The total weight of the baggage you are allowed to take on board an aircraft depends on the nature of the ticket and the booked seat class and may differ from one airline to another. Usually the total weight varies between 20 and 30 kg. If you wish to take more baggage on board, you have to pay a supplement.
Regardless of the number of bags and the total weight of your baggage, each piece may not weigh more than 32 kg. This limit holds for all baggage that is checked in at Brussels Airport and also applies at several other international airports. This measure is intended to protect the backs of the handling staff, which sometimes have to handle baggage that is particularly cumbersome, especially on flights to certain intercontinental destinations. At the same time this measure guarantees smooth baggage handling operations which eventually benefit all passengers.
The limit was introduced at the request of the airport community, and more particularly of the handling agents and airlines. With this decision Brussels Airport anticipated the result of the lengthy and ongoing international discussions. Around the world more and more people are asking that the weight per piece of baggage be limited to protect the airport staff. In spite of automation, loading baggage into the aircraft hold still requires the manual intervention of the handling staff. Moreover, pieces of baggage that are too heavy or cumbersome can block and even damage the automatic baggage sorting system.
The 32-kg limit will not change a thing for about 99% of the passengers as passengers usually take between 20 and 30 kg of baggage. Even a suitcase that is full to bursting hardly ever weighs more than 32 kilos. Cumbersome goods are better registered as airfreight than as baggage.
Passengers who present themselves at the check-in counter with overweight bags can purchase a bag from Samsonite or from the Relay/IDF Shop in the departure hall. Some airlines also sell bags. The weight can then immediately be divided over several bags: problem solved. You would of course be well-advised to bear in mind the weight limit before you leave for the airport.