Typical Luggage Restrictions: Size, Weight And Contents

Items being put into a case

This guide gives an overview of the luggage size and security restrictions that you need to take into consideration when flying internationally. We will look at carry on and checked luggage, what size luggage is allowed and what common items are you allowed to pack in each.

It is advised that you always check with your airline and relevant government agencies before travelling to check that the information, correct at the time of writing, has not changed or any additional requirements have been added.

Before we get into the finer details of sizes and restrictions for carry on and checked luggage, this info-graphic gives an overview of some of the most popular items carried and whether they are allowed in carry on luggage, checked items or both. 

For a run down on all types of goods and their restrictions, or not, you can visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website (for US, the UK government site for UK, or the national information site for the country that you are flying out of or into).

Luggage Restrictions Infographic

Carry On Luggage Restrictions

The type of bag you use as your carry on is not prescribed so whether a tote, backpack or a standard carry on case (Best Carry On Luggage Review) the following restrictions will apply with regards the size and weight of the bag or case.

So what are you allowed or likely to want to carry in your hand luggage:

In simple terms you will probably have valuables (not directly on your person), a laptop/tablet or books and magazines for some entertainment value, any medication you require and snacks/food you need. If traveling with children, your needs will probably expand somewhat especially if they are babies or toddlers (see our article on flying with children).

With regards laptops and tablets, you should have no issue although these will have to be separated for scanning as you pass through security.

Sports equipment that could be used as a weapon such as baseball bats, hockey sticks etc. are destined for the hold.

The main ‘problem’ areas are likely to be around medicines and fluids whether they be for consumption or cosmetics. The following video gives a run through of the rules around liquids, pastes etc. Note if you are travelling with babies or toddlers some are relaxed although you will need to separate as described.

Once ‘air-side’ you will be able to purchase drinks etc. that you will then be able to take onto the plane.

Checked/Hold Luggage Restrictions

Most items can be stored in the hold. There are some restrictions on things like firearms for example, that can be carried in some circumstances.

The main things that are not allowed in your checked luggage or anywhere on the plane for that matter are items that are potentially highly flammable.

As detailed earlier the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website gives a full run down on whether you can take almost any item you could think of.

Luggage Size and Weight Restrictions

The table below gives an overview of the size and weight restrictions for both carry on and checked luggage. The size of the luggage is either expressed as height x width x depth or as a single measurement that is the allowance if you sum the height, width and depth.

This Information is provided as a guide. You should always consult with your airlines terms and conditions to check what allowances are in place and the cost for baggage. As always beware of packing excessively as further charges may be incurred.

AirlineHand LuggageWeight RestrictionChecked LuggageWeight Restrictions
American Airlines22 x 14 x 9N/A62 in.50 lbs.
Delta Airlines22 x 14 x 9N/A62 in.50 lbs.
United Airlines22 x 14 x 9N/A62 in.50 lbs.
Southwest Airlines10 x 16 x 24N/A62 in.50 lbs.
JetBlue Airways22 x 14 x 9N/A62 in.50 lbs.
Alaska Airlines24 x 17 x 10N/A62 in.50 lbs.
Spirit Airlines22 x 18 x 10N/A62 in.40 lbs.
Frontier Airlines24 x 10 x 1635 lbs62 in.50 lbs.
Hawaiian Airlines22 x 14 x 925 lbs62 in.50 lbs.
Virgin America51 in**30 lbs62 in.50 lbs.
WOW Air22 x 18 x 10N/A62 in.44 lbs.
British Airways22 x 18 x 1051 lbs35.5 x 29.5 x 1650 lbs.
Norwegian Air21.7 x 15.7 x 7.922 lbs118 in70.5 lbs
Korean Air45 in**25 lbs62 in70 lbs
Asiana Airlines21.6 x 15.7 x 7.822 lbs62 in50 lbs
Emirate Airlines22 x 15 x 815 lbs59 in50 lbs
Air India22 x 14 x 817 lbs62 in55 lbs
Turkish Air21.6 x 15.6 x 917.6 lbs62 in44 lbs
Qatar Airlines20 x 15 x 1015 lbs62 in2 bags (50 lbs per bag)
Japan Airlines22 x 16 x 1022 lbs79 in50 lbs
Allegiant Air22 x 14 x 925 lbs80 in40 lbs
Volaris*22.4 x 15.7 x 12.9*42 lbs including personal item62 in55 lbs
Lufthansa22 x 16 x 917 lbs62 in50 lbs
Air Canada9 x 15.5 x 21.522 lbs62 in50 lbs
Air France21 x 13 x 926 lbs62 in50 lbs
Copa Airlines46 in**22 lbs62 in52 lbs
Ryanair21.6 x 15.7 x 7.822 lbsN/Afrom 15 lbs-44 lbs
WestJet21 x 9 x 15N/A62 in50 lbs
Singapore Airlines45 in**15 lbs62 in66 lbs
Aer Lingus21.5 x 15.5 x 9.522 lbs62 in50 lbs
Interjet21 x 15 x 922 lbsN/A55 lbs
Caribbean Airlines45 in**22 lbs62 in50 lbs
Philippine Airlines45 in**15 lbs62 in50 lbs
Icelandair21.6 x 15.7 x 7.822 lbs62 in50 lbs
easyJet21.6 x 15.7 x 7.8N/A108 inup to 50 lbs

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