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. It is best to check this list of prohibited items. Please contact us if you’d like to know whether you can place a specific item in your hold baggage.

icoon uitroepteken Tip

Liquids can be placed in hold baggage in unlimited quantities, unless they are flammable or can be dangerous in any other way.

Check in your bags

Your hold baggage will be checked in with airline. Simply go to Departures, then to the check-in desk of the airline that you will be flying with. If you have already checked in online, you can also use the self-service baggage drop-off area at Schiphol that are available for some airlines.

Customs rules for excess baggage

When you pack your bags, please be aware that some items cannot move freely across international borders. Some restricted items may be permitted in limited supply or forbidden outright. Restricted items include drinks, tobacco, medicines, meat, fish, (products made of) protected animal and plant species, as well as large sums of cash.

What makes odd-sized luggage

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 luggage 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.

Where can I drop off or collect odd size baggage?

You can drop off your odd size baggage at the 'odd size' counter after check-in. You will find this counter in:

  • Departures 1 and 2 behind check-in rows 8 and 9 next to the Privium Club Lounge.
  • Departure hall 3 behind check-in rows 19 and 20.
  • Departure hall 3 behind check-in row 29.

On arrival at Schiphol, you can collect your odd-size baggage from the 'odd-size' baggage belt. You will find it in:

  • Arrival hall 1 behind baggage belt 7.
  • Arrival hall 3 behind baggage belt 16.
  • Arrival hall 4 behind baggage belt 20.

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.

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. Please also contact your airline for rates for (extra) hold baggage.

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.

I have a long layover. Can I store my baggage at the airport while I go to Amsterdam for a day trip?

Yes. You can use our baggage depot in the basement between Arrivals 1 and 2, to temporarily store your hand baggage as well as your hold baggage. Read more about storing your baggage at Schiphol, the opening hours and costs.

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 € 30 incl. VAT
  • Weight 5 kilos
  • Size 99 cm high, 21 cm wide, 175 long

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.

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.

Prepare for your flight

  • Hand baggage

    What items you can and can’t travel with on the plane

  • Current page: Hold and odd-sized baggage

    Hold baggage rules and what constitutes an ‘odd-sized’ item

  • Travel to Schiphol

    Schiphol is easy to reach by train, bus, taxi and car

  • Check-in

    You can check in online or at Schiphol. What works for you?

  • Passports and travel documents

    Check your passport’s validity and any visa requirements

  • Security check

    Be well-prepared and clear security with ease