Airline policies about carry-on bags and personal items seem to be changing as often as my tracking hound changed course on the trail last weekend. That is to say, a bit more than I would like. But if you’ve established that your ticket indeed includes a carry-on (or that you’re willing to pay the add-on fee), be sure you know what size carry-on bag they’ll let you bring. Pro tip: it’s worth confirming if your “one allowable personal item” will fit under the seat as well.
Carry-on size and weight regulations still vary slightly by airline, but as of this writing:
Allegiant, American, Delta, JetBlue, and United all agree on carry-on sizes of 22” x 14” x 9” (55 x 35 x 22 cm) and up to 22 lbs.
Frontier and Southwest are a tad more generous with carry-on size limits of 24” x 16” x 10” (60 x 40 x 25 cm) and 35 lbs max.
For regular international travel though, it’s safest to choose a carry-on that stands 21” or less to ensure it’s not too large for any carriers.
Remember, all size limits include wheels and handles. Want to maximize your carry-on bag size within the limitations? Consider going wheels up with a wheels-free duffle bag. If you definitely want a roller bag, definitely get a roller bag. But if you’re not sure, remember, traditional duffle bags can be a fantastic hands-free travel option.
Most importantly, remember to always check your specific airline for the most up-to-date carry-on regulations before traveling.
What size personal item can you carry on a plane?
When it comes to flying, a personal item may be a purse, briefcase, laptop bag, camera bag, or diaper bag. Most airlines simply require that your personal item fit under the seat in front of you. A few have specific measurements posted, which presumably correspond with the space available under the seats:
Again, always be sure to check online for the most up-to-date TSA regulations and airline-specific carry-on policies before you travel. But hopefully, this information will prove helpful in finding the best carry-on bag for your journeys.