How to pack your suitcase: Hold and odd-sized baggage

There are security rules about what you can and can’t put in your hold baggage (also known as check-in baggage). If you have large or heavy items, they will need to be checked in as odd-sized baggage. Please note that customs rules at Schiphol and at your destination may differ.

Hold baggage rules

You can bring almost anything in your hold baggage, unless it is on the list of dangerous objects. Liquids can be placed in hold baggage unless they can be flammable or dangerous in any other way. Please contact us if you’d like to know whether you can place a specific item in your hold baggage.

Check in your bags

Your hold baggage will be checked in with airline. Simply go to the check-in desks in Departures 1 to 4. If you have already checked in online, you can also use the self-service baggage drop-off area at Schiphol.

Excess baggage customs rules

When you pack your suitcase, it’s good to know what you are allowed to import in to the Netherlands. There are customs regulations for taking medicines, meats, products made from protected animal or plant species and/or large sums of money. These rules apply to both hand and hold baggage. Please note that customs rules at Schiphol and at your destination may differ, so check the rules in your destination country first.

What makes odd-sized baggage

Larger-than-normal or heavy bags may be treated as odd or irregular-sized baggage. This includes bicycles, skis, golf bags and larger musical instruments. It may also include strangely shaped or fragile items; please check at your airline’s check-in desk, who may then direct you to the 'odd size' counter. Wheelchairs and collapsible prams can be taken to the gate. An airline handler or employee will ensure that this is labelled in the hold.

Odd-sized baggage criteria

An item is considered odd-sized or irregular if it:

  • Weighs between 32-80 kilograms.
  • Is a package larger than 100 L x 65 H x 75 W, to a maximum of 350 L, 100 H x 100 W (all in centimetres).
  • Can roll and/or has imperfect or loose parts. You can also use a travel kit for this.
  • Fragile baggage.
  • Is a chemical item on the list of prohibited articles.
  • Pets are also considered to be ‘Odd-sized Baggage'. You can read more about travel with pets on the pet page.

icoon uitroepteken Tip

If your luggage is heavier or larger than the weights and measurements indicated above, the item will not be processed through our baggage system. You will need to have your luggage transported as cargo via your airline or another transport company.

Convenient baggage services

  • Seal your bags

    Ensure your hold baggage arrives clean and scratch-free.

  • Send your baggage

    You can have your baggage collected at home and delivered to a EU destination.

Frequently Asked Questions

How large can my hold baggage be?

The size and weight of your suitcase varies per airline. Please check with your airline to find out the maximum dimensions and weight allowed for your hold baggage. Your weight limit is also displayed on your ticket.

What type of baggage is considered as odd-sized?

Odd-sized baggage is baggage that is larger or heavier than normal. It includes baggage of an irregular shape, that is fragile or contains certain items that are not allowed in the hand luggage and must be checked in separately. Examples of odd-sized baggage include pets, bicycles, skis and snowboards, golf bags, larger musical instruments, surfboards and kiteboards, wheelchairs, high chairs, cars and buggies.

Please also check the conditions and requirements, as well as maximum dimensions and weight, set by your airline company.

Which conditions and rates apply for odd-sized baggage?

Your airline can tell you exactly which conditions, such as maximum dimensions and weight, and rates they use for different baggage and transportation of pets. Therefore, please contact your airline for specific information.

Can I bring my bicycle with me?

Yes, with most airlines you can take your bike with you as odd-sized baggage. Please purchase a special box to prevent damage to your bike from the left-luggage office, located in Departures 1 and 2 on the basement level under the central stairs. The office is manned every day between 06:00-23:00. You can call an employee on the intercom outside of those hours.

Bicycle box specifications

  • Price € 23 incl. VAT
  • Weight 5 kilos
  • Size 99 cm high, 21 cm wide, 175 long

Can I bring a hoverboard or oxboard into my luggage?

No, self-balancing devices or personal transport devices are forbidden as both hand and hold baggage. Hoverboards, airboards, oxboards, eSkates, waveboards and U-runners use lithium batteries. These batteries generate a lot of heat if a short circuit occurs, which may cause them to spontaneously ignite or even explode. That is why they are on the list of dangerous objects and it is forbidden to travel with them.

How does security check hold baggage?

As soon as you have delivered your hold baggage, your suitcase or bag will enter the Schiphol Baggage System. All baggage is checked by security using X-ray equipment. Your suitcase or bag is never opened by security.

Can my suitcase be opened at Schiphol?

No. In principle, your suitcase will remain closed. All hold baggage is checked using X-ray equipment. If we see scan something suspicious, we will track you down at the airport so you can open your suitcase yourself.

The only exception is if your flight departs within 45 minutes. In those cases, we ask the airline or handler to open it and perform a manual search. That always happens under the supervision of you or your airline representative. If forbidden objects are found during a scan, it will not be opened but sent to the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (Dutch Police) and Customs instead.