When it comes to air travel, one of the most important aspects to get right is your carry-on luggage. Airlines have specific rules and regulations regarding the size and weight of carry-on bags, and if you’re not prepared, you might find yourself facing unexpected fees or delays. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of carry-on luggage, providing you with all the information you need to travel right and stress-free.

Why Is the Carry-On Luggage Size and Weight Important?

Before we dive into the specifics of carry-on luggage regulations, let’s understand why adhering to these rules is crucial:

  1. Cost Savings: Many airlines allow you to bring a certain amount of carry-on luggage for free. By staying within the size and weight limits, you can avoid additional fees for checked baggage.
  2. Convenience: Carry-on luggage stays with you throughout your journey. This means no waiting at the baggage claim and a quicker exit from the airport.
  3. Security: Airlines have size and weight restrictions to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers. Oversized or heavy bags can be a hazard in the cabin.
  4. Efficiency: Following the rules helps keep the boarding process smooth and on time. Overly large or heavy bags can slow down the boarding and deplaning process.

Carry-On Luggage Size and Weight Guidelines

The specifics of carry-on luggage size and weight limits can vary from airline to airline, so it’s essential to check the regulations of the airline you plan to fly with. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you navigate these restrictions effectively.

  1. Dimensions: Most airlines have a maximum linear dimension limit for carry-on bags, which is typically the sum of the bag’s length, width, and height. This limit often falls within the range of 45 to 55 inches (115 to 140 centimeters).
  2. Weight: Carry-on weight limits also vary but usually fall between 15 to 22 pounds (7 to 10 kilograms). Keep in mind that this weight limit includes both the bag and its contents.
  3. Personal Items: In addition to your main carry-on bag, airlines often allow you to bring a personal item such as a purse, laptop bag, or small backpack. These items must fit under the seat in front of you and are usually not subject to specific weight limits.
  4. Luggage Sizers: To ensure your carry-on complies with size regulations, some airlines provide luggage sizers near the check-in counter. If your bag fits within the sizer, you’re good to go.

Popular Airlines’ Carry-On Luggage Policies

Let’s take a look at the carry-on luggage policies of some popular airlines to give you a better idea of what to expect:

  1. Delta Air Lines:
    • Carry-On Dimensions: Maximum linear dimensions of 45 inches (114 cm).
    • Carry-On Weight Limit: 22 pounds (10 kg).
  2. American Airlines:
    • Carry-On Dimensions: Maximum linear dimensions of 45 inches (114 cm).
    • Carry-On Weight Limit: 22 pounds (10 kg).
  3. United Airlines:
    • Carry-On Dimensions: Maximum linear dimensions of 45 inches (114 cm).
    • Carry-On Weight Limit: 22 pounds (10 kg).
  4. Southwest Airlines:
    • Carry-On Dimensions: No specific size restrictions but should fit in the overhead bin.
    • Carry-On Weight Limit: None specified.
  5. Ryanair:
    • Carry-On Dimensions: Maximum linear dimensions of 40 inches (100 cm).
    • Carry-On Weight Limit: 22 pounds (10 kg).

Tips for Traveling Right with Carry-On Luggage

Now that you know the general guidelines let’s explore some tips to help you make the most of your carry-on luggage:

  1. Check the Airline’s Policy: Always check the specific carry-on luggage policy of the airline you’re flying with. Regulations can change, so it’s best to get the most up-to-date information directly from the airline’s website.
  2. Invest in Quality Luggage: A well-designed and lightweight carry-on bag can make all the difference. Look for durable materials and consider spinner wheels for easy maneuverability.
  3. Pack Smart: Be mindful of what you pack in your carry-on. Opt for versatile clothing and pack efficiently to maximize space. Use packing cubes or compression bags to save space.
  4. Know What’s Exempt: Items like jackets, reading materials, and food for consumption during the flight are usually exempt from carry-on size and weight limits. Take advantage of this to free up space in your bag.
  5. Weigh Your Bag: Invest in a luggage scale to ensure your carry-on doesn’t exceed the weight limit. It’s a small investment that can save you from unexpected fees.
  6. Keep Essentials Handy: Items like travel documents, medication, and electronics should be easily accessible in your carry-on for security checks and in-flight convenience.
  7. Be Prepared for Security: Remember that you’ll need to remove laptops and liquids from your carry-on during security screening. Pack them in an easily accessible compartment for a smoother process.


Traveling with carry-on luggage can save you time, money, and hassle, but it’s essential to understand and follow the size and weight regulations of the airline you’re flying with. By adhering to these guidelines and packing strategically, you can ensure a smooth and efficient travel experience. So, whether you’re jetting off on a business trip or embarking on a leisurely vacation, make the most of your carry-on luggage and travel right. Safe travels!

Also read: Delta Airlines Baggage Policy

American Airlines Baggage Policy

United Airlines Baggage Policy