Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- United Airlines Carry-On Liquid Policy
- The TSA 3-1-1 Rule
- Can You Bring Food on a United Airlines Flight?
- United Airlines Carry-On Pet Policy
- Prohibited and Restricted Items
If you’re planning to travel with 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 assume what works for one will work for all airlines.
Here are the United Airlines Carry-On rules you need to be aware of regarding size, weight, fees, liquids, etc.
United Carry-On Size & Weight Restrictions
United Airlines allows one personal item and one carry-on bag at no charge.
United Airlines Carry-On Size Restrictions
United Airlines’ size requirements for a carry-on are 22″ x 14″ x 9″.
United Airlines Personal Item Size & Fees
Personal items on United should fit underneath the seat in front of you. The maximum dimensions for your personal item are 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches.
Other items you can carry on board
In addition to your one carry-on bag and personal item, you can bring the following items on board:
- A jacket
- An umbrella
- Reading material
- Food or merchandise that you buy in the airport
- Assistive devices (such as a collapsible wheelchair, cane, crutches, medical device for prescription medications, or portable oxygen concentrator)
- FAA-approved child restraint system or safety seat
- Diaper bag
- Breast pump
If any bags are larger than the carry-on size listed above, or if you bring additional items, you’ll have to check them to your final destination. Additional charges may apply.
If you aren’t sure what size your carry-on is, United Airlines 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.
United Airlines Carry-On Guidelines for Basic Economy
If you’re traveling on a Basic Economy ticket, you can only bring one personal item on board.
If you bring a full-size carry-on bag to the gate, you’ll need to check your bag. You’ll also have to pay the applicable checked bag fee and a $25 gate handling charge. To keep it simple at the gate, you’ll need to pay by credit card.
If you’re traveling on a Basic Economy ticket and one of the following exceptions apply, you can follow our normal carry-on bag policy:
- Customers traveling across the Atlantic Ocean
- MileagePlus Premier members or companions traveling on the same reservation
- Primary cardmembers of qualifying MileagePlus credit cards or Star Alliance Gold members
United Airlines Carry-On Weight Limits
As a rule, United Airlines does not impose weight restrictions on carry-on bags. However, when checking a bag, the weight limit is 50 pounds per bag.
United Airlines Carry-On Rules for Regional Planes
United Airlines regional partner airlines use smaller planes with limited overhead space. If your carry-on is larger than the personal item dimensions, you must gate check your bag before boarding.
All carry-on bags within United Airlines’ size restrictions will be gate checked, free of charge, during the boarding process and returned upon deplaning. Depending on the time of year and where you are flying, this will give you the opportunity to hang out with 50 of your newest friends in either a steaming hot or freezing cold jet bridge. Fun!
Despite this “official rule” there are some bags you can carry on a regional jet. Check out this article on the best carry-on luggage for regional jets.
United Airlines Carry-On Liquid Policy
The rules for carry-on liquids are set by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration), not by the airline. United doesn’t have its own specific Liquids Policy, they just enforce the rules and policies of the TSA.
It’s also important to note that the rules for bringing a “liquid” in your carry-on bag are different from the rules that govern what you can bring in your checked luggage.
Liquids in a carry-on bag must be 3.4 ounces or smaller and fit in a 1 quart-sized container. Anything larger must be placed in your checked luggage.
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, perfume, mouthwash, deodorant, 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 checkpoint.
Here is a little video to help illustrate:
Can You Bring Food on a United Airlines Flight?
The TSA also sets the rules for what type of food you can bring on the plane. There are two different scenarios pertaining to food:
- The food you bring with you from home, and
- The food you buy at the airport after you have gone through security.
When bringing food with you from home, an important thing to note is the classification of liquid vs. solid foods.
A general rule of thumb 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).
Here’s a link to the TSA website advising what food can be brought with you on your United Airlines flight. This applies to food you are bringing from home through security. However, once you are through security, you can bring just about any food on the plane that you buy at the airport.
United Airlines Carry-On Pet Policy
A pet traveling in the main cabin must be carried in an approved hard-sided or soft-sided kennel. The kennel must fit completely under the seat in front of you and remain there at all times.
The maximum dimensions for hard-sided kennels are 17.5 inches long x 12 inches wide x 7.5 inches high (44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm). The recommended maximum dimensions for soft-sided kennels are 18 inches long x 11 inches wide x 11 inches high (46 cm x 28 cm x 28 cm).
Does United Airlines Charge to Bring a Pet On Board With You?
Yes. There is a charge to bring a pet on board with you. Below is a chart showing the pet fees United Airlines charges each way. Double them for a round-trip flight.
|To/From Destination||Pet Fee Each Way|
|Approved United Pet Carrying Destinations||$ 125.00|
Pets can’t be in-cabin on flights to, from, or through Hawaii and these international cities, but they are allowed in-cabin on select United flights. Pit Bull breed dogs aren’t allowed in the cabin.
Service animals have some separate guidelines. Here is a link to United Airlines’ service animal rules.
TSA Approved Pet Carrier for United Airlines
Prohibited and Restricted Items
There are certain items that are considered dangerous and classified as hazardous material. Dangerous goods are prohibited from both your carry-on and checked bag on all flights. These rules are not specific to any airline and are mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Items considered “dangerous goods” are prohibited under United’s carry-on policy and include the following:
- Firearms and ammunition
- Mace and pepper spray
- Poisonous, infectious, or radioactive substances
- Sharp objects (knives, cutting instruments, razors, ice picks, carpet knives, metal scissors, box cutters, or similar items)
- Any beverage with more than 70 percent alcohol
- Camping equipment containing flammable liquids or gasses
- Flammable liquids, including gasoline and kerosene
- Hoverboards, including electric skateboards, balance boards, gravity boards, and self-balancing devices
- Medical or liquid oxygen
- Torch lighters, lighter fluid, strike-anywhere matches, and fire starters
- Wet-cell batteries
- Motor oil, hydraulic fluids, brake fluid, and transmission fluid
The following items are not considered “dangerous goods” and are allowed when packaged properly, in accordance with FAA regulations
- Hiking or trekking poles
- Hair dryer/Straightener
- Hair spray
- Sunscreen/bug spray
- Food as a carry on
- Fishing hooks
- Fragile glass items
A complete list can be found on the FAA and TSA websites.
United Airlines Carry-On Fees
United Airlines does not charge a fee for carry-on baggage that meets their size requirements. If your bag is too large and does not meet United Airlines’ carry-on restrictions, you may be charged a fee to gate check it.
Here is a link to United’s Carry-On Rules page to make sure you have the most up-to-date information.
More related articles…
- 5 Tips to Travel with Just One Bag
- How to Use Packing Cubes to Travel with Just A Carry-On
- The Best Carry-On Bags for Regional and Small Jets
- 5 Essential Things to Stay Organized While on The Road
- How to get a refund from United Airlines