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Carry-on Luggage Rules

Many people like to bring all their belongings with them in carry-on luggage when they travel, whether for the convenience of keeping everything close or to avoid checking in luggage. But with so many rules and regulations on what you can bring on a plane, it is difficult to plan ahead and pack accordingly. Luggage Pros has compiled a list of carry-on luggage rules, making it easy for you to prepare for your vacation.

Number of Bags

Airlines allow travelers one piece of carry-on luggage and one personal item. Personal items may include a purse, briefcase, diaper bag, laptop case, and a backpack. If you are having trouble fitting all of your items in one carry-on bag, you may be able to fit a few more things in your personal bag.

Size and Weight

Unfortunately, you cannot avoid cramming your stuff by bringing a gigantic suitcase with you on the plane. The carry-on luggage rules of many airlines stipulate a size limit of 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches. There are limits on the size of your personal item as well. Personal items can only be 17 inches by 10 inches by 9 inches. These size limits are put in place in order to fit your carry-ons in the luggage storage compartments. Although many airlines do not have a limit on the weight of your carry-on luggage, many do not allow aboard bags weighing over 22 to 40 pounds.

Carry On DimentionsCarry On Dimentions

The standard carry on dimensions for most airlines is 22" x 14" x 9"

Prohibited Items and the 3-1-1 Rule

You are not allowed to bring on liquids in containers larger than 3.4 ounces. Beyond that, all of your containers of liquid must fit in one quart-size, clear, plastic, zip-top bag. By only allowing one quart-size bag per person, airlines limit the amount of liquid that each traveler may bring aboard and allow TSA to x-ray the bag separately to expedite screening. TSA also does not allow any items that could be used as a weapon past security. These items include tools like a hammer or screwdriver, sporting goods such as a baseball bat, or even common household items like a box cutter or sharp nail file.

TSA sums up their liquids rules succinctly with the 3-1-1 Rule. Each traveler is allowed liquids in containers of 3 ounces or less, all fitting within 1 quart-size clear bag, which can be carried on in 1 carry-on bag. That’s 3 ounces, 1 quart-size bag, and 1 carry-on bag. Simple enough.

Permitted Items

TSA and the airlines are not entirely sticklers for what you can bring aboard. Although it may exceed the 3 ounce rule, security has made exceptions for essential items such as medication, breast milk, and baby formula. You will need to declare these items with a TSA agent to avoid any trouble at the security checkpoint. Other permitted items include books, tablets, laptops, hats, coats, child-safety seats, and medical equipment such as wheelchairs and crutches. Feel free to bring snacks for the flight or food to eat immediately. Keep in mind that if you are flying internationally you may not be allowed to bring aboard local produce or seeds.

Airline-Specific Rules

It is always a safe practice to check your airline’s carry-on luggage rules before you fly. Check the airline’s website or call their contact number if you have any questions. Just like every traveler, no airline personnel want to deal with any unexpected inconveniences and they will be happy to help you prepare for your flight.

Although the carry-on luggage rules may vary from airline to airline, these guidelines should help make getting past security and boarding your flight a breeze. Just remember to follow the 3-1-1 rule, leave things that could be used as a weapon at home, and pack all your belongings in the right size bag, preferably less than 40 pounds. Still shopping for your carry-on bag? Check out the MyFly Bag Personalized Luggage, one of Luggage Pros’ most highly rated carry-on bags. Measuring 21” by 14” by 9.5”, it falls within the dimensions of most airlines’ carry-on requirements.