Does a Medical Bag Count As Carry-on Luggage?

If you’re planning to take a trip with your meds and other medical supplies, you might be wondering if your medical bag will be counted as a carry-on bag? And how to pack it without exceeding the baggage allowance or risking damage or loss. 

In this post, we will find out if your medical bag will be counted as a carry-on from different airlines prospective, and give you some tips on how to travel with your medical bag without any hassle.

Let’s dive right in.

Does a medical bag count as carry-on bag?

No,  the majority of airlines will allow a medical bag in addition to your main carry-on luggage, and it will not count it towards your normal baggage allowance. 

This means that no matter what airline you are flying, you can bring your medical bag in addition to your personal item and your carry-on bag, as long as it fits in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

You don’t have to pay a dime either in order to take a medical bag on board the airplane.

Airlines must permit medications for personal use in the cabin free of charge, this includes also any medical devices you have inside your medical bag.

What size your medical bag should be?

As long as your medical bag is small to fit under the seat in front of you, or in the overhead bin, then you don’t have to worry about its dimensions.

However, a standard medical bag size is less than 18*14*8 which is less than the standard personal item size for most major U.S airlines.

This means that the bag will fit under the seat easily.

Here are some answers on X (Formerly Twitter) from different airlines.

Lauren (@laureng_lindsay)asked @United about taking her medical bag onto the plane “in addition to” a carry-on and a personal item.

@United customer service replied that “If you need to bring on an assistive device you can do so in addition to your carry-on and personal item

Delta Airlines confirmed to Jon (@OfficialBiodoid) that “ on Delta flights, the medical bag containing the assistive device can be brought on the plane in addition to the carry-on and personal item free of charge

The Allegiant team responded to Queen Manda about taking her medications and tester “You may bring a medical bag at no additional fee”

The allegiant customer service added ” Please make sure nothing else is inside the bag. Anything non-medical inside the bag will make the bag considered personal / carry-on.”

So keep that in mind.

According to airlines a medical bag is any bag that contains medication, medical equipment or assistive devices that you need for your health condition.

This can include things like:

Can you bring two medical bags with you?

Most airlines do not have any info about taking two medical bags or if they are going to count the extra medical bag as carry-on.

If you need to take two bags for instance one for medications and one for other tools, it is better to contact your airline beforehand especially if the medical bags are slightly bigger in size.

Does TSA check medical bags? 

Now you know that most airlines will not count a medical bag toward your carry-on, let’s find out what to expect at the security checkpoint.

Well! the TSA clerks concern is prevent dangerous and prohibited items from getting on the airplanes.

They will not prevent any bag with medical equipment on board the airplane, however; they will certainly perform some sort of additional inspection, that may include emptying the bag to see what is inside.

It will be a smart move if you declare your medical bag to the security officers, and provide any document you have, before they even ask you what is in the bag.

Remember that any liquid inside your medical bag is exempted from the TSA 3-1-1 liquid rule, which restricts the amount of liquid in carry-on to 3.4 fl oz / 100 ml for each container.

You can find more details about the TSA 3-1-1 liquid rule in this post.

Can you pack a medical bag in checked baggage?

If you want to put your medical bag in your checked suitcase, you can do so, but you should do it carefully, and make sure you take anything you will from it during your flight. 

But it’s always preferable to take your medical bag with you on board, as checked bags are not always handled carefully.

Items in checked bags can break, go missing or even stollen.

Does a medical bag count as carry-on luggage: the final thoughts

The size of a medical bag depends on the type and amount of medication, supplies and equipment you need to carry, however; most airlines will not count it as a piece of carry-on.

But you should always consider the luggage allowance of the airline you are flying, and take the medical bag that will suit you.

Bear in mind that some airlines do recommend to not place any non medical items on it, other ways it will be considered as a piece of luggage.

I hope this helps 

Happy travels