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Carry-On Baggage Fees

With so many airlines charging for checked baggage, many travelers try to save money by bringing their bags with them on the plane. These bags can be divided in two categories: Personal Items and Carry-on bags.

Personal items are anything that can fit under the seat in front of you. Examples include purses, small backpacks, and briefcases. All domestic U.S. airlines allow 1 free personal item.

Personal Item Fees (1)SizeWeight
AmericanFree18 x 14 x 8 inches (2)N/A
DeltaFreeN/A (2)No Restriction
SouthwestFree18.5 x 13.5 x 8.5 inches (2)N/A
UnitedFree17 x 10 x 9 inches (2)N/A
AlaskaFreeN/A (2)N/A
JetBlueFree17 x 13 x 8 inches (2)No Restriction
SpiritFree (2)(3)18 x 14 x 8 inches (2)(3)N/A
FrontierFree (2)(3)18 x 14 x 8 inches (2)(3)N/A
AllegiantFree (2)(3)16 x 15 x 7 inches (2)(3)N/A
HawaiianFreeMust fit under the seatN/A
Sun CountryFree (2)(3)17 x 13 x 9 inches (2)N/A
(1) Examples of personal items include: purses, briefcases, and backpacks.
(2) MUST fit under the seat in front of you.
(3) Bags that do do fit in size checking box at airport will be charged as a carry-on item.

Carry-on bags are the bags that you are going to place into the overhead bin. The most common example is a roller board suitcase, but any item too big to fit under the seat would be considered a carry-on. Did you know that some airlines charge for carry-on bags? Let’s take a look at the chart below:

Carry-on FeesSizeWeight
AmericanFree22 x 14 x 9 inchesN/A
DeltaFree22 x 14 x 9 inchesNo Restriction (4)
SouthwestFree24 x 16 x 10 inchesN/A
UnitedFree (5)22 x 14 x 9 inchesN/A
AlaskaFree22 x 14 x 9 inchesNo Restriction (4)
JetBlueFree22 x 14 x 9 inchesNo Restriction (4)
Spirit$37 – 67 (6)22 x 18 x 10 inchesN/A
Frontier$38 – 60 (6)24 x 16 x 10 inches35 lbs.
Allegiant$10 – 75 (6)22 x 14 x 9 inchesN/A
HawaiianFree22 x 14 x 9 inches25 lbs.
Sun Country$30 – 45 (6)24 x 16 x 11 inches35 lbs.
(1) Passengers on a Basic Economy ticket CANNOT bring a carry on. If a carry on is brought they will have to pay the checked bag fee plus a $25 surcharge.
(2) Prices vary greatly depending on route and if purchased during booking, during check-in, or at the gate.
(3) Must be able to lift and place into overhead bin WITHOUT ASSISTANCE.

Carry-on bags must fit into the overhead bins. Most suitcases are limited to 22 inches. Many airlines have a device to check the size of your bag and if it is too big you may have to check it at an additional charge.

All airlines have a strict 2 bag per person policy but some items are exempt from this. Examples include diaper bags, car seats, strollers, wheelchairs, and walkers. Some airlines don’t include any food items but some do. The same is true for camera bags. It is best to carefully read over the carry-on baggage policy posted by your airline.

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Jay Muller

Author of The Flight Advisor

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