What Size Bag Can You Carry on a Plane?

When it comes to air travel, knowing what size bag you can carry on a plane is crucial to avoid any last-minute surprises or additional fees at the airport. Airlines often have specific rules and regulations regarding the dimensions and weight of carry-on luggage, and understanding these guidelines can help streamline your travel experience.

Understanding Carry-On Baggage Regulations

Carry-on baggage regulations vary from one airline to another, so it’s essential to check the specific guidelines provided by the airline you’re traveling with. These regulations typically include restrictions on the dimensions, weight, and number of bags allowed in the cabin.


The dimensions of carry-on luggage are usually measured in inches and refer to the length, width, and height of the bag. Common dimensions for carry-on bags are around 22 x 14 x 9 inches, but this can vary depending on the airline. Some airlines may allow slightly larger or smaller dimensions, so it’s essential to check the specific requirements.


In addition to size restrictions, airlines also impose weight limits on carry-on luggage. This weight limit typically ranges from 15 to 25 pounds, although it can vary depending on the airline and the class of service. Exceeding the weight limit may result in additional fees or the need to check the bag.

Number of Bags

Most airlines allow passengers to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item, such as a purse or laptop bag, into the cabin. However, some airlines may have restrictions on the number of bags allowed or may charge extra for additional carry-on items.

Tips for Packing a Carry-On Bag

Maximizing the space in your carry-on bag is essential, especially if you’re trying to avoid checking luggage or want to minimize the number of bags you bring on board. Here are some tips for efficient packing:

  • Roll your clothes instead of folding them to save space and minimize wrinkles.
  • Use packing cubes or compression bags to organize and compress your belongings.
  • Choose versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits.
  • Limit the number of shoes you pack and opt for lightweight, collapsible footwear when possible.
  • Consider wearing bulky items, such as jackets or boots, instead of packing them in your bag.

Knowing what size bag you can carry on a plane is essential for smooth and hassle-free air travel. By familiarizing yourself with the carry-on baggage regulations of your chosen airline and packing efficiently, you can ensure that your belongings meet the requirements and make the most of your cabin baggage allowance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions related to carry-on baggage:

Question Answer
Can I bring a backpack as a carry-on? Most airlines allow backpacks as carry-on items as long as they meet the size and weight restrictions. It’s essential to check the specific guidelines of your airline.
Are there restrictions on liquids in carry-on bags? Yes, there are restrictions on carrying liquids in carry-on bags. Each container must be 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less and placed in a clear, quart-sized plastic bag.
Can I bring food in my carry-on? Yes, you can bring food in your carry-on bag. However, some items may be subject to additional screening at security checkpoints.
Are there any items prohibited in carry-on bags? Yes, there are certain items that are prohibited in carry-on bags, such as sharp objects, firearms, and flammable items. It’s important to review the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) guidelines before packing.

Additional Tips for Efficient Packing

In addition to the tips mentioned earlier, here are some more tips for efficient packing:

  • Utilize the space inside your shoes by stuffing them with socks or small items.
  • Invest in travel-sized toiletries to save space and comply with liquid restrictions.
  • Consider wearing your bulkiest clothing items, such as coats or sweaters, during travel to free up space in your carry-on.

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