Have you ever wondered what is carry on luggage? When I first flew, I didn’t understand all the ins and outs, nor did I know exactly what carry on luggage was. Choosing a carry on bag and knowing if the airline will accept your choice can be a bit confusing. In light of this, let’s talk about carry on luggage to answer some questions and make your boarding process smooth.
What is Carry On Luggage?
When traveling by air, there are two types of bags you must have with you when going through security. These are called carry-on luggage and checked luggage. However, today we will talk about carry-on luggage.
Carry on luggage is a bag or suitcase that you pack any items to take on board the plane. These can include things like clothing, toiletries, books, etc. For business trips or weekend getaways, a carry on bag may be all you need.
Is There A Difference Between A Carry On And A Personal Item?
Personal items include a purse or cross-shoulder bag, backpacks, laptop bags, briefcases, and shopping bags. The rule of thumb for a personal item is that it must fit under the seat in front of you. A carry on bag is usually a piece of luggage that meets certain specifications in size and will fit into the overhead bin.
What Can I Take In My Carry On?
These 2 articles will answer most of your questions about what you can pack in your carry on.
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Is There A Size Limit To My Carry On Luggage?
In 1945 IATA (International Air Transport Association) began. It is an association that sets standards and governs all airlines. In 2015 new guidelines were put into effect which state:
“optimum size guideline for carry-on bags has been agreed that will make the best use of cabin storage space. A size of 55 x 35 x 20 cm (or 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches) means that theoretically everyone should have a chance to store their carry-on bags on board aircraft of 120 seats or larger.”
With this in mind, each airline can still change the carry on size guidelines to fit their carry on baggage rules. So, once again, I suggest you check online for the airline policies to ensure your bag is the proper size.
What Happens If At The Last Minute I Find My Luggage Is Too Big?
Yikes!!! No worries, because once you get to the boarding gate, you can still take your luggage with you, but you may not get to take it on the plane. There is a thing called gate checking, meaning you will need to check your carry on suitcase as if it is a checked bag. Although this is not the most convenient way to travel, you will have your bag once you land.
Now, on a different note, checking that bag may come with an extra charge you had not planned. Or the flight personnel may not notice your luggage is too big unless, of course, the overhead compartment won’t close.
So, to simplify things check with the airline to see what size carry on luggage they allow and follow their guidelines.
How Much Carry On Luggage Can I Take On A Plane?
The number of pieces of carry on luggage you can take depends on the size of the airplane. For example, flying a domestic flight from Florida to Alabama, you might only get to carry a suitcase. But if you were flying internationally from Los Angeles to London, you might get to carry on three bags.
But these are just examples stating that longer flights are usually on a larger plane which may mean you get to have more pieces of carry on baggage. I don’t want to mislead you, so the best way to answer this question is to direct you to the airline’s website for your flight.
For example, if you are flying Southwest airlines, you want to go to southwest.com and search for carry on bags. You will then find the policies for carry on luggage. You can search any airline online to see the guidelines for each one.
Does Carry On Luggage Have Weight Restrictions?
In my search for the answer, I found a weight limit anywhere from 21 lbs to 51 lbs. The conclusion I came to is each airline sets the weight limit, and it is according to the size of the plane you will fly. With this in mind, I also found some airlines say if you can lift a carry on luggage above your head to place it in the overhead cargo compartment, it is not too heavy.
In other words, if you are flying economy, the weight limit will be lower than a large international flight. To ensure you do not exceed the weight limit, check the airline you will fly for their individual recommendations.
Most of the time, I fly Southwest Airlines, and their weight limit is 35 lbs. I have never exceeded or even come close to going over that limit. However, if you are packing heavy items like large books, please check the recommendations and weigh your bags in advance.
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A Video on Packing Hacks
Here is a video to help you pack your carry on luggage.
What Is Carry On Luggage Conclusion
This concludes what is carry on luggage; however, the bottom line is always to look online for the guidelines for the airline you will fly. Each has policies for the size limit, weight limit, and what they consider a carry on vs. a personal item.
Happy travels, my friends