BA handbaggage blackmail

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Apr 17, 2018
Travelling Heathrow to Gran Canaria Jan 2018 I was told by gate staff that my hand baggage had to go into the hold. I objected saying that my medication and electronic equipment such as camera, tablet, earphones etc. were vulnerable to damage in the hold. I might add that the hand baggage was within the Airlines specified dimensions. I was than told if the baggage was not put in the hold my ticket would be cancelled.
My primary question is does one have a right to hand baggage in the cabin acquired as part of the ticket purchase? or is it some thing like a perk dispensed at the whim of gate staff?

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
Unfortunately- no. The only thing your ticket buys you is a seat (and not guaranteed either) that will get you from point a to point b.

You can thank the people that refuse to check bags for that and the fact that the airline employees don’t do anything to stop those with more than 2 items.

The only way to avoid this is if you have a carry on specially made to fit under the seat in front of you the doesn’t need overhead space.

If you are in the last group to board- they usually run out of overhead space by the time you are ready to board.

Many of us have learned to pack our valuables in a smaller bag within our carry on that we can pull out if this happens so no valuables are left in the bag. Did they allow you to take your meds and valuables out before they took the bag?
Jun 2, 2017
Good question, I have a couple of comments. I think if your bag fits under the seat in front of you, they should let you keep it since it is your space, but if the hand bag can only fit in the overhead compartment, then I believe it is up to the airline.
Also, when you mentioned that you have a table or camera, I don't don't think policy allows the airline to put the bag into cargo since there are batteries in there.

...and I realized that the comment on the space under the seat is already mentioned. :)
Jul 27, 2016
One caveat - even under the seat isn't guaranteed on some European airlines in some parts of the plane. As I recall, Lufthansa (BA maybe as well) won't let exit row pax put anything under the seat in front of them, even if it fits fully under the seat.
Last edited:
May 2, 2018
I just hate BA! Low-cost airline services at regular airline prices. Had no other option but to buy their business class seats for one flight and the "business class" service is a joke! One thing you can try to do now is write a letter complaining and they might give you a voucher/credit as compensation.
Likes: rcx141