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Cabin Luggage Measurements Compliance and Restrictions



Can you tell exactly how big a carry-on bag should be in order to be allowed onboard with you?  Maybe you could not! That said, it is crucial for your cabin luggage measurements and weight to adhere to the travel operator’s criteria.

Theses days, people want to carry more items onto the plane, particularly when most UK and US airlines collect charges for the checked bags. However, considering the safety and the space of the passenger compartment, customers are typically allowed to carry a small bag with them during the flight, which is then stored either under the seat or in the overhead bins.

Cabin Luggage Measurements

Admittedly, these so-called carry-on bags or hand luggage, to some great extent, help ease our stress of flying and can store items, but did you ever consider how much more extra space could we get away with? These travel luggages also help us save time, money and ensure that our valuable belonging stays with us throughout the entire trip. However, when planning to take a carry-on bag on board, there should be candid level of awareness that travel bags and hand baggages must conform to specific size and weight restrictions!

So…how big should carry-on bag be for travel? Here when we are talking about the maximum size of a carry-on, the dimensions will be shown as the total number of the length, width and height of that bag, suitcase or briefcase must meet the travelling requirements for cabin luggage measurements.

Though the guideline for carry-on luggage size set by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) is 50 inches (22″L x 18″W x 10″H), this is not mandatory. The actual size and weight limits of a carry-on does differ widely, and even if your bag fits this size requirement but is in an unusual shape, it may still be rejected by some airlines.

Currently, for most airlines, the maximum allowable size of a carry-on bag is 45 inches (22″L x 14″W x 9″H), including the wheels, pockets, handles and decorations. And this figure is also seen as the maximum safe size for carry-on luggage. Though some airlines allow up to as much as 55 inches, most do not! At the time of these are the luggage dimensions restrictions enforced by major airlines in the UK and US for 45 inches carry-on luggage requirements:

Airlines

Carry-On Size Restrictions

Delta Airlines

45″ or 115cm

American Airlines

45″ or 114cm

US Airways

45″ or 115cm

Continental Airlines

45″

Hawaiian Airlines

45″

United Airlines

45″ or 114cm

Allegiant Air

45″

 

Some airlines may have larger or smaller cabin luggage size limits policy in place…in some instances, dimensions varies between 60 inches or less than 40 inches. In fact, different types of carry-on bags have to comply with different size requirements. To be on the safe side, it is sometimes suggested that travellers call their airline carrier and confirm that dimensions and cabin luggage measurements meet expected compliance criteria before preparing for travel – as well as reduce the risk of disappointments. Below are some well-known airlines and their carry-on luggage size limits.

 

Airlines

Carry-On Size Restrictions

Alaska Airlines

51″ (24″L x 17″W x 10″H)

Southwest Airlines

50″ (24″L x 16″W x 10″H)

Frontier Airlines

49″ (24″L x 15.5″W x 9.5″H)

British Airways

50″ (22″L x18″ W x 10″H)

Spirit Airlines

50″ (22″L x18″ W x 10″H)

AirTran

56″ (24″L x 18″W x 13″H)
50″ (24″L x 12″W x 10″H): Effective March 1, 2012

Moreover, some airlines weigh the carry-on luggage to make sure the safety of all passengers, though most airlines for domestic destinations may not. The maximum allowable weight of a carry-on bag could vary widely, while some international flights for Europe, Asia and Africa are much stricter about how much a carry-on bag weighs. If your carry-on overweighs, there’s a big chance that the carry on bag is denied. For instance, British Airways requires a 51lbs (23kg) maximum carry-on bag weight, and if your bag overweighs, it has to be checked. It is difficult to avoid the compliance criteria for that cabin luggage measurements and weight should adhere to..

