I have an Emirates flight from Houston, Texas to Mumbai, India. I booked an Air India flight from Mumbai for the domestic portion.

Emirates will accept two bags of 23kg each, Air India will accept one 25kg bag.

Instead of checking two bags of 23kg each for a total weight of 46kg, will I be allowed to check-in a single bag which weighs 25kg, far less than the total 46kg allowance?

I am planning to use same luggage which I can carry check for the domestic onward flight that I'm taking in Mumbai.

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    I would check with Emirates because their baggage handling contracts may limit the weight of a single item. As another option, consider taking a small foldable duffle or similar. Put enough of your stuff in it to get your suitcase under 23 Kg and check it with your suitcase for the Emirates flight. At Mumbai, move its contents to the suitcase, and either abandon it or fold it up and pack it in the suitcase. Jun 24, 2017 at 4:02
  • 3
    What's up with the downvotes? I'm unable to find a definitive answer online. Jun 24, 2017 at 21:31
  • 1
    The question might be improved by adding whatever efforts you have made to contact Emirates and ask them. Jun 24, 2017 at 21:33
  • @jpatokal only Emirates can, for certain, say whether they will or will not vary from their stated baggage allowances and conditions. For an authoritative answer to be possible, Emirates would have to be contacted, a statement issued and then posted here in full - and the asker of the question can contact Emirates just as well as anyone else... :)
    – user29788
    Jun 24, 2017 at 22:11

4 Answers 4


There are two baggage allowance systems, the piece concept and the weight concept.

The piece concept measures how many pieces of baggage you have. In your case on Emirates, the rule is that you have two pieces. Each piece is considered separately and may weigh up to 23 kg. You do not have a 46 kg allowance. You have two pieces.

The weight concept gives a total weight and is unconcerned about how many pieces you bring up to the total. [A practical limit may apply, usually ten bags.]

Emirates uses the piece concept on its flights to/from North America. (See https://www.emirates.com/english/help/faq/490107/weight-and-piece-concept.) You will not be permitted to pool your allowance, because that would change your allowance.

In practice you may find that the airline check in agent will overlook a small breach of the rules. But you may find they do not, in which case you will either need to repack your bags or pay the appropriate overweight fee.

If you have booked this as one ticket, then Emirates' allowance applies on all legs under a US regulation (it will be encoded on the ticket as two pieces). If you have booked it as separate tickets, then each carrier's policies apply leg-by-leg.

  • This overlook is not the case as the airline will get fined for this, see my answer below. Maybe they accept this fine if you are a very loyal passenger but otherwise you're urged to repack you bags. Jul 1, 2017 at 12:01

No. Emirates is very strict about their baggage allowance. They will charge you for being less than one kilo over the limit.

The best bet is to move 2kg onto your carry-on, if that keeps you within the weight limit, or onto your own self (as I did just earlier this year when flying Emirates) since that weight does not get weighed. Unfortunately, unless traveling in Business class, Emirates does not allow a personal item, so what you add must fit within your carry-on.

While this is not always possible, you can sometimes book both flights on the same ticket and get rules for the most significant carrier to even out the allowance on both segments. Unfortunately, it is only always possible due to a lack of agreement between airlines. This happened to me and I had to scramble to fit within the Emirates allowance luggage that all my other flights of the trip accepted.

Emirates does allow passengers to buy additional checked luggage allowance if so needed. There is a maximum which depends on the ticket and flight.


This is an alternative strategy given there is at least a significant risk the Emirates will charge significantly for the overweight bag.

Use a small foldable duffle bag or similar. For the Emirates flight, which allows two checked bags, put enough in the duffle to get your suitcase under 23 Kg. Make sure the duffle has proper luggage tags, and check it along with your suitcase. That gives you two pieces of checked baggage, both under 23 Kg, conforming to the Emirates rules.

At Mumbai, move the contents of the duffle to the suitcase. Fold it up and also pack it in the suitcase or, especially if it is heavy, abandon it. Now you have one piece of checked baggage, meeting your domestic flight rules.


Emirates will charge you if you are over the bagage limit, this limit has been set by IATA (International Air Transport Association) to protect the health and safety of airport workers. If you go over this limit only so slightly the people down in the bagage handling system have to lift your bag together thus increasing the cost of processing your bag. For this the airline receives an extra charge which they are willing to pay in some cases for their Business class or first class passengers (different limits per class or membership level are on the airlines websites).

To solution is just to spilt your luggage over 2 suitcases and check them both in. Taking the extra load inside the cabin is not handy as there are also weight limitations for carry on luggage.


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