Lufthansa Airlines Baggage Fees Guide (Carry-On, Checked, International) [2019]

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. 

Lufthansa Airlines is a favorite amongst airline enthusiast for a reliable product in both economy, business, and first class. However, Lufthansa does have baggage fees, and they can add up if you buy the wrong fare.

In this article, I’ll discuss the specific baggage fees for carry-ons, checked bags, and international flights showing you some ways to avoid these fees. I’ll also talk about particular circumstances such as for overweight baggage, pet policies, and sports equipment.


What are Lufthansa Airline’s baggage fees?

Lufthansa allows one free personal item, carry-on luggage, and checked piece of luggage for free for all of their fares besides Economy Light fare which doesn’t have free checked baggage. I will go into detail below.


How can I avoid baggage fees of Lufthansa?

There are a few different ways that you can avoid checked baggage fees with Lufthansa.

Fare options

Lufthansa has a total of 7 different fares named: Economy Light, Economy Basic, Economy Basic Plus I, Economy Flex II, Premium Economy, Business Class, and First Class. The difference between these fares are the fees for changes/cancellations, seat, and baggage allowance.

Out of all these fares, Economy Light is the only fare that restricts checked baggage and makes the passenger pay for checking baggage if they paid for that fare. All other fares allow the passenger to check bags for free and some fares even allow the passenger to have more than one carry-on luggage.

Intercontinental flights

  • Economy Basic: 1 free checked bag up to 23 kg (50 lb) each
  • Economy Basic Plus I: 1 free checked bag up to 23 kg (50 lb) each
  • Economy Flex II: 1 free checked bag up to 23 kg (50 lb) each
  • Premium Economy: 2 free checked bags up to 23 kg (50 lb) each
  • Business Class: 2 free checked bags up to 32 kg (70 lb) each
  • First Class: 3 free checked bags up to 32 kg (70 lb) each

European flights

  • Economy Basic: 1 free checked bag up to 23 kg (50 lb) each
  • Economy Basic Plus I: 1 free checked bag up to 23 kg (50 lb) each
  • Economy Flex II: 1 free checked bag up to 23 kg (50 lb) each
  • Business Class: 2 free checked bags up to 32 kg (70 lb) each

Each fare is priced differently on each route and changes every day depending on the seats left for that fare on that route and on that day. Sometimes, Economy Light won’t even available on specific routes.

Note, Economy Light (also known as Economy Saver) is typically $60 cheaper than Economy Basic. Lufthansa’s baggage fee is up to $60 for Economy Light. Since Economy Light is typically $60 cheaper than Economy Basic, it’s better to pick Economy Light since you can pick your seats at booking for free. Economy Light, on the other hand, doesn’t allow any changes or advance seat reservations.

Airline Elite Status

Star Alliance Gold members or Lufthansa own Frequent flyer program called Miles & More give one more free bag to check for member depending on their status and class flying. Here is the baggage allowance for elite status holders:

Intercontinental flights

Frequent Traveller

  • Economy Class: 2 free checked bags up to 23 kg (50 lb)
  • Premium Economy Class: 2 free checked bags up to 23 kg (50 lb) each
  • Business Class: 2 free checked bags up to 32 kg (70 lb) each
  • First Class: 3 free checked bags up to 32 kg (70 lb) each
  • Additional sports bag: + 1 ski bag (Except from/to USA, Mexico and Central America)

Senator / HON Circle Member / Star Alliance Gold member

  • Economy Class: 2 free checked bags up to 23 kg (50 lb)
  • Premium Economy Class: 3 free checked bags up to 23 kg (50 lb) each
  • Business Class: 3 free checked bags up to 32 kg (70 lb) each
  • First Class: 4 free checked bags up to 32 kg (70 lb) each
  • Additional sports bag: + 1 golf bag, + 1 ski bag (Except from/to USA, Mexico and Central America)

European flights

Frequent Traveller

  • Economy Class: 2 free checked bags up to 23 kg (50 lb)
  • Business Class: 2 free checked bags up to 32 kg (70 lb) each
  • Additional sports bag: + 1 ski bag

Senator / HON Circle Member / Star Alliance Gold member

  • Economy Class: 2 free checked bags up to 23 kg (50 lb)
  • Business Class: 2 free checked bags up to 32 kg (70 lb) each
  • Additional sports bag: + 1 golf bag, + 1 ski bag

Note, Economy Light fare tickets won’t get a free checked bag. So, if you are a HON Circle Member (Lufthansa’s top tier status) or Star Alliance Gold member, you cannot get a free checked bag.

Credit Cards

You can utilize certain credit cards to reduce or eliminate your baggage fees on Lufthansa.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the hottest travel rewards credit cards. It earns 3X the points on dining and travel and comes with a host of valuable benefits. One of these perks is a $300 travel credit that can be used on anything that codes as travel, including your baggage fees.

Capital One Venture

One of my favorite cards to use to cover miscellaneous travel purchases is the Capital One Venture card. It’s a popular credit card that comes with an early spending bonus of $500 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

It earns 2% cash back on all purchases toward travel, and the points can be used to cover virtually any travel purchase.