In some cases, the guidelines for carry-on luggage size and weight may vary according to the aircraft models and the booking classes, for instance:

Airlines

Carry-On Size Restrictions

JetBlue

  1. For Airbus A320: 56″ (26″L x 18″W x 12″H)
  2. For EMBRAER 190: 50″ (24″L x 16″W x 10″H)

Lufthansa

Economy Class:

  1. One carry-on bag: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm
  2. Maximum weight: 8kg

First & Business Class:

  1. Two carry-on bags: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm
  2. Maximum weight: 8kg

KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines)

Economy Class:

  1. One carry-on bag: 21.5″L x 10″W x 13.5″H
  2. Maximum Weight: 26lbs / 12kg

Business Class:

  1. One carry-on bag: 21.5″L x 10″W x 13.5″H
  2. One smaller bag: 18″L x 8″W x 13.5″H
  3. Maximum weight: 40lbs / 18kg

If you are flying with Air France, you will find the authorized carry-on dimensions and weights differ based on both the destination and the ticket class, for example:

Intercontinental / Caribbean / India Ocean

Economy Class: One carry-on bag (55cm x 35cm x 25cm)
One accessory (handbag, camera, or notebook computer)
Maximum total weight: 26.5lbs / 12kg
Premium Economy, Business & First Classes: One carry-on bag (55cm x 35cm x 25cm)
One small bag (45cm x20cm x 35cm)
One accessory
Maximum total weight: 39.6lbs / 18kg

Within Europe / Northern Africa / Israel

Economy Class:

One carry-on bag (55cm x 35cm x 25cm)
One accessory
Maximum total weight: 26.5lbs / 12kg
Premium Business: One carry-on bag (55cm x 35cm x 25cm)
One small bag (45cm x20cm x 35cm)
One accessory
Maximum total weight: 39.6lbs / 18kg
Premium Eco Class: One carry-on bag (55cm x 35cm x 25cm)
One accessory
Maximum total weight: 26.5lbs / 12kg

Why do airlines put restrictions on carry-on luggage size?

Well, just think about the space of the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you…

It is generally known that the carry-on bag must fit in the overhead bin or can be put under the seat. Of course, the room of the overhead is fixed and the space under the seat seems to be smaller and tighter these days. If you don’t want to have your carry-on chucked away, the only good way here is to select a carry-on bag that meets the specific airline size compliance requirements.

However, even if the bag you purchased is advertised as a carry-on luggage, it is still discussable the legality of its size and acceptance. It is possible for luggage manufacturers could mis-measure the bag by only measuring the internal dimensions of the main compartment and ignore the external pockets, handles or wheels… etc. If you stuff the outside pockets full, that might put the bag over the size or weight limits.

So, when shopping around for a carry-on bag, be sure to check its measurement and select the one with dimensions that works best for your airline cabin baggage requirements.

What does personal item refer to and are there limits around dimension compliance? Frequent flyers may know that besides a carry-on bag, most airlines in the UK and US allow passengers to carry a small additional item onto the plane – most times, at no extra cost! This small baggage is usually referred to as “personal item” or “accessory.” It can be briefcase, camera, handbag, laptop in the carrying bag, daypack, purse, or other items of similar or smaller size. Therefore it is important for your cabin luggage measurements meets the stated dimensions and criteria for acceptance.

As a general rule, there are also dimension limits for personal items and most airlines, though not specifically stating, will require a maximum size for the outside dimension of a personal item. For example, British Airways only accepts a personal bag up to 18″L x 14W x 8″H in dimension, including the handle and pockets, and this bag must be comfortably and safely stowed under the seat in front of you. JetBlue allows a personal item that doesn’t exceed 41″ (18″L x 15″W x 8″H) to fit under the seat in front of each passenger.

It is also possible that even if you comply to strict carry on luggage dimension requirements, there is still some safety during flight. Chances are that your carry-on bag may fall from the overhead bin and accidentally injure you or other passengers. Therefore, if you packed heavy items in the carry-on luggage, it is better to stow the bag under the seat in front of you and not overhead! In any case, your cabin luggage measurements should ideally meet the stated compliance requirements set by the airline operator.

Additionally, in the event of an emergency evacuation, just leave your carry-on bag and personal item on the plane. Taking them may impede the safe evacuation of yourself as well as other passengers. Always be vigilant and safety conscious when stowing your carry-on luggage on board places or other travel entities!

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