Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- What Is Carry-On Luggage?
- What Can You Carry On The Plane With You?
- So, Does A Purse Count As Carry-On?
- What Size Purse Can I Bring On a Plane?
- Which Airlines Are Generous With Baggage and Carry-On Allowance?
- How Heavy Should Carry-On Luggage Be?
- Do Parents Get More Carry-On Luggage?
- Will Your Bag Be Measured and Weighed At The Airport?
- What If My Bag Is Too Big When I Get To The Airport?
- Could My Carry-On Bag Be Gate-Checked Even If It Is The Correct Size?
Preparing to travel by air can be stressful. There are so many rules about what you can and can’t take on a plane, how many bags you are allowed, what needs to be checked in, and what you can have with you by your seat.
It can get confusing, but if you get it wrong then you could end up having to leave some luggage behind.
Handbags and backpacks are often checked as baggage because they contain valuable items such as laptops, tablets, phones, cameras, etc.
Sometimes, if you are carrying these items through security, you will have to pay extra fees.
However, some airlines allow passengers to bring their bags through security without checking them. This means that you don’t have to worry about paying extra fees.
So does your purse count as a carry-on? What size purse can you take on board with you? How heavy should your carry-on luggage be?
Keep reading to find out more about luggage allowances.
What Is Carry-On Luggage?
Carry-on luggage is the type of luggage that you can put inside your overhead compartment or under your seat.
Domestic flights don’t usually have any restrictions on the size of your bag. If you want to check your bag, you simply need to make sure that it fits underneath one of the seats in front of you.
If you are traveling internationally, however, you may not be able to check your bag into the hold. Instead, you will need to use the cabin baggage allowance.
Cabin baggage allowances vary depending on the airline and route. Some airlines offer two pieces of cabin baggage while others only give you one piece.
What Can You Carry On The Plane With You?
Most airlines allow you to take one piece of carry-on luggage as well as one personal item.
Your carry-on luggage could be a rucksack or a hold-all, and your item could be something like a laptop bag, a briefcase, or a purse.
The main concern of the air stewards is the safety of the passengers.
Your carry-on bag needs to be the right size to fit in the overhead compartment so it can be safely stored for take-off, landing, and periods of turbulence. Similarly, you need to make sure that your item can fit under your seat.
So, Does A Purse Count As Carry-On?
As long as your purse is small enough to fit under your seat then it can count as your item instead of your carry-on.
This means that you can take a purse and a carry-on bag onto the plane with you.
If you can fit your purse inside your carry-on bag then it will count as a piece of luggage, allowing you to bring an additional personal item on board with you, like a laptop.
What Size Purse Can I Bring On a Plane?
It is difficult to provide exact advice on what size purse will count as a personal item. This is because each airline has its own set of guidelines for its passengers.
Some airlines provide specific size dimensions for the maximum purse size. For example, United Airlines advise passengers that their items should not exceed 17 inches by 10 inches by 9 inches.
Other airlines do not provide this information, but if your personal item does not fit under your seat then you might not be able to take it on board.
Most airplanes can accommodate personal items up to 18 inches by 14 inches by 8 inches.
As long as your purse isn’t bigger than this then you should be able to take it on board with you as a personal item added to your carry-on.
If the airline needs the personal item to be smaller than this then they should specify this on their website.
Which Airlines Are Generous With Baggage and Carry-On Allowance?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the major airlines and see which ones are more lenient when it comes to carry-on baggage.
Southwest Airlines allow passengers to take one carry-on bag and one personal item, such as a purse. You will not be charged for taking your personal item on the flight.
The carry-on bag you use should not be larger than 24 inches by 16 inches by 10 inches, including the wheels.
American Airlines also allows you to take a purse on board as a personal item in addition to your carry-on bag.
The carry-on bag needs to be no bigger than 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches including any handles and wheels.
United Airlines allow a personal item and a carry-on item. The carry-on item must not be any larger than 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches.
Spirit Airlines can sometimes class your purse as a carry-on bag rather than a personal item.
However, as long as it fits under the seat then they won’t charge you an additional fee to take it on board with you.
They have a little more room for carry-on bags, which can be up to 22 inches by 18 inches by 10 inches in size.
Finally, we have Delta Airlines. As with the majority of major airlines, they will allow a purse to be taken on board as a personal item along with a carry-on item.
They don’t specify the size restrictions for your carry-on luggage.
How Heavy Should Carry-On Luggage Be?
We have covered the size restrictions of carry-on luggage, but what about the weight restrictions? A lot of airlines don’t have specific weight requirements for carry-on luggage.
This means that as long as you can lift it above your shoulders to take it in and out of the overhead storage, then it can be as heavy as you like.
You also need to consider the strength and durability of the bag itself, as you don’t want it to break as you are getting on or off the plane or walking through the airport.
Some airlines with smaller aircraft do have weight restrictions. They tend to require that carry-on luggage weighs no more than between 15 pounds to 22 pounds, depending on the airline.
This can also apply to international flights, as careful calculations have to be made regarding the fuel, and additional weight can impact the fuel usage.
Do Parents Get More Carry-On Luggage?
If you are traveling with a small child then most airlines will make extra allowances when it comes to your carry-on luggage.
This is because you might need to bring diapers and spare clothes etc to use for your child during the flight.
Make sure you check the airline you are flying with before you start packing for your journey.
Will Your Bag Be Measured and Weighed At The Airport?
Some airlines use a measuring device during check-in to make sure that your carry-on will fit into the overhead compartments.
They will also weigh your luggage. If it is too heavy then you might be asked to remove some items. This is why it is important to weigh your luggage at home before you travel.
What If My Bag Is Too Big When I Get To The Airport?
If you pack the wrong size bag for your carry-on then it could cause issues when you reach the airport.
What happens next will depend on the airline and its specific rules.
You might have to check in your carry-on bag as additional luggage, which means it will be labeled and sent off with your suitcase. You could be charged a fee for having extra baggage.
If the staff isn’t using a measuring device to check the size of your carry-on then it might not get noticed until you get on the plane and it doesn’t fit into the overhead compartment.
At this point, the staff will try to find an alternative place to store your bag. It might fit underneath a seat.
If not, it might be taken off you at this point and added to the rest of your luggage. This could incur additional charges.
Could My Carry-On Bag Be Gate-Checked Even If It Is The Correct Size?
There are some situations where you might not be able to take carry-on luggage onto the plane. This can happen if the airplane had some technical issues and the flight was transferred to a smaller aircraft.
It could also be that the plane is too full or there is too much weight on board.
If this happens then you will be allowed to remove any important items from your carry-on and transfer it to your item bag.
For example, you might keep certain medications on your person, or you could have valuable items in your carry-on that you don’t want to leave unattended.
Most of the time, your purse won’t count as carry-on luggage and it will be classed as a personal item. Make sure your purse is small enough to fit under your seat.