, I guess you got 20% chance for that, but you should better consider changing your packing - put some heavier stuff in the small bag to even it out and get both under the limit.

The reason for the limit is not pickiness, but employment health - they cannot require employees to lift more than that weight limit, so if they allow you to combine 23+x and 23-x kg, and an employee hurts his back on the 23+x one, they are in trouble, and insurance will decline to pay.

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    Your third paragraph is just wrong. Emirates' website says, "Dubai Civil Aviation prohibits the acceptance of any one piece of baggage weighing more than 32kg" for employee safety. So any refusal to carry a bag weighing between 23 and 32kg is purely the airline's decision and is not an employee safety restriction. – David Richerby Aug 2 '16 at 13:04

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