Utilizing carry-on luggage can be extremely useful for many flyers. Some airlines offer carry-on as a free or low-cost option instead of a checked bag, and some flyers prefer to pack light and avoid having to deal with baggage claim. However, not every bag can be used as a carry-on. There are rules in place from airline to airline that determine how large the bag may be. Carry-on luggage that you would use domestically is often sized a little different than luggage that can be used for international flights, so it is important to find accurate, acceptable dimensions when planning what baggage to use for a carry-on. By doing this, you will avoid a stressful and potentially expensive situation when you get ready to board your flight.
Carry-On Luggage Dimensions
|Airline||Dimensions (in)||Weight (lbs)||Dimensions (cm)||Weight (kg)||CHESTER Minima|
|AeroMexico||22 x 14 x 9||22||55 x 35 x 22||10|
|Air Canada||21.5 x 15.5 x 9||22||54 x 39 x 22||10|
|Air France||21.7 x 13.8 x 9.9||22||55 x 35 x 25||10|
|Air New Zealand||46.5 total linear||15||118 total linear||7|
|AirTran Airways||24 x 16 x 10||--||60 x 40 x 25||--|
|Alaska Airlines||22 x 14 x 9||--||55 x 35 x 22||--|
|Alitalia||21.7 x 13.8 x 9.9||17.6||55 x 35 x 25||8|
|Allegiant Air||16 x 15 x 7||--||40 x 38 x 18||--|
|All Nippon Airways||22 x 16 x 10||22||55 x 40 x 25||10|
|American Airlines||22 x 14 x 9||--||55 x 35 x 22||--|
|Avianca Airlines||22 x 14 x 10||--||55 x 35 x 25||--|
|British Airways||22 x 16 x 10||51||56 x 45 x 25||23|
|Cathay Pacific||22 x 14 x 9||15||56 x 36 x 23||7|
|Delta Airlines||22 x 14 x 9||--||55 x 35 x 22||--|
|EL AL Airlines||21.2 x 17.7 x 9.8||15.4||53 x 44 x 24||7|
|Emirates||22 x 15 x 8||15||55 x 38 x 20||7|
|Frontier Airlines||24 x 16 x 10||35||60 x 40 x 25||16|
|Hawaiian Airlines||22 x 14 x 9||25||55 x 35 x 22||11|
|IATA||21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5||--||54 x 34 x 19||--|
|Icelandair||21.6 x 15.7 x 7.8||--||54 x 39 x 19||--|
|Japan Airlines||22 x 16 x 10||22||55 x 40 x 25||10|
|JetBlue Airways||22 x 14 x 9||--||55 x 35 x 22||--|
|KLM Royal Dutch Airlines||21.5 x 13.5 x 10||26||54 x 34 x 25||12|
|Korean Air||21.6 x 15.7 x 7.8||25||54 x 39 x 19||11|
|Lufthansa||21.6 x 15.7 x 9||17||54 x 39 x 22||8|
|Norwegian Air||21.6 x 15.7 x 9||33||55 x 40 x 23||10-15|
|Philippine Airlines||45 total linear||15||114 total linear||7|
|Qantas Airways||45 total linear||15||114 total linear||7|
|Saudi Arabian Airlines||45 total linear||19.8||114 total linear||9|
|Scandinavian Airlines||22 x 16 x 9||18||55 x 40 x 22||8|
|Singapore Airlines||45 total linear||15||114 total linear||7|
|Southwest Airlines||24 x 16 x 10||--||60 x 40 x 25||--|
|Spirit Airlines||22 x 18 x 10||--||55 x 45 x 25||--|
|Sun Country Airlines||24 x 16 x 11||35||60 x 40 x 27||16|
|Thai Airways||22 x 18 x 10||15||55 x 45 x 25||7|
|United Airlines||22 x 14 x 9||--||55 x 35 x 22||--|
|Virgin Atlantic||22 x 14 x 9||22||55 x 35 x 22||10|
*- – indicates no weight limit listed. All measurements and weights assume the US as the point of origin, coach or economy class.
What is Carry-On Luggage?
Carry-on luggage is a specific type of luggage that is sized in a manner that passengers can carry into the cabin of an airplane. It is usually stowed in overhead storage containers, but in some instances, small items may be kept under a seat. Carry-on luggage is smaller than many standard suitcases, but often has plenty of room to pack for a small trip. For shorter trips, using carry-on luggage can be a time saver, since the passenger doesn’t have to spend time checking a bag, or waiting for it to come through the carousel after a flight. Plus, it can take away the worry of having your suitcase lost or delayed during a flight since you will have everything with you the entire trip.
What is International Carry-On Luggage?
International carry-on luggage is very similar to standard carry-on bags; however, the sizing and dimensions are often slightly different. International carry-on luggage allows passengers to bring their items along on a flight without having to check a bag. International carry-on luggage is smaller than most standard carry-on sizes as they are meant to fit the cabin of smaller European planes and private jets. Also, for extremely long trips, many passengers will choose to bring a carry-on bag as well as checked bags. The checked bags allow you to carry enough gear for a long journey, but utilizing a carry-on bag means that you don’t have to worry about being without a change of clothes or needed medication if the luggage is delayed.
What Size is Carry-On Luggage?
There are many different styles and sizes of carry-on luggage. However, you are usually limited by a maximum size. There is an overall combined limit and a “per side” limit, so it is important to measure each side. Though it can vary from airline to airline, the typical size is 24″ x 16″ x 9″ or a combined limit of 45 inches. Additionally, some airlines may have weight limits in place. It is vital that anyone planning to bring a bag onboard checks the limits by their particular airline, as the sizing can vary and is subject to change. You will also need to make sure it fits through TSA scanning machines and it meets other airport security requirements.
