What is allowed as carry-on luggage? What size are you allowed to take with you? Can I take other personal items on board the aircraft? Frequent flyers and business travelers also regularly ask themselves these questions.
After all, the answers may differ depending on the airline in Europe, North America or Asia.
Read our ultimate guide to understand the regulations of the world's major airlines and get practical tips on compliant hand baggage for your next trip.
What is allowed in carry-on luggage?
The question of what can be carried on board in carry-on luggage is usually about technology and liquids. Therefore, you should know that these things are allowed on the plane: Laptops, tablets, smartphones, e-book readers, MP3 players, cameras, spare batteries, power banks, e-cigarettes.
Depending on the airline and booking class, you may be able to take several pieces of luggage into the cabin or additional bags, such as a briefcase or laptop. In addition, a maximum weight of 8 or 10 kg (17,6 lbs. or 22,0 lbs.) is often specified for carry-on luggage.
However, this is rarely checked - but you should be able to stow your suitcase in the luggage rack.
Carry-on luggage liquids
If you have liquids or gel-like substances in your carry-on luggage (e.g. cosmetics), these must be transported in transparent containers in most countries. The current maximum quantity per container is 100 ml (3.4 oz). This also applies to medicines carried. If your requirement is higher than 100 ml (3.4 oz), you must provide proof of this. Baby food may also be carried in cabin baggage.
For a quick security check, the containers should also be transported in a transparent plastic bag - or in one of our toiletry bags with transparent windows. An exception is liquid duty-free products purchased at an international airport or on board an aircraft. The 100 ml (3.4 oz) limit does not apply to these, but they must be transported in a sealed bag with proof of purchase.
What is not allowed inside your carry-on luggage?
If you are on a short business trip or on a weekend trip to explore the most luxurious destinations world-wide, you will be happy to have all the necessary items in your carry-on luggage.
This saves you the stress at the baggage carousel and you always have everything important with you. In these cases, however, please make sure that you only store permitted items in your carry-on luggage. Because everything that is not allowed, you will have to leave at the security check.
Dangerous objects that you are not allowed to take on board the aircraft include: pointed or sharp objects such as knives, scissors, blunt objects such as baseball bats, flammable or explosive materials, weapons and ammunition, tools, poisons and household chemicals, radioactive materials, petrol and gas.
In addition, on flights to the USA, no powders or powder-like substances with a volume of more than 350 ml (11.8 oz) may be carried in carry-on luggage; even if the volume is less than 350 ml (11.8 oz), the carry-on is not guaranteed.
What is the maximum size for a carry-on luggage?
Do you know the feeling? You stand at the baggage carousel, suitcases in all colors and sizes are passing by. Only yours is not there. Time passes, the restlessness grows. Well, maybe you are just standing at the wrong conveyor belt. If your suitcase is lost after all, you probably want a cabin trolley that will hold your necessary things for 3-4 days - and you don't have to check it in. But how large can this carry-on luggage be?
With most airlines you are on the safe side with your suitcase if it complies with the dimensions recommended by IATA: maximum 55 x 40 x 20 cm (L x W x H) = 115 cm, including handles and wheels. You are probably familiar with the mesh baskets in the check-in area, which you can use to check whether your hand luggage is allowed. If the airline staff should find that your hand baggage is too large or too heavy, you will unfortunately have to check it in for a fee.
At VOCIER we got your covered as all our carry-on suitcases comply with IATA regulations.
What are "personal items"?
Especially the bigger international airlines allow you to take one more personal item on board in addition to your carry-on luggage in standard dimensions.
These are, for example, handbags, briefcases, laptop bags, small backpacks, camera or diaper bags or other items in the dimensions permitted by the respective airline.
But please note: Due to Corona there may be some restrictions.
Carry-on rules: Airlines at a glance
Each airline often has individual regulations for the dimensions, weight or number of hand luggage items. Here you will therefore find details about individual airlines.
Lufthansa hand baggage
In Economy or Premium Economy Class you can take one piece of hand luggage (trolley, foldable clothes bag or compact foldable buggy), in Business or First Class you can take two pieces of luggage before the Corona measures. In addition, an additional small piece of luggage was allowed (max. 40 x 30 x 10 cm), e.g. a laptop bag or handbag. Currently, however, only one piece of luggage is allowed. Additional hand luggage can be checked in free of charge.
Dimensions for hand luggage: max. 55 x 40 x 23 cm, up to 8 kg
Dimensions for foldable garment bags: max. 57 x 54 x 15 cm
Are you hanging on to your old laptop? Then keep in mind that 15-inch MacBook Pros sold between 2005 and 2017 will not be carried on a Lufthansa aircraft without a new battery. For updated carry-on baggage policies, click here.
easyJet cabin baggage
With easyJet, you are allowed one piece of carry-on baggage on the plane. There is currently also a corona-based special regulation: Those traveling to or from Italian airports are not allowed to stow luggage in the luggage compartments above the seats. Therefore, at present, permitted hand luggage may not exceed the dimensions of 45 x 36 x 20 cm so that you can place it under the seat in front of you. However, hand baggage in the usual dimensions can be checked in free of charge.
