How Strict Are Airlines About Personal Items?

A conundrum question for passengers is just how strict are airlines about personal items?

Simply put; airlines can vary in their personal item strictness. These differences can be annoying, but usually, these policies are not significant as some airlines staff will not be that strict at the airport. Other times, changes may occur if there is too much passengers.

Keep reading to know more about How strict are airlines about personal items, including what is the standard personal item and what will fit your airline personal item policy.

Let’s dive right in.

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What Is Considered A Personal Item?

A personal item is a type of luggage and part of carry on baggage that you can take on board the airplane, and it is usually something that is small, It can be a travel handbag, a tote, a messenger bag, a small daypack, a laptop bag, a camera bag or anything else that fits under the seat in front of you.

What Is The Standard Size For Personal Item?

For most airlines they specify the size of their personal item must not exceed 40 inches linear (height length width) ;and can be a purse, briefcase, or laptop bag that should fit underneath the seat in front of you.

Airlines are making their personal items size almost the same and smaller to better align with partners , so you can more easily transfer among airlines without running into a snag with your bag.

AirlinePersonal Item Size
American Airlines18 x 14 x 8 inches
United Airlines17 x 10 x 9 inches
Southwest Airlines18.5″ x 8.5″ x 13.5″
Delta Air LinesDelta do not specify or display an official personal item size.
Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines do not specify or display an official personal item size.
Jetblue Airways17″ x 13″ x 8″
Spirit Airlines18″ x 14″ x 8″
Frontier18″ x 14″ x 8″
Allegiant Air16″ x 15″ x 7″
aer lingus 25cm x 33cm x 20cm / 10″ x 13″x 8″
Lufthansa  length=30 cm x height =40 cm x width=10 cm
British Airways 40 x 30 x 15cm / 16″ x 12″ x 6″  
Air Canada 13″ x 6″ x 17″ / 33 cm x 16 cm x 43cm

Do Airlines Weigh Personal Items?

Are personal items weighed?

Most airline will not weigh your personal items, and they do not include a personal item weight in the baggage allowance,as soon as your personal item is not so big and can fit easily under the seat in the airplane you are fine.

What Happens If Your Personal Item Is Too Large?

Here’s what might happen if your personal item too large, if it is within the carry on size , it will be considred as carry on baggage.

while if it exceeds your airline carry on also, it will be subject for gate checking and you will have to pay a checked bag fee. Most airlines now charge for checked bags with the exception of Southwest. Fees range between $25 and $35.

Can A Duffel Bag Be Considered A Personal Item?

A duffle bag will be considered as personal item if it is small enough and fits under the seat in front of you.

Duffle bags under 18.5 x 13.5 x 8.5 inches are considered personal items.

Type Of Personal Bag

there is no a specific or right personal item, it depends son your trip and needs, You could choose among several different ones: a personal item backpack, or a small duffel bag personal item, a laptop bag personal item or a crossbody bag – in the end, take along whatever you’re most comfortable with, just as long as it meets the airline personal items size requirements.  

When buying your carry on personal item bag, go with whatever is easiest to use as a day bag once you land.

How Strict Are Airlines About Personal Item Size?

Budget airlines like Spirit and Frontier might be more strict about personal item size than other airlines.

Keep in mind your personal item should go under the seat in front of you. If you chose a large personal item it can affect your legroom. Especially if you have long legs like me. Some people with short legs actually like to use a personal item as a footrest.

You shouldn’t really pack your personal item in the overhead bins. This leads to other passengers not having enough space for their carry on luggage.

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How Can I Measure My Carry-on And Personal Bag To Make Sure It Fits?

most airlines will help you confirm your luggage size, there are bag sizer at airport locations that feature the the airline luggage size.

and Before you head to the airport, please measure your bag to make sure that the body of the bag itself, along with the wheels and handles are within the allowed size.

Why Airlines Are Changing Their Carry-on Bag And Personal Item Size?

bringing large and oversized items onboard will the boarding process hard and limiting overhead space.

so airlines are updating their carry on size and personal item according to their airplanes space, and to be compliant with other airlines.

Infants personal item

Infants have generous baggage with most airlines, In addition to the adult one bag carry-on allowance, passengers may bring the following infant items onto the plane as an additional free item:

  • Booster seat or other infant seat
  • Bassinet
  • Breast pump and associated cooler bag

What Not To Include In Your Personal Item?

You are not allowed to put more than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) of liquids, gels and aerosols in travel size containers.

Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels and aerosols. Common travel items that must comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule include toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash and lotion.