Not yet in possession of a boarding pass? Need to check in your baggage? The correct check-in desk is displayed on the screens in the departures hall. Passenger volumes at the airport vary greatly, just like the Belgian weather.

Tip: always check how busy the airport is expected to be before your departure.

  • During check in, you receive your boarding pass and check in any hold baggage.

Arrive at the airport in plenty of time.

  • For flights within the Schengen zone, it’s best to arrive at the airport one and a half to two hours prior to departure. 

Countries that have signed the Schengen agreement are: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland

  • For long-haul flights: it’s best to arrive at the airport three hours prior to departure. 

Your boarding pass 

You can obtain your boarding pass in various ways

Online or mobile check-in at home 

  • Check in from home
  • Online
  • 24 hours or 48 hours prior to your departure

Many airlines allow you to check in online from home via your computer or mobile device 24 or 48 hours prior to departure. 

  • You print your boarding pass containing the barcode yourself. 
  • Or you receive a QR code that you retain on your mobile device.  

Express check-in at the airport

  • At a self-check-in device
  • At the airport: in the Departures Hall and at the bus and train station levels

Use express check-in if you have not yet checked in when you arrive at the airport and still wish to check in yourself. The self-check-in devices are located in the Departures Hall as well as at  level 0 (bus station level) and level -1 (train station level). 

At the airline check-in desk

  • You can locate the correct check-in desk on the flight information screens.
  • The check-in rows run from 1 to 14

Checking in at your airline’s check-in desk? The flight schedule screens indicate which desk you require.  

Please note: the check-in desk is from the airline operating the flight. Your flight may be operated by an airline other than that of the flight number specified in your booking. If so, your booking information will state: Flight operated by (name of company).


Download the Brussels Airport app. That way you have all the latest info to hand. Enter your flight number and it will immediately display your check-in desk number. 

Checking in baggage

Only carrying hand baggage? 

Then you can proceed directly to security screening.

View what is and is not permitted in your hand baggage here.

Bringing hold baggage with you? 

Check in your hold baggage at the airline’s designated desk. The flight schedule screens indicate which desk you require. 

View the rules pertaining to hold baggage here.

Transferring to another airport?

Check whether your baggage can be directly checked in to your final destination.

Airline desks

Airline ticket desks are located around the Departures Hall. You can visit these desks with all manner of enquiries. 

  • Your baggage is heavier than permitted.
  • You have more pieces of baggage than permitted.
  • Your flight has suddenly been cancelled and you are already at the airport. Consult the passenger rights in the event of  irregularities. 
  • You want to change your flight.
  • Other questions for your airline.
  • Nothing to declare upon arrival? Follow the green exit
  • Importing limited amounts
  • Never import counterfeit goods, protected plants or animals

Importing goods: limited amounts

Want to take a holiday souvenir home in your suitcase? Good idea. However, you cannot simply bring everything from abroad into Belgium. The customs and excise departments police this. They control the import and export of certain goods to and from Belgium. 

For travellers, this means that you can only import a limited amount of certain goods from abroad, e.g. alcoholic beverages, tobacco or perfume. Furthermore, you may only import a limited total amount.

There are various rules depending on which country you are entering Belgium from. 

Read all information pertaining to the import of foreign goods.

Parcels: +32 (0)2 276 27 28 & +32(0)2 578 77 70

Passenger’s questions for customs: +32 (0)2 572 46 40 

Nothing to declare: green exit

Importing less than the exempted quantities? You may use the green customs exit.

Something to declare: red exit

Importing more than the exempted quantities? Then use the red customs exit.

You must also use the red exit if you are importing the following goods from outside the European Union.

  • Goods with a total value of more than 430 Euros (including clothing, handbags, electronics, …)
  • It is advisable to inform customs if you are travelling with an animal, including your own pet
  • Commercial goods for trade purposes
  • Goods whose import is prohibited or only permitted with an import license, such as weapons, ammunition, textiles 
  • Goods that are subject to health controls upon import, such as protected animals and plants, foodstuffs 
  • Your airline and ticket stipulate how much you are permitted to bring with you
  • Out of Gauge (non-standard) baggage

Your baggage: number of suitcases, weight and dimensions

Your airline stipulates how many suitcases you may bring with you. And their weight and dimensions. The nature of your ticket or travel class also determines how many kilos of baggage you are allowed to take on board.

Check your ticket or ask your airline or travel agency how much you are permitted to bring with you.

Bringing more than permitted?

Travelling light not for you? You may also bring a greater number or heavier bags than your airline permits. However, you will need to pay a surcharge at the airport. 

Regardless, no single suitcase is permitted to weigh more than 32 kg. This limit applies to all baggage that is checked in at Brussels Airport. And it also applies at a number of other international airports.

Travelling with children?

A stroller always comes in handy when travelling with small children. View our information about bringing a stroller on board the plane.

Bringing a bicycle or golf bag?

Non-standard baggage

Is your baggage larger or heavier than normal or does it have a special shape? Then it’s considered Out of Gauge (OOG) baggage. Bicycles, golf equipment or large musical instruments fall under this OOG  baggage category. Non-standard baggage cannot be processed via the automatic baggage system. You therefore need to report to a separate desk. 

Non-standard baggage must also weigh no more than 32 kg per single item. 

Want to bring large sports equipment, oversized instruments or other unusual baggage items? Then check with your airline – or travel agency – in advance to determine how best to approach this and how much it costs.

Separate desk

After you have registered your baggage, the check-in staff will ask you to present your non-standard baggage at a separate desk. 

Where is the Out of Gauge baggage desk located? 

At the end of check-in rows 2 and 3 in the Departures Hall. 

Where can you reclaim Out of Gauge baggage upon arrival?

At the separate desk in the Baggage Reclaim Hall, next to baggage belt 7. 


You can optionally send bulky or heavy items as air freight. Your airline will provide you with more information about this.

  • VAT refund on goods purchased in the EU
  • Conditions for a VAT refund

Reclaim a portion of your money

If you are taking goods outside the EU and you also live outside the EU, then, in certain cases, you can reclaim the VAT on goods that you purchased in the EU. 

Reclaiming VAT paid

Compile sales receipts and forms

Compile sales receipts and VAT Refund forms for goods purchased in the EU. Request the VAT Refund form from the vendor. You will require your passport for this.

Go to customs 

Before leaving the EU, go to the customs office to have your VAT Refund forms stamped. Remember to take the goods for which you wish to receive a VAT refund with you to the customs office. 

In the Departures Hall, follow the icon below to report to customs. 

For transfer passengers, customs is located in the commercial area of Pier B.

Receive your VAT refund

Should you qualify, our airport partner, Travelex, will immediately refund the VAT. Alternatively, return the stamped VAT Refund forms to the seller of the goods, specifying your credit card number. The VAT will subsequently be refunded to your credit card. A Travelex desk is invariably located next to the customs office.

Conditions for VAT refund

  • You live outside the EU 
  • You purchased goods in the EU
  • You are taking the goods outside the EU 
  • You made purchases that amount to more than 50 Euros per invoice or Tax-Free Form (VAT Refund form).
    You may combine multiple receipts from the same store on the same VAT Refund form. The sum of Belgian invoices must amount to a minimum of €50.01. 
  • You are in possession of a complete and correctly filled-in VAT Refund form with the corresponding sales receipts attached.
  • You request the refund by no later than the end of the third month following the month in which you purchased the goods.
  • You presented yourself to the Brussels Airport customs office, together with the purchased goods, the VAT Refund form and corresponding sales receipts. 

More info 
More info can be found in the Customs and Excise (General Provisions) brochure below or on the Federal Public Service Finance website.