Carry-on