Carry-on luggage size restrictions vary among airlines, making it crucial for travelers to familiarize themselves with specific guidelines before packing. Most airlines enforce limits on dimensions and weight to ensure efficient use of overhead storage and passenger comfort.

Major carriers like Delta, American Airlines, and United Airlines often adhere to similar size restrictions, while budget airlines like Ryanair and Spirit may have more stringent limits to cut costs. Here is our guide so you don't have to worry about your luggage the next time you travel.

Size Of Carry On Luggage

The size of carry-on baggage may differ based on the particular policies of the airline. Nonetheless, carry-on baggage size limitations are comparable for the majority of carriers. Generally speaking, the dimensions of carry-on bags fall between 45 linear inches and approximately 22 x 14 x 9 inches.

This size restriction guarantees that the overhead bin on your aircraft will be able to securely hold your bag and, ideally, everyone else's. The ability to carry your goods independently rather than leaving them in the hands of the airline and hope they'll reach your destination intact and on schedule is, by far, the largest advantage of packing carry-on luggage.

Standard International Carry-On Size

To make sure your bag is accepted on all carriers, you'll want to get a suitcase that stands at 21'' or less. It's especially smart to look into luggage size restrictions when you're flying with smaller, regional airlines outside of the U.S. as each is able to set its limits.

The following is a guide on carry-on luggage on some of the most popular airlines in the US:

Alaska Airlines

  • Carry-on luggage size: 22'' x 14'' x 9''
  • Carry-on luggage weight limit: No weight limit

Allegiant Air

  • Carry-on luggage size: 22'' x 14'' x 9''; fee applies ($10-75)
  • Carry-on luggage weight limit: Not specified

American Airlines

  • Carry-on luggage size: 22'' x 14'' x 10''
  • Carry-on luggage weight limit: 40 pounds/18 kgs

Delta Air Lines

  • Carry-on luggage size: 22'' x 14'' x 9''
  • Carry-on luggage weight limit: No weight limit


  • Carry-on luggage size: 22'' x 14'' x 9''
  • Carry-on luggage weight limit: No weight limit

United Airlines

  • Carry-on luggage size: 22'' x 14'' x 9''
  • Carry-on luggage weight limit: 50 pounds/22.7 kgs

Weight Limit For Carry-On Luggage

While most airlines have different weight restrictions for carry-on bags, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has set certain broad principles. The FAA's guidelines, which state that carry-on luggage should not weigh more than 22 pounds for reasons of safety and convenience of handling, are followed by the majority of airlines.

Passengers should be aware of their airline's restrictions regarding the weight and dimensions of their carry-on bags and make appropriate packing decisions in order to prevent any problems during the boarding process. This proactive strategy guarantees that airline regulations are followed and simplifies the flying experience.

Carry-on Luggage vs. Personal Items

The practical difference between carry-on luggage and a personal item is that the former is for storage in the overhead bin and the latter for under the seat in front of you.

Carry-on Luggage

Your carry-on luggage is the bag you don’t hand over at check-in. If you’re traveling lightly, using your carry-on luggage allowance can prevent you from having to check any bags at all. That’s always a win, as your bags will never get lost or left behind and you don’t have to wait at baggage collection once you’ve landed.

Many airlines include a carry-on luggage allowance in their ticket prices. Some especially small and budget airlines charge extra for it, although it’s usually still cheaper than paying for checked luggage.

 Personal Items

Personal items on airlines refer to the belongings passengers carry with them onto the aircraft, typically stored under the seat. These items are distinct from carry-on luggage, which is usually larger and must be stowed in the overhead compartments.

Typically, it consists of briefcases, laptop bags, handbags, backpacks, and little totes. Wallets, passports, prescription drugs, electronic devices, and reading materials are among the things that travelers should always have on hand when flying.

What Are Allowed On Carry-on Bags?

What you pack in your carry-on bag is regulated, as well. In addition to the same rules that apply to checked bags, which prohibit firearms, lithium batteries, and other potentially hazardous items, you must be mindful of liquids when packing your carry-on luggage.

Regardless of your destination, you cannot bring containers of liquid, paste, aerosol, gel, or cream larger than 3.4 ounces through security. Make sure to check the specific rules of your carrier, too, so you won't be forced to throw anything away at the gate.

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