As a general rule of thumb, on a light jet (up to six seats), if you are filling the aircraft to its full seating capacity, we would recommend no more than one medium-sized, soft-sided hold-all per passenger. The soft-sided bit is important as hard cases are difficult to get in through the hold doors and manoeuvre in to position inside. Similar to when you’re playing suitcase Tetris loading the car boot with your cases and bags getting yourself to the airport, soft bags are easier to squeeze in to tight spaces.
On board, space for extra luggage can be a little bit tight. There aren’t any overhead lockers like you find on commercial flights, all cabin bags need to be tucked down by your feet, so just take on board/in the cabin what you’re actually going to need during the flight – everything else can go in the hold. The lovely thing about doing this, is knowing that your bags won’t get lost or damaged and they will be offloaded at exactly the same time that you are climbing down the steps of your plane.
As aircraft increase in size (or if you aren’t filling all of the seats on your chosen plane), obviously so does the available luggage space per person, so you can add additional golf clubs or skis to your packing list (or save the extra space to bring any additional shopping/wine back home!). There are often hanging rails too – either inside the cabin or in the hold.
On most light jets, luggage doesn’t need to be security screened before being placed on board (it depends on the weight of your plane, the Captain’s discretion, or any special airport security requirements on the day), so liquids above 100mls etc. can be in with you in the cabin if you prefer. On larger aircraft, where luggage is screened, liquids will need to be separated to go in to bags in the hold. But don’t worry – on many heavy jets, the hold is often accessible in-flight should you panic that you need a spray of your favourite perfume before you land.
If you are planning on taking any oversized or heavy items with you (that could potentially present a weight issue – especially at airports with short runways), it is best to check with us in advance. Similarly, if you are off on a shooting trip and wish to carry firearms, we will need to know. You can take them with you, but they will have to be licenced, unloaded and stowed in the hold.
Images are courtesy of Embraer Executive Jets (Phenom 100) and Cessna (Citation Sovereign).