Hey, travelers! We all know that the most stressful part of traveling can sometimes be right at the beginning starting at the airport. It’s such a struggle making sure to meticulously pack a carry-on bag so that all the essentials are in your reach only to get to the gate and find out it’s too big and has to be checked. It’s happened to all of us. And its really one of those overlooked factors when planning a trip. Major U.S. airlines have some pretty strict carry-on bag rules. These are readily available on every airline’s website and still, most of us aren’t aware of them. Yes, there is some leeway, but the overhead storage is built to accommodate a certain sized bag.
If you’re wondering why the rules sometimes seem pretty flexible, like sometimes you get away with getting that extra stuffed carry-on into the plane is because some flights aren’t sold out. So the gate attendant might be willing to let you on with a carry-on that is a little larger than the airline’s regulation. Sometimes, if it fits the bin, no worries. But if you are on a flight that is booked to full capacity, you definitely can’t count of sneaking your big bag on with you. And one last overlooked fact of flying: if you are one of the last to board the plane, you might be forced to check your bag because there’s no room left in the cabin.
So what to do? What is the best way to ensure that you and your carry on end up on that plane? Make sure you are within the required carry-on regulations for the particular airline you are flying. The general rule is that U.S. airlines permit economy luggage measures 45 inches wide, no weight limit, as long as it fits in the overhead storage bin. And exception: if you’re plane is smaller and the crew decides to check bags.
Each airline has its own specific rules. Here are some of the major airlines’ rules:
JetBlue passengers carry on bags must be no larger than 22″ x 14″ x 9″. No weight restrictions.
Delta passengers carry-on bags must be no larger than 22” x 14” x 9”. No weight restrictions.
United Airlines passengers carry-on bags must be no larger than 22″ x 14″ x 9″. No weight restrictions.
Whichever airline you are flying, be sure to check out the company’s website before you pack.