What is The TSA Carry-On Size Limit?
The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) does put some limits in place regarding what items can be carried onboard an airplane. However, the TSA does not place restrictions on the size of carry-on baggage–this is, instead, left to the airlines themselves. As such, following the limits set by your airline is perfectly acceptable as there is no TSA carry-on size. In addition to measuring the bag yourself, you will likely find “bag holders” at the airport that you can use to check the size of your bag and make sure that it fits and will not give you any problems when the time comes to board your flight.
How Do You Calculate Carry-On Luggage Dimensions?
When you review the allowed size limit for carry-on bags, you’ll usually see it displayed as L x W x H. The first number is the longest edge, the second number is the “width” or medium-sized edge, and the final number is what would generally be referred to as the depth, but it is the shortest edge. Make sure you measure each dimension at its widest point. For example, make sure when measuring that you include wheels or handles to assure no problems upon check-in.
Linear Inches Calculation
Linear inches is a term invented by the airline industry to measure carry-on luggage. Although not common, some airlines calculate luggage dimensions using a linear measurement vs a standard L x W x H. Linear inches simply means the sum total of your bag’s length, width and height, therefore, L + W + H. Again, make sure you measure each dimension at its widest point. If you need help finding the TSA carry-on size and dimensions, use the above guide as a reference.
What is The Weight Limit For Carry-On Luggage?
When thinking about the best carry-on luggage, you usually hear about a size limit, but most airlines have a weight limit as well. By imposing a weight limit on bags, the airline can keep costs down and avoid over-burdening the airplane. Airlines can choose this limit, so you’ll want to check with your specific airline to make sure you know the weight. Weigh your bag immediately before leaving home, to make sure you didn’t add anything that would cause you to go over the limit.
What is a Personal Item?
In addition to your carry-on bag, most airlines allow you to bring a personal item too. This item may be a purse, diaper bag or small tote with snacks. Another option for a personal item would be a bag holding a computer or tablet. These items should be small enough, and most airlines require they be able to be stowed under the seat in front of you during takeoff and landing. If you have questions as to whether something would be acceptable as a personal item, check with your specific airline before you decide how to pack. Don’t forget to tag this personal item as you would tag your luggage with a luggage tag.
What is Allowed In a Carry-On?
While the airlines set the requirements for carry-on size and weight, the TSA does have rules regarding what items you are allowed to bring on a carry-on bag or as a personal item. Some of the rules include no weapons (or things that could be utilized as weapons such as box cutters), no aerosol cans, no lighters, limited alcohol and no liquids larger than 3.4 ounces (this is the TSA 3-1-1 rule). There are other rules in place that cover specific items, so if you have any questions or are concerned about a particular item, checking the TSA website is recommended.
Can I Bring More Than One Carry-On?
Unfortunately, you are only allowed one carry-on item and a personal item on all airlines. If you have more than one you will need to check in your luggage and baggage fees may apply. So what are those fees? Check our baggage fee policies below.
Airline Baggage Fee Guidelines
All airlines have their own specific baggage policy with additional fees for different sizes and weight in the case you do need to check in your carry-on or check-in additional luggage. Below we have collected the different baggage fee guidelines for the most popular airlines.
FAQs on Carry-On Luggage Size
Is a 22-inch Carry-On Too Big?
Most airlines can accommodate a 22-inch carry-on. Regardless, make sure to check what plane you are flying on and each airline requirement before heading out with your carry-on.
Is a 24-inch Carry-On Too Big?
Most airlines can accommodate a 24-inch carry-on, but not all. Generally, a carry-on suitcase measuring 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches would be the most widely accepted size.
Do Airlines Check Carry-On Size?
Generally, most airlines don’t check carry-on size. If a flight is full or the attendants at the gate start seeing large personal items, they will start selectively screening carry-ons. This size screening ensures your bag will be able to be stored safely in the overhead bin for your flight.
Do Carry-on Bags Get Searched?
Per the TSA, the TSA screens approximately 5 million carry-on bags for explosives and other dangerous items daily. You will be asked to remove personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone from your carry-on bag and place them into a bin with nothing placed on or under them for X-ray screening. In addition to screening personal electronic devices separately, the TSA may instruct travelers to separate other items from carry-on bags such as foods, powders, and any materials that can clutter bags and obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine. If any additional screening is necessary, you will be pulled aside and checked by a TSA agent.
What is The Standard Carry-on Size Dimension?
The standard carry-on dimensions for most carry-on bags are 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches. Make sure to check each airline requirement before heading out with your carry-on.
What is Not Allowed in a Carry-on Bag?
For starters, be aware of prohibited items, including liquid containers greater than 3.4 ounces as this is against the TSA 3-1-1 rule. These are not allowed on airplanes and you will be asked to discard these if they are packed in your carry-on luggage. No weapons or items that could be potentially used as a weapon are allowed, either. This includes not just obvious weapons, such as knives and firearms, but items like scissors or box cutters as well.
What is The Best Carry-on Luggage?
If you’re looking for hard-sided luggage, CHESTER Minima Carry-On is a top pick. The modern suitcase features spinner wheels, so it’s easy to transport and comes in a range of colors. The aerospace-grade polycarbonate shell is so durable, Minima will hold up for years to come. You can check our best carry-on guide if want to view other options.
Final Thoughts On Carry-On Luggage
While carry-on sizes and rules may seem a bit complex, it’s not that difficult once you’ve seen it in action. The most important thing to remember is that each airline will have different rules and there may be specific requirements set by the TSA too. Check the website for your particular airline and make sure you have the up-to-date and correct information when planning your trip. When you do this and prepare ahead by obtaining a bag that fits the requirements, you’ll be assured a stress-free boarding and flight.