What Size are Carry On Suitcases?

Airlines around the world have specific sizes for carry-on luggage. You may ask: “what size are carry on suitcases?” Look no further than this article to answer your questions.

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what size are carry on suitcases
what size are carry on suitcases
what size are carry on suitcases

Most seasoned travelers use a carry-on for short trip. Due to their size, they can fit under your airplane seat or in the overhead compartment. Other travelers use the carry-on luggage for personal items that they do not want to check-in, like jewelry, fresh clothes for arrival, etc. No matter the reasoning, size here is an important consideration.

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Why Carry on Luggage Size Matters-What Size are Carry On Suitcases

Airlines around the world have specific standards for carry-on luggage. To add to the confusion, and frustration their standards differ. International Air Transport Association (IATA) has come to the rescue with an “optimum” for cabin luggage.

IATA’s recommendation is a suitcase of 55 x 35 x 20 cm (21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches). On an aircraft of 120 seats, this allows one carry bag storage opportunity per passenger. The luggage allowance is smaller than the maximum standard for  Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Thomas Cook, and Ryanair.

The maximum size allowance for the above airlines is currently leading over full overhead lockers. Storing excess luggage ends up in the main hold, thus separating passengers from their belongings.

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Changes-What Size are Carry On Suitcases

The change to IATA’s recommendation means no more carry-on luggage inconsistencies and better passenger experiences. Following the IATA bag guidelines, smaller planes with less than 120 passengers may not benefit. But standard planes like Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 will benefit from these guidelines.

The good news is, Airbus is increasing their overhead locker space to the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) “standard” size – 55.8cm x 36.8cm x 22.9cm (21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches)on the Airbus A320. This increase will provide more than 60% baggage space for carry-on luggage.

The “IATA Cabin OK” logo sticker signifies if a suitcase meets its size guidelines.  IATA stickers help airlines to process carry-on baggage quicker. Major baggage manufacturers are developing product lines to adhere to the IATA guidelines. You can expect to find carry-on bags with  IATA’s identifying label in retail shops.

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Weight Requirements– What Size are Carry On Suitcases

Size is not the only restriction airlines place on carry-on luggage, but the weight of your luggage is also restricted. Most of the time, airlines do not bother weighing your luggage. But some airlines across the globe do weigh passenger cabin bags. Know the weight allowance for carry-on luggage requirements specification of your chosen airline.

Airlines are less likely to weigh carry-on bags if they are not heavy and bulky. Carry-on luggage weight requirements are between 5kg to 12kg per person for most airlines. International airlines, like Australia and Asia, limit carry-on luggage to 7kg per person.

laptops-What Size are Carry On Suitcases

Weight is a big concern for travelers as the laptop weight can significantly increase the weight of your bag. The carry-on luggage of regular travelers usually weighs about 10kg, including a laptop. It places them over the weight limit with most airlines.

Perhaps this is a  cause of concern for many people. By the time they have added up the weight of your bag and laptop, it does not leave much space for other things. Luggage weight varies, but it is often over 10 kg, so we are over the limits for most airlines we fly.

Here are a couple of ideas that avoid getting your luggage weight at an airport:

Check-in online –

If you print a boarding pass, you can go through to security without going to the check-in desk. It is usually at the check-in desk where they weigh your bag.

Personal the extra item – What Size are Carry On Suitcases

Airlines allow one extra personal item apart from carry-on luggage. You can remove any heavy item from your carry-on. Things like your laptop or camera and return it to the suitcase afterward. A rule to apply if you can not avoid the check-in -desk.

It will also work when they weigh your bag at the gate. If you did not maximize your weight allowance, weighing is unnecessary. Always check with the airlines if the weight of your carry-on luggage includes personalized items.

Compress your belongings – What Size are Carry On Suitcases

Bulky bags look heavy and can result in a request from the airline for you to weigh them.  Compression bags or packing cubes can reduce the size of clothes and make your suitcase look less bulky. The airline will be less likely to want to weigh your luggage.

Put it on – What Size are Carry On Suitcases

Put on your heaviest shoes and garments for the flight. Good advice if you go on a ski trip. Tie your jumper or coat around your waist if it is too warm.

The weight issue should not prevent you from traveling with a carry-on. It is unlikely that you will end up with the airlines checking your luggage, and by using the above tips and minding the weight of your luggage, you will be able to work around it. Here are some carry-on suitcases that are travel experts recommend and adhere to the size guidelines of most airlines.

Related Questions-What Size are Carry On Suitcases

What does IATA stand for?

 International Air Transport Association IATA recommends an optimum cabin luggage size that provides ample luggage stowing space in overhead compartments for most aircraft. Their recommendation is suitcase sizes of  55 x 35 x 20 cm (21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches) for 120 seat aircraft’s and bigger. It is smaller than what most airlines allow a present.

Do airlines weigh carry-on luggage?-Size for Carry on Luggage

The airline also restricts the weight of your carry-on luggage. While most airlines are more concerned by the size of your carry-on bag, some airlines across the globe do actually weigh your bag.  One way to avoid this is to check in your suitcases online. With a  boarding pass, you can skip the check-in desk. 

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