Carry-on Luggage Rules: Travel Hassle-free | Bookmundi Bookmundi

Carry-on Luggage Rules: Travel Hassle-free

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Traveling is exhilarating and there are many positive effects of traveling. However packing for your next adventure can be a much dreaded chore and it essential that you pack right and follow the TSA rules. Tracking down the carry-on luggage rules for your upcoming trip can be a hassle and certainly can make packing stressful, but it doesn’t have to! If you need help sorting out exactly what can and cannot come with you on board, we’re here to help. You just have to make it all fit in an appropriately sized bag. From carry-on luggage restrictions to choosing the right bag, we’ve compiled everything you need to know in one easy place to make your next trip hassle-free.

What is carry-on luggage?

Carry-on luggage is the bag (or bags) you bring with you into the cabin of a plane. With most airlines, this means one bag that you store in the overhead compartment and one personal item. Personal items are things like laptop bags, purses or camera bags, which can be stored under the seat in front of you. If you’re a lightweight or budget traveler, this may be the only luggage you take.

  • Standard carry-on luggage size: 55 x 35 x 25 cm
  • Standard carry-on luggage weight: 7 kg

*Be aware that every airline has different rules regarding the size and weight of allowable carry-on.

How to pick the right carry-on luggage

When it comes to following carry-on luggage rules, the first step is to pick the right bag. Picking the right sized luggage is one of the most essential hacks while traveling. If you know which airline you’ll be doing most of your flying with, you can probably find a bag that fits the specific dimensions perfectly. If you’re going to be airline hopping, it’s best to get a bag that will cover all your bases.

Ensuring your carry-on luggage is within the standard dimensions is a good bet, and getting a bag that is lightweight means you can fit more inside it without going over the weight limits. You might also want something made from a durable material that’ll stand up to travel and, of course, you should consider a bag that is ethically manufactured. 

When it comes to following carry-on luggage rules, always pick the right bag.
Always check that your luggage meets the standard dimensions allocated by the TSA

Carry-on luggage size chart by top international airlines

Name of the airline(s)

Allowance

Maximum weight limit

Dimensions

(height x width x depth)

Air Asia, Cathay Pacific

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

7 kg

56 x 36 x 23 cm

Air Canada

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

10 kg

55 x  40 x 23 cm

Air China

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

5 kg

55 x 40 x 20 cm

Air France

1 carry-on bag

12 kg

55 x 35 x 25 cm

Air New Zealand

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

7 kg

Total sum of 118 cm

American Airlines

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

18 kg

56 x 36 x 23 cm

British Airways

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

23 kg

56 x 45 x 25 cm

Delta Airlines

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

7 kg

56 x 35 x 23 cm

Emirates

1 carry-on bag 

7 kg

55 x 38 x 20 cm

Japan Airlines

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

10 kg

55 x 40 x 25 cm

Jet 2

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

10 kg

56 x 45 x 25 cm

Lufthansa & Turkish Airlines

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

8 kg

55 x 40 x 23 cm

Singapore Airlines

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

7 kg

Total sum of 115 cm

Swiss International Airlines

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

7 kg

56 x 36 x 23 cm

Thai Airways

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

7 kg

56 x 45 x 25 cm

Virgin Atlantic

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

10 kg

56 x 36 x 23 cm

Qatar Airways

1 carry-on bag + 1 laptop/handbag

7 kg

50 x 37 x 25 cm

7 Things you should pack in a carry-on luggage

Make sure that you pack important items in your carry-on so they don't get lost in transit.
Plan and pack your carry-on items strategically for a soothing travel experience

1. Cash, credit cards and important documents. Always keep your money and important documents in your carry-on luggage and keep it close at hand. Since these items are arguably the most important things you’re traveling with, you want to make sure they won’t be lost in transit.

2. A day or two of toiletries. Whether you’re on a short flight or a long haul, bringing along a couple days’ worth of toiletries means you can feel fresh and clean by the time you hop in that taxi to your next destination, or that you will be covered if there are any delays. You can bring items on board like disposable razors, a toothbrush and deodorant.

3. Daily medications / first aid. If you take daily medication, packing a supply for the next few days is an important travel packing tip. The last thing you want is to be stranded in a foreign country without your necessary medications. Keep them close at hand.

4. A change of clothes. Even if your flight is short, keeping a change of clothes in your carry-on luggage is a great plan on the off chance that your checked baggage is misplaced or delayed.

5. Electronics and portable charging device. Many people work on the go, but others just like to keep their phone or tablet close. You’re welcome to bring your electronics onboard with you, though your laptop will be screened separately through security. If you’ve got a portable charging device (and we don’t recommend traveling without one of these lifesavers), you actually have to pack it in your carry-on luggage.

6. Noise cancelling headphones or earplugs. Airports are noisy places and airplanes can be worse. Bring along a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to override the ambient noise with your favorite tunes or a pair of earplugs to help you catch some z’s.

7. Entertainment. Bringing something to keep you entertained while waiting for and on your flight is essential for maintaining your sanity on long journeys. Whether it’s a book, kindle, tablet or journal, factor in some space for your in-flight activities.

10 things you can and can’t bring as carry-on

WHAT YOU CAN BRING AS CARRY-ON

1. Medical equipment / mobility aid. If you need to travel with electric medical equipment, it’s always a good idea to bring a letter from a doctor or a prescription with you, but you should be able to bring it along. If you’re traveling with a mobility aid, like a wheelchair or walker, let the airline know in advance and they’ll accommodate you. You’ll also need to let the airline know in advance if you’re traveling with liquid medication that is larger than 100ml.