Dimensions for hand baggage currently: max. 45 x 36 x 20 cm
Dimensions for hand luggage (without corona restrictions): max. 56 x 45 x 25 cm
Anyone who has an easyJet Plus! card, flies with the FLEXI fare or has a seat with ample legroom can carry one more piece of baggage after the Corona rules expire. Maximum size: 45 x 36 x 20 cm.
Find out more about the current rules on hand baggage at easyJet.
Condor hand baggage rules
At the moment, Condor only allows you to take one piece of hand luggage on board. Further pieces of luggage, which would be allowed according to the booked tariff, can be checked in free of charge.
Dimensions for free hand luggage in all tariffs: max. 40 x 30 x 10 cm
In the Economy Classic, Economy Best and Business tariffs, the maximum dimensions of free cabin baggage are 55 x 40 x 20 cm. In the tariff Economy Light this costs an extra charge starting from 9,99 €.
Incidentally, Condor does not currently carry Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones for security reasons.
Here you can find the current regulations on hand luggage.
Aeroflot regulations for hand luggage
One piece of hand baggage per passenger is allowed. In Economy and Comfort Class the maximum weight is 10 kg, in Business Class 15 kg.
Dimensions for hand luggage: max. 55 x 40 x 25 cm
Additionally allowed are e.g. a bag with overall dimensions of maximum 80 cm or a handbag or briefcase (maximum 5 kg).
Please check the Aeroflot website for the current hand baggage rules.
Air France hand baggage
In economy class, one piece of hand luggage and one additional item (e.g. handbag, laptop bag) are allowed. In the Premium Economy, Business or La Première tariffs, you may take two pieces of hand baggage and one additional item. The maximum weight for all cabin baggage is 12 kg and 18 kg respectively.
Dimensions for hand baggage: max. 55 x 35 x 25 cm
Other personal object: max. 40 x 30 x 15 cm
The Air France website contains the current regulations.
American Airlines hand baggage
The Basic Economy fare allows you to carry one piece of hand luggage and one additional personal item. Soft cloth bags with a maximum edge length of 130 cm (L + W + H) are also allowed as hand luggage.
Dimensions for hand luggage: max. 56 x 36 x 23 cm
Personal object: max. 45 x 35 x 20 cm
American Airlines is also currently not carrying Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones for security reasons.
For more current rules, please visit the website.
British Airways rules for hand baggage
British Airways allows you to carry one piece of hand baggage in the usual size. A handbag or laptop bag is also allowed. If the flights are overbooked, you may have to check in your hand baggage.
Dimensions for hand luggage: max. 56 x 45 x 25 cm
handbag/laptop bag: max. 40 x 30 x 15 cm
Further details on hand baggage with British Airways can be found here.
Delta Air Lines cabin baggage
Delta Airlines allows one piece of hand luggage and one personal item (handbag, laptop or similar) at no extra charge. One of these must be small enough to fit under the front seat.
Dimensions for carry-on luggage: max. 56 x 35 x 23 cm
On Delta Connection flights and in aircraft with less than 50 seats, only personal items may be taken on board. For flights from Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai, there is also a maximum hand baggage weight of 7 kg and 10 kg respectively. You can find more details here.
KLM carry-on luggage
For Economy Class: 1 piece of hand luggage and 1 additional piece of luggage. In Business Class 2 pieces of hand luggage and 1 additional piece of luggage are allowed.
Dimensions for hand luggage: max. 55 x 35 x 25 cm
Additional luggage: max. 40 x 30 x 15 cm
Larger suitcases may have to be checked in free of charge, even if they are of the maximum dimensions. Please check KLM's website for all current regulations.
Ryanair hand baggage
In all tariffs a relatively small piece of luggage is allowed free of charge, e.g. a handbag, a rucksack or a laptop bag. Priority customers are allowed one additional, larger piece of hand baggage with standard dimensions.
Dimensions for free hand baggage: max. 40 x 25 x 20 cm
With priority surcharge additionally: max. 55 x 40 x 20 cm
All current baggage policies of Ryanair can be found here.
SAS Scandinavian Airlines hand baggage
Also with SAS, you are currently only allowed to take 1 piece of hand luggage on board, regardless of the class you have booked.
Dimensions for hand luggage: max. 55 x 40 x 23 cm
Dimensions for personal items: max. 40 x 30 x 15 cm
Normally, customers with SAS Plus tickets to and from Asia and the USA as well as SAS Business customers can carry 2 x hand luggage. For up-to-date information, please visit the SAS website.
United Airlines carry-on luggage
On most flights 1 piece of hand luggage and 1 personal item are allowed. Customers holding Basic Economy tickets on flights within the U.S. and on many United Express flights may only take one personal item on board.
Dimensions for hand baggage: max. 56 x 35 x 22 cm
Dimensions for personal items: max. 22 x 25 x 43 cm
Please be aware of possible recent changes in the regulations concerning hand luggage. You will find these on the websites of the airlines and here with us, as we are constantly updating the article.