Lufthansa Airlines personal item and carry-on restrictions

Each economy or premium economy passenger can bring onboard one personal item and one carry-on bag, or one personal item and two carry-on bags if you’re seated in business or first class.

Personal item

You can bring one personal item onboard and can be anything that can go under the seat in front of you or under the ottoman in business or first class. Personal items must not exceed:

  • 15″ Length (40 cm)
  • 11″ Width (33 cm)
  • 3.9″ Height (10 cm)

Some examples of personal items would be a briefcase, purse, laptop, and small backpack.

Carry-on

Depending on the cabin you’re seated in you can either bring one carry-on or two carry-on bags. Economy and premium economy can bring one carry-on. Business and first class can bring two carry-on bags. The carry-on must not exceed:

  • 21″ Length (55 cm)
  • 15″ Width (40 cm)
  • 9″ Height (23 cm)
  • 17 lbs (8 kg)

If you have a foldable garment bag as your carry-on item, you cannot have it exceed more than 22 x 21 x 5.9 inches (57 x 54 x 15 cm.) 

For your carry-on item, you can bring a suitcase, bag, garment bag, carry cot, pushchair or child seat for infants, and any required mobility aids, such as a wheelchair. Some items will be gate checked for free. As long as it doesn’t exceed the dimensions above, you will be fine.

Liquids

The same TSA standards apply to Lufthansa flights arriving or departing from the US. You can review a list provided by the TSA of permitted and prohibited items which may be included in carry-on baggage including the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule.


Lufthansa baggage fees from the USA (international)

If you’re traveling to or from the USA and want to check baggage for Economy Light or check additional baggage with regular economy and premium economy, please refer to the fees below.

  • Economy Light: up to 23 kg (50 lbs)
    • Intercontinental/International: $60 online, $60 check-in, $60 gate
  • Regular economy and premium economy up to 23 kg (50 lbs) each.
    • To/from the USA: $100

Note that business and first class cannot check another bag. That’s because the USA doesn’t allow you to check more than two bags on international routes.


Lufthansa Airlines checked baggage fees

The prices below are for one-way flights, not roundtrip, and must not exceed 62″ (158 cm) in overall dimensions. Please refer to the above section named “How can I avoid baggage fees of Lufthansa?” to find weight allowances and allowances for specific cabins and fares, as class and status give you different allowances. Here are all the fees for all destinations below.

Additional piece of baggage prices

  • Economy Light: up to 23 kg (50 lbs)
    • Domestic Germany: $16 online, $35 check-in, $60 gate
    • Within Europe: $27 online, $44 check-in, $60 gate
    • Intercontinental: $60 online, $60 check-in, $60 gate
  • Regular economy and premium economy up to 23 kg (50 lbs) each. Region definitions here
    • Domestic Germany: $80
    • Within Europe: $92
    • North Africa, Central Asia, and Mediterranean coast: $115
    • Short intercontinental: $172
    • Medium intercontinental: $230
    • Long intercontinental: $287
    • To/from Japan: $200
    • To/from USA, Canada, Mexico, and Central America: $100
  • Business and first class up to 32 kg (70 lbs) each
    • Domestic Germany: $80
    • Within Europe: $92
    • North Africa, Central Asia, and Mediterranean coast: $115
    • Short intercontinental: $172
    • Medium intercontinental: $230
    • Long intercontinental: $287
    • To/from Japan: $200

While the prices seem very high, Lufthansa does give out a pretty good allowance for free checked bags, especially in business and first class. However, it’s still not cheap if you’re flying economy and want to bring a second bag.

Remember, I would avoid Economy Light fares as they don’t offer one free bag, advance seat reservations, and any changes. When the fare is typically $60 less than a regular economy fare than it might be ideal to get a non-Economy Light fare if you need to pick a seat and bring one checked bag.

In comparison to other international airlines, United charges the following rates:

  • $30 for the first checked bag
  • $40 for the second checked bag
  • $150 to $200 for the third checked bag ($200 for some international flights)

Lufthansa Airlines checked baggage allowance

Checked bags must not exceed 62″ (158 cm) in overall dimensions and exceed 50 lbs (23 kg) if you are flying economy or premium economy without status. If you’re flying with status, business, or first class your weight limit is 70 lbs (32 kg.)

Economy Light fares cannot check sports bags as checked baggage. If you want to bring a sports bag, purchase a non-Economy Light fare.


Lufthansa Airlines excess checked baggage fee

Overweight bags and/or bags that exceed the dimensions will receive an extra fee.