2. Electronics. If you need to travel with your laptop for work, want a kindle to keep you entertained as you wait, or are rocking out to nostalgic tunes on your Walkman, don’t worry. If you’re traveling with an external charger, you actually are required to pack it in your carry-on, rather than checking it, with most airlines. You can also pack other electronics in your carry-on. Things like hair dryers, straighteners, and electric shavers are okay to bring on board. You can even bring a travel iron with you!

  • Keep in mind: If your computer or tablet is larger than 16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5 cm, you’ll need to check it instead.
All the passengers are allowed to bring as many 3.4-ounce containers of liquid as you can fit in a single quart-sized Ziploc bag.
Always follow the 3-1-1 rule when you carry liquids in your luggage

3. Liquids. If you’re worried about getting thirsty while you’re waiting for your flight and want to skip out on overpriced airport drinks or if you want to pack some shampoo in your toiletries, don’t you worry. You’re allowed to bring liquids through security as long as you follow the TSA carry-on luggage rules about sizes.

  • Keep in mind: Each passenger is allowed to bring as many 3.4-ounce containers of liquid as you can fit in a single quart-sized Ziploc bag. This is often referred to as the 3-1-1 rule (3.4oz/1 bag/1 person). This applies to all liquids in your bag.

4. Gifts. Planning on bringing some gifts back for your friends and family? Need to keep some local ingredients on you for a holiday dinner? Make sure that your sweet souvenirs don’t get you in trouble on the way through the airport by following all the rules that govern the rest of your packing and don’t forget you can always pick up some last-minute duty-free gifts in the airport! One of the best ways to keep your travel smooth is to avoid wrapping your presents before you travel so security doesn’t have to unwrap them if they need further scanning, consider using a gift bag instead. 

  • Keep in mind: If you’ve picked up a snow globe to bring home as a souvenir, it’s important to note they are not allowed in your carry-on luggage – unless they fit in your quart-sized bag – base and all.

5. Empty water bottle. While you won’t get through security with a bottle full of water because it violates the 3-1-1 rule, you can bring an empty one along to be used in the airport and beyond. Bringing your own reusable bottle saves money on overpriced airport beverages, keeps you hydrated, and helps you do your part for the environment and contribute to an eco-friendly travel by cutting down on your plastic waste . It’s a win-win! 

 WHAT YOU CAN'T BRING AS CARRY-ON

1. Sharp objects. Understandably, sharp objects have no place in the cabin of the plane, as they could be dangerous and you probably won’t run into a situation where you desperately need to trim your hair at 30,000 feet. This includes pocket knives or grooming scissors with blades larger than 6 cm, as well as sewing kits and corkscrews.

  • The exception: If you like to keep your hands busy while you fly or you need a low-budget scarf ready for your cold-weather destination, don’t worry. Knitting needles and crochet hooks are allowed in your carry-on luggage as long as they are round-ended and below 6 cm.

2. Sports/camping equipment. Athletes and outdoorsy-people beware. Most sports equipment will need to be checked as a general rule, though tennis rackets are a notable exception. If you’re heading on a camping trip, double check with the airlines to see what their specific rules are. Generally, things like tents, crampons, hiking poles aren’t allowed either. For our lightweight, carry-on campers, you’re going to have to check a bag.

3. Certain foods (vegetables, meats, oils, brines etc. over 100 ml). Check out the regulations specific to where you’re going, but many countries have restrictions on fresh produce and meats when you’re crossing international borders. If your food contains a liquid or is spreadable, you’re going to encounter the 3-1-1 rule with it, so it’s best to leave the peanut butter behind. Soft cheeses count as liquids and must also follow this rule!

4. Flammable items and explosive items. Bringing flammable items on board is strictly prohibited, no matter which airline you’re flying. It is unsafe and they won’t make it through security. This includes drinks with an alcohol content above 70% which means your boozier bottles may not make the grade. Leave your fuel, lighter fluid, and strike-anywhere matches at home. If you’re trying to bring fireworks, flares, or dynamite in your carry-on, you’re going to have a problem. In fact, explosives cannot be brought on a flight at all, checked or carried. No handguns either. If you’re thinking about playing an impractical joke on TSA by packing faux explosives or toy guns, don’t. Anything threatening, or even appearing threatening, is a no go for your carry-on luggage.

  • The exception: You’re allowed to bring a single butane or zippo lighter in your carry-on. If you use E-cigarettes or vapes, you’re actually required to bring them in your carry-on instead of checking them. Just remember that actually using it while you’re in-flight is not allowed.

5. Chemical and toxic substances. This one is kind of a no brainer. You can’t bring any chemicals or toxic substances into the cabin with you. While you probably wouldn’t think to travel with some of these anyway – rat poison, bleach, radioactive materials, biological hazards – some of them may be things you’d keep in your purse, like mace or pepper spray. None of them are allowed and you’ll have your pepper spray taken off you at the airport, so it’s better to leave it behind. 

Travelling is not an exact science, just stick to the guidelines and you'll be fine.
Organize your carry-on luggage to ensure a stress-free and successful check-in

There are plenty of carry-on luggage rules to keep track of and it can be confusing to figure out the specifics for each airline, but hopefully, we can help answer your biggest questions about what is allowed in a carry-on bag and what isn’t. Travelling is not an exact science and sometimes you’ll get an officer who looks the other way if your quart-sized 3-1-1 bag doesn’t close all the way, but on a bad day, you might come across officers who are stricter than others. If you stick to the guidelines, you’ll be fine. Follow this guide and your next trip will be a breeze!

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