How Strict Is United With Carry-on 2024?

So how strict is United with its carry-on size?

Just like the majority of the U.S airlines, United has a standard carry-on size of 22 x 14 x 9 inches.

And there is a high chance that they will ask you to place your carry-on bag in the luggage sizer to ensure it is within the size limit.

But the good news is, you can bring an additional personal item free of charge that fits under the seat in front of you.

United Airlines planes from plane window
Photo by Uğurcan Özmen on

How Strict Is United Airlines With Carry-on Size Limits?

Hand Luggage

United Airlines carry-on allowance is as follows:

Unless you’re flying to South America, across the Atlantic or across the Pacific all classes except Basic Economy are allowed to have a free carry-on bag with the maximum dimensions of 9″ x 14″ x 22″ (22 centimeters x 35 centimeters x 56 centimeters) including the handles, wheels and straps.

These dimensions fits perfectly in the overhead compartment, any larger size won’t fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

United carry on size

In case the bag doesn’t fit in one of these places say ADIEU to your bag or duffle bag because it will be counted as a checked bag.

And you might have to pay some additional charges, especially if gate checked.

There are no weight limits for carry-on baggage on United Airlines, but you need to be able to place your bag at the overhead compartment without any help.

Suggested: : What is the Best Carry On Bag For United Airlines?

A Personal Item

 United personal item size

In addition to one carry-on bag, you can bring a small personal item that can be a backpack, a laptop bag, and small gadget bag that fits under the seat in front of you.

The ideal dimensions for the small item is 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches ( 22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm).

All these items are free of charge.

As I mentioned previously when flying on a basic economy ticket you are allowed to have only one personal item, all bags will be checked in.

So ensure that you pack accordingly and prioritize any essential and expensive items.

Additional Items

Besides the single carry-on bag and a the personal item bag, you can also bring the following items on board:

  • A diaper bag
  • A breast pump
  • A camera bag
  • A jacket
  • An umbrella
  • Reading material, like books and magazines.
  • Food or merchandise that you buy at the airport
  • Assistive devices (such as a collapsible wheelchairs and rollators , cane, crutches, medical device for prescription medications, or portable oxygen concentrator
  • FAA-approved child restraint system or safety seat
  • A pet carrier (service charges apply for in-cabin pets)

United Airlines Liquids allowance

If you are planning to take any liquids and toiletries in your carry on, you will need to follow the TSA 3-1-1 Rule.

When traveling within and from the U.S all airlines liquid limits are regulated by the TSA, and here is what the TSA stated about liquid rules.

You are permitted to bring liquids in carry-on baggage, but in small quantities, only 3.4 ounces ( 100 milliliters) or less are allowed for each container, and must be placed in a single quart sized bag, you can take larger amounts of liquids in checked baggage.

The TSA 3-1-1 liquid rule

Checked Luggage

united airlines baggage allowance

Even if you are traveling carry-on only, you still need to know the rules regarding checked baggage.

In case you have a basic economy ticket, the airline doesn’t have much space on board the airplane.

Weight limits by class of service

ClassMaximum weight of Bags
United Economy50 pounds (23 kilograms)
United Business
United First
United Polaris business class
70 pounds (32 kilograms)

Weight limits by MileagePlus status

MileagePlus statusMaximum weight per bag
Premier Silver
Premier Gold
Premier Platinum
Premier 1K®
Star Alliance™ Gold
70 pounds (32 kilograms)

Oversized / Overweight Baggage

Due to the limited space on the airplanes, United Airlines limited the amount and weight of luggage they can take.

They charge more for any additional oversized or overweight baggage.

So if you show up with an oversized or overweight bag, you will need to pay some additional charges.

Oversize Baggage

United airlines will not accept bags that measure more than 115 inches ( 292 centimeters ) ( length + width + height) .

Overweight Baggage

United airlines will not accept bags weighing more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms). However, musical instruments and assistive devices are exceptions.

Musical instruments up to 165 pounds (75 kilograms) and all assistive devices are allowed.

Final Thoughts

United Airlines are pretty serious about their carry-on size limits.

It’s challenging to predict what will happen when arriving at the airport with an oversized carry-on.

To ensure a seamless travel experience follow your airline rules, and stay within their luggage limits to avoid your bag gate checked or pay any additional charges.

I hope this helps

Happy travels

Related :