Additional luggage to free baggage allowance

  • Regular economy and premium economy 24-32 kg (50-70 lbs) and 158 cm (62 inch) each. Region definitions here
    • Domestic Germany: $126
    • Within Europe: $149
    • North Africa, Central Asia, and Mediterranean coast: $201
    • Short intercontinental: $287
    • Medium intercontinental: $368
    • Long intercontinental: $460
    • To/from Japan: $350-500
  • Regular economy and premium economy 24-32 kg (50-70 lbs) and greater than 158 cm (62 inch) each.
    • Domestic Germany: $172
    • Within Europe: $206
    • North Africa, Central Asia, and Mediterranean coast: $287
    • Short intercontinental: $402
    • Medium intercontinental: $506
    • Long intercontinental: $633
    • To/from Japan: $650
  • Business and first class up to 32 kg (70 lbs) and greater than 158 cm (62 inch) each. 
    • Domestic Germany: $126
    • Within Europe: $149
    • North Africa, Central Asia, and Mediterranean coast: $201
    • Short intercontinental: $287
    • Medium intercontinental: $368
    • Long intercontinental: $460
    • To/from Japan: $500

Fees in excess of free baggage allowance

Larger or heavier than free baggage

  • Regular economy and premium economy 24-32 kg (50-70 lbs) and greater than 158 cm (62 inch) each. Region definitions here
    • Domestic Germany: $46
    • Within Europe: $57
    • North Africa, Central Asia, and Mediterranean coast: $86
    • Short intercontinental: $115
    • Medium intercontinental: $138
    • Long intercontinental: $173
    • To/from Japan: $150-300
  • Business and first class 24-32 kg (50-70 lbs) and greater than 158 cm (62 inch) each. 
    • Domestic Germany: $46
    • Within Europe: $57
    • North Africa, Central Asia, and Mediterranean coast: $86
    • Short intercontinental: $115
    • Medium intercontinental: $138
    • Long intercontinental: $173
    • To/from Japan: $300

Larger and heavier than free baggage allowance

  • Regular economy and premium economy 24-32 kg (50-70 lbs) and greater than 158 cm (62 inch) each.
    • Domestic Germany: $92
    • Within Europe: $114
    • North Africa, Central Asia, and Mediterranean coast: $172
    • Short intercontinental: $230
    • Medium intercontinental: $276
    • Long intercontinental: $346
    • To/from Japan: $400

Bags over 32 kg (70 lbs) will be refused and cannot be checked.


Sports baggage on Lufthansa flights

If you have sports baggage, you must register your sports bag no later than 24 hours before departure. To learn more about the fees associated, visit here.

To register sports baggage, you can contact your travel agency or a Lufthansa Service Centre.

Some standard sports equipment would be:

  • Fishing
  • Ball sport
  • Ski/snowboarding
  • Bicycle
  • Golf
  • Shortboards
  • Skateboard
  • Kite surfboard

Some bulky sports equipment would be:

  • Hang glider
  • Tandem bicycle
  • Boats
  • Riding Gear
  • Pole vaulter’s pole
  • Boards greater than 2 meters in length
  • Longboard
  • Windsurfing

Musical instruments in the cabin

For musical instruments,  they cannot exceed more than 61 x 16 x 9.8 inches (155  x 42  x 25 cm) that stand in the cabin or 43 x 16 x 19 (110 x 42 x 50 cm) with a maximum weight of 165 lbs (75 kg.)

To register your musical instrument in the cabin, you can contact your travel agency or a Lufthansa Service Centre.

It’s best to register your musical instrument in the cabin at booking since it’s based on availability. Musical instruments in the cabin aren’t available in first class.


Lufthansa military baggage policy

Since Lufthansa is an international airline, they don’t give US military personnel or veterans any benefits for flying their metal. Therefore, Lufthansa won’t allow US military personnel to check bags for free. Only US airlines will give benefits to US military personnel and veterans.

If you want to learn more about military benefits for airlines, I suggest reading our article.


When can I check-in bags for Lufthansa Airlines?

Check-in depends on your departure city. For airports that only serve one Lufthansa flight a day, the check-in counters typically only open up 3 hours prior to the scheduled departure.

Bags must be checked in at least 40 minutes prior to the scheduled departure on domestic and Schengen flights. For international flights, bags must be checked in at least 60 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.


Lufthansa Airlines pet policy

Small dogs and cats weighing less than 8 kg (17 lbs) in a suitable transport container, may be taken with you into the cabin. Traveling with assistance dogs, please refer to these exceptions.

Transporting animals must follow this checklist. Transporting a small dog or cat as a carry-on will result in no fees. If you’re transporting the animal, registration is necessary. Please refer to this general advice page for transporting animals. 


What if my bags are lost or damaged?

If your bags are lost or damaged make sure you report it to Lufthansa immediately. It is imperative to make a claim in person or online after the flight.

You can either go to baggage services at the airport or online. Please refer to this link.


What if I lost an item on Lufthansa?

You can contact Lufthansa contacting them here, but it is best to find a crewmember at the airport before leaving and reporting the lost item to the Lufthansa ground staff or gate agents.


Final word

Lufthansa Airlines is one of the most well known international airlines for their German efficiency, quality, and consistency. Luckily, Lufthansa has easy to digest baggage allowances for most fares. If you can get away with a carry-on, Economy Light might work. However, if you know you have baggage, it’s best to book a regular economy ticket.

Sign-up below to receive all my tricks like how to find the best credit card offers.

No more than once daily emails 

As Featured: