What Is Considered A Carry On Bag?

A carry-on bag is any item that you take on board the airplane, and it can be a suitcase, a backpack, a duffle bag or any other bag that can fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in-front of you, airlines do not enforce any type of bag, however what you should keep in mind is the size and weight limits of your bag, otherwise the bag will be counted as checked bag.

In this post, we will take a look at what is considered a carry on bag, as well as some tips and tricks to help you navigate the carry on process with ease.

So, let’s dive in and get started!

Tip: Check out this Travelpro Platinum Elite 21” Carry-On Spinner, a sleek and versatile carry-on that is designed to fit within the limits of most airlines, to save you from the hassle of the airports and the pesky airline fees.

 A carry on underseat bag
Image courtesy of Amazon

Types of Carry-On Bags

Most airlines considered carry-on luggage or hand baggage as the items the guests are allowed to carry on board the airplane.

And it can be the following.

  • Hard-shell suitcase
  • Soft-sided suitcase
  • Backpack
  • Tote bag
  • Duffel bag
  • Briefcase laptop bag

Some budget airlines may not offer a carry on bag because of the limited space, but they will allow one personal item. such as a laptop bag, or a small backpack, a purse or a small duffle bag.

For example American airlines allows passengers flying Basic Economy class 1 free carry-on and a personal item to all destinations.

What Is a Personal Item?

In addition to your carry-on bag most airlines allow another small piece of luggage; a personal item can be a laptop bag, a purse, a small backpack, a tote bag, whatever you want to bring as long as it fits under the seat in front of you.

Personal item restrictions vary by airline, and some choose not to include any size or weight. In those cases, the general rule of thumb is an item that is smaller in dimensions and weight than your carry-on bag and it fits under the seat in front of you.

For families flying with a stroller or car seats or diaper bag or those traveling with uncommon additions like a wedding dress or an instrument can rest assured that most airlines will let you carry these along with your carry-on luggage and your personal item, but it is always preferable to contact the airline in advance.

Hand luggage types
Hand luggage types

Sometimes your personal item also can be placed in the overhead compartment if the airline recommends that, and mostly in the budget airlines when there is lack of space.

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The Common Carry on Size

The common carry-on bag size is 22″ in height x 14″ in length x 9″ in width (56 x 36 x 23 cm) including handles, side pockets, and wheels.

This dimensions are commonly applied with most of the U.S airlines (United airlines, American Airlines, Jetblue, Allegiant Air, Delta and Alaska Airlines)

whats a carry on bag
Credit : Twitter

Where To Store Your Carry-on Baggage On a plane?

There is a place to store the carry-on luggage on the airplanes, either in the overhead bin / lockers, or under the seat in front of the guest seat.

Most of the time you will need to place your large bag in the overhead compartment, and the personal item under the seat in front of you.

Concerning the weight, most airlines do not have weight limits for carry-on bags but they recommend making the suitcase as light as possible so you do not need any help when placing the bag in the overhead locker.

What Carry-on Luggage Is Allowed On International Flights?

When planning to travel outside the US or want to purchase a carry on bag for yourself or your flight this is the overall carry on baggage charge for major airlines.

However it is always preferable to visit the airline website you are traveling with to make sure you get the general idea of the airline carry on baggage allowance.

The Best Carry-on Bag Sizes

before we proceed to the best carry on bag size here is forts sole of the rules to choose the right carry-on bag;

  • Research the specific size and weight restrictions of your airline
  •  Make sure the carry-on bag you choose meets or is slightly under the permitted dimensions
  •  Most of the US airlines the same rules, but keep in mind that some airlines may have different rules, so be sure to check for each airline you will be flying with
  • If your main concern is size, and when traveling with various airlines, your best bet is to get a standard carry-on size.

The popular carry-on luggage size is around 22* 14 * 9 inches, you can pick a carry on which is smaller like this Amazon Basics 21-Inch which is only 13.3 * 9.5 * 18.5 inches

You can also find bags that are slightly more than that size, and you can use them for almost any airline.

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable is another choice if you are looking for a standard carry on size, to use in your domestic flight, the suitcase has a size of  19″ x 14.5″ x 9.5″.

Final Thoughts

Most airlines consider a carry-on bag any bag that can be placed properly in the overhead bin and it can be a suitcase, a duffle bag, a backpack etc.., and in addition of your carry on bag they also allow one personal item that can be brought on board the plane and stowed under the seat in front of you.

Airlines do not enforce any type of bag or backpack, the only thing they enforce is the dimensions that must to not exceed the limits.

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