Carry-On Luggage Size Guide - ROAM Luggage

The Carry-On Luggage Size Guide from ROAM Luggage

Back of a slim man with wavy brown hair wearing a navy suit and holding a suitcase looking at the airport security line.

If you haven't flown in a while, you might be a bit apprehensive. On top of long lines and confusion at security screenings, you've got to deal with storing your car, finding your gate well before your time of departure and keeping track of all your gear. The last thing you want to do is check a bag at the gate because it's too large for the airline's regulations.

Airline carry-on regulations can be confusing - and getting it wrong can prove costly. So we've put together this guide to help you stay within the size guidelines most airlines use for carry-on luggage and get roaming in style!

Size Matters

Most airlines will allow full-price ticket holders to bring one piece of full-size carry-on luggage and one smaller personal item onto domestic flights. Though the exact allowances vary a bit from airline to airline - and get even more complicated for international flights - the basic size limit for a carry-on suitcase is 22 inches x 14 inches by 9 inches (56 centimeters x 35 centimeters x 22 centimeters). A hard-shell wheeled case must include wheels and handles in these measurements. The personal item can be a laptop bag, bookbag, small backpack, purse or other small item that measures no more than 17 inches x 10 inches x 9 inches (43 centimeters x 25 centimeters x 22 centimeters).

Pack Smart

In addition to these size regulations, many airlines limit the weight of both checked and carry-on bags, so it's important to pack light and smart. Wear your heaviest clothes and shoes to lighten your bag, and make sure to include necessities like medications and grooming items in TSA approved sizes contained in a clear, zippered storage bag. It's also a good idea to toss a toothbrush and light change of clothes into your personal item, if possible, in case you have to check your suitcase at the last minute.

 A bag of luggage Description automatically generated

Check It

Some things are simply not allowed in carry-on luggage, regardless of the size of your bag. Lithium batteries that can be removed from devices for the screening process may be allowed on board, but smart bags with non-removable batteries will not be permitted on most planes. Personal vaping equipment and e-cigarettes, on the other hand, are not allowed in check bags but must be stowed in your carry-on.

And Another Thing

In addition to your carry-on suitcase and your personal item, most airlines allow passengers to bring other common-use items onto the plane with them. Within reasonable amounts, reading material, food and merchandise purchased inside the airport, umbrellas, jackets, diaper bags and assistive devices like canes, crutches and collapsible wheelchairs, among others, are permissible.

The magic formula for successful air travel is usually equal parts preparation and patience. Do what you can to anticipate what you'll need, then relax and let the rest happen. With a sturdy piece of carry-on luggage that meets airline requirements, you'll get ROAMing in no time.