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If you’re planning to travel with just a carry-on, you’ll need to be up to speed with airline carry-on policies. Specifically, the various rules and regulations each carrier has for what you can and cannot “carry-on” to the plane. Each airline’s rules are different, so don’t just assume what works for one will work for all airlines.
If you are going to be flying Emirates, then here are the Emirates carry-on rules you need to be aware of:
Emirates Carry-On Rules and Bag Guidelines
Emirates has a very strict carry on policy so you will definitely need to plan ahead. Economy Class passengers are only permitted one piece of carry‑on baggage. This is not like most airlines that allow a carry on and a personal item, with Emirates its just one item total. First Class and Business Class passengers are permitted two pieces of carry‑on baggage: one briefcase plus either one handbag or one garment bag.
All carry-on baggage must fit either under the seat in front of you or in one of the overhead lockers. Baggage may not be placed behind your legs, in the aisles, or in front of emergency exits.
What does Emirates consider a Personal item?
Personal items include a purse, briefcase, laptop, backpack, shopping bag or a similar sized item.
Duty-free purchases such as liquor, cigarettes and perfume are permitted in reasonable quantities for all service classes.
Emirates Carry-On Dimensions
Emirates size requirements for a carry-on are:
- Briefcase: 45 x 35 x 20 cm (18 x 14 x 8 inches)
- Handbag: 55 x 38 x 20 cm (22 x 15 x 8 inches)
- Garment bag: 20 cm (8 inches) thick when folded
- Carry‑on baggage: 55 x 38 x 20 cm (22 x 15 x 8 inches)
If you aren’t sure what size your carry on is, Emirates typically provides “size check templates” located at their ticketing counters and departure gates. But if you wait until you get to either of these locations and have an issue, it’s too late.
If the bag is too big or too heavy, you’re going to have to pay a fee, so it’s always better to know your bag size and the limitations in advance.
Carry-On Weight Limits
Emirates requires carry-on bags to weigh less than 7 kg (15 lbs.). However, they don’t weight your carry-on items prior to boarding, so you’re generally not going to have a problem if it’s too heavy. The weight issue applies to checked baggage more than carry-on bags, since they weigh your checked bags when you check in for you flight.
Prohibited Items and Dangerous Goods
There are certain items that are considered dangerous and classified as hazardous material. Dangerous goods are prohibited from both your carry-on and checked bags on all flights. These rules are not specific to any airline and are mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency.
One more way to find them is by reviewing the Emirates dangerous goods policy.
Banned substances in the UAE
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a very strict, zero-tolerance, anti-drugs policy. All airports within the UAE conduct thorough searches using highly sensitive equipment. Possession of any amounts of illegal drugs by travelers entering or transiting the UAE will be subject to punishment.
Bringing medication into the UAE
If you’re carrying controlled medication into the UAE, you must apply for approval through the Ministry of Health (MoH) website.
All liquids, gels and aerosols, pastes, lotions, creams, drinks and other items of similar consistency must be in containers with a capacity no greater than 3.4 fl oz. Those carried in containers larger than 100ml will not be accepted, even if the container is only partially filled. These containers must be placed in a transparent re-sealable plastic bag of a maximum capacity not exceeding 33.8 fl oz.
Larger bags or bags that are non-sealable, such as fold-over sandwich bags, are not allowed. The containers must fit comfortably within the plastic bag, which must be completely closed. You will need to present the plastic bag for visual examination at the security screening point. Only one bag per customer will be permitted.
The TSA 3-1-1 Rule
Each passenger may carry liquids, gels and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels and aerosols. Common travel items that must comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule include toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash and lotion.
Any liquid that does not meet the TSA 3-1-1 rule will either have to be checked with your luggage or will be thrown away at the security check point.
Here is a little video to help illustrate:
There are two different scenarios pertaining to food:
- Food you bring with you to the airport, and
- Food you buy at the airport, after you have gone through security.
An important thing to note is the classification of liquid foods vs. solid foods.
The general rule is “If you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it, or pour it, then it’s considered a liquid or gel”. This means your food may be considered a liquid and will fall under the TSA 3-1-1 liquids rule, which mandates that any liquid, gel, cream, aerosol, or paste in a carry-on must be 3.4 ounces or less, and fit in one quart-size resealable bag (only one such bag is allowed per passenger).
The TSA website advises what food can be brought with you on your flight. This applies to food you are bringing from home through security. Once you get through security, you can bring just about any food on the plane that you buy at the airport.
Emirates Carry-On Pet Policy
Animals are not permitted in the cabin of Emirates flights, with the exception of falcons between Dubai and certain destinations in Pakistan and guide dogs for the blind (please see Emirates information for passengers with special needs).