Air Travel Carry On Luggage Regulations

Air Travel Carry On Luggage Regulations To Follow
Items Allowed in Carry On Luggage Regulations

Like me, I’m sure you’re always wondering just what exactly are the Air Travel Carry On Luggage Regulations and what is allowed and what’s not.  Have you been one of the unfortunate victims of carry on item confiscation at the airport security line? Is it perhaps you were not quite aware of what you were allowed to carry in that bag in the first place?  Well relax, you are definitely not alone!

I am going to try to clear things up on just what is and what is not acceptable to pack in your carry on baggage. There are strict rules for carry on that you should be aware of before travel and these rules keep changing!

You certainly do not want some necessary items needed for your family holidays confiscated at the airport!

First, have a quick look at this short video from a Travelocity senior editor on carry on restrictions. Some changes to Carry On Rules that took place in 2014.

View on …

So, as you can see from the video, people are still trying to bring restricted items onto airplanes in box loads!  It is expensive to check your luggage these days if you travel economy class like our family normally have to, and that’s why more and more people are choosing to carry their luggage onto the plane these days to help save money.  This is why it is even more important to know what the luggage regulations are for each individual airline.

So nowadays, it is very important to know what you can put into the bags you are bringing on board.

Know What is Acceptable in Your Carry On Bags

What can I take on board my flight that is acceptable? Have you had that expensive can of body spray, perfume or your nail clippers taken from you? We have and it is frustrating to watch that pricey can of body spray taken from your bag and thrown into a big barrel by airport security. Still today, as you saw in the video above, barrels of items are confiscated out of bags every day at airports worldwide.

The article also said that it is because people are still unsure of what they can or cannot take on board an airplane. Well, I am going to try and shed a little light on the subject and hopefully you will have a better idea of what is acceptable and what is not.

Here goes!

Carry On Luggage Regulations


Most major airlines do allow each passenger to take two pieces of carry on luggage. These are size restricted pieces of baggage!  See my recent update note below  (Maximum Hand Luggage Size) for some new size limitation restrictions now in force on most major airlines.  Usually the second is a laptop computer case, large camera case or large purse of some sort or duty – free purchases.

Items Must Fit Under the Seat or In the Storage Locker Above

Be sure to check with your chosen airline prior to departure for their specific rules and regulations regarding carry on baggage.

* Note *

Airlines are always changing their rules for carry on items, so be sure to double check prior to travel with your airline. Many are now charging extra for items taken on the plane, size limits and so on. Visit their websites for more details or call the airlines directly.

You should always put your wallets, cash, traveler’s checks, personal identification and travel documents into your carry on. You should never have these items leave your possession while in transit. I strongly suggest never putting any of the above listed items in your checked baggage!  As well, be sure to check out my latest article on Air Travel Theft, a shocking realization of theft that is now a common occurrence taking place on flights.


Restricted Carry On Bags


Children May Take a Carry On Bag

Children may also have their own personal carry on bags. With most major airlines now charging a fee for checked baggage, it’s easy to see why carry on is becoming more and more popular. Pack light with only the things you will use on your trip and you will soon discover the convenience of not having to endure those lengthy waits at the airport luggage turn styles.

What Can I Pack in My Carry On Luggage?

For those passengers with infants or small children, diaper bags, strollers with limitations and special needs items are normally allowed in addition to your normal allowance.  Again, be sure to check with each individual airline prior to departure.

Carry On Liquid Rules

100 ml (3.4 oz) is the maximum allowable container size for liquids or gels in your carry on luggage. As well, these containers must be displayed in clear plastic bags  for easy viewing at airport security checkpoints.

Carry On Luggage Regulations – Tip:

Ziplock or sandwich bags work great and come in handy for many other uses as well when traveling!

Family Going on Vacation

Most stores now have specific isles set aside for typical toiletries and so forth that are within the legal rules and sizes for carry on.  These items include soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, deodorants, shaving cream, beauty products and so on, very convenient for those short journeys.

Typical prohibited items include those sharp, piercing or cutting objects for obvious security reasons. Such typical items include:

  • Razor blades and or straight razors
  • Knives of any length or size ( See Video Above for New Rules Effective 2014)
  • Box cutters, hatchets
  • Tools such as screwdrivers, drills, saws
  • Sports items like darts, skates, fishing tackle and boxes, crossbows and arrows and such.


Checked Bags

Carry On Luggage Regulations – Update:

It was announced that sharp tipped scissors and small pocket knives are now allowed in your carry-on luggage. Again, it is best to check before your flight to confirm this rule is still in effect.  Here is the general restriction allowance for this item:

Sharp-tipped scissors and small pocket knives with blades measuring 6 cm (2.4 in) or less, and all round-tipped scissors

There are also medical exceptions for syringes and needles that are accompanied with printed prescriptions and so forth.  Again, it is always best to check before departure with the airline you are traveling on. There are a couple of excellent travel information resource sites with some very useful advice for North American traveler’s in regards to this topic that I have included below for your convenience:

Acceptable Food Allowed to Carry On the Aircraft

healthy snacks

Now that most airlines are charging for meals in Economy Class, more and more people are choosing to bring their own meals or snacks on board. I know we do, but haven’t always known just was is acceptable and what is not. Below, is a short list of the more common carry on food items that are permitted to be taken onto the aircraft.

You can bring solid food in both carry-on and checked baggage. Examples of solid food products include;

meat, bread, fruits, vegetables, sandwiches, chips, cookies, cakes, muffins, granola bars, hard candies, cheese, nuts, crackers, chocolate bars and other similar food items.

With a little pre-travel planning and knowing what you can put into your carry on, will save you time, money and frustration in the airport security check point.

Carry On Luggage Regulations – Update:

New Carry On Rules
Write for Gr8 Travel TipsNumerous major airlines have recently made changes to carry-on luggage restrictions. Now, you should expect to be stopped at the boarding gate for having over sized luggage. That large carry on you are used to bringing on board, may be checked and tagged at the gate.Luggage sizes are starting to reduce in size from 51 linear inches down to 45 linear inches.Again, check with your airline before travel to avoid unexpected surprises! 🙁

Carry On Luggage Regulations – Update July 2015:

The carry on luggage dilemma continues!

I know I continue to be frustrated with those overhead luggage bin hogs!  Airlines are working to try to solve this now serious issue.  One great alternative and that one airlines are considering is checking carry-on luggage prior to boarding and to save time.

I think that’s a great idea! 🙂

As well,  the  International Air Transport Association had suggested a maximum size limit legislation for all airlines.  Another possible suggestion but not going over very well!  But just in case and for those of you looking at purchasing new baggage, then I would try to stick within their suggested limits …

“suitcase with the maximum dimensions of 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches would be an optimum size”

Here’s an example of Air Canada’s Carry On Luggage Size:

Standard article
Maximum size 23 cm x 40 cm x 55 cm (9 in x 15.5 in x 21.5 in) Wheels and handles included.
Maximum weight 10 kg (22 lb)
All destinations Carry-on baggage allowance*: 1 standard article and 1 personal article



So there you have it!  Do be sure to check with your individual carrier on what their limitations are and note that carry on item restrictions seem to be changing at a moments notice!

Safe travels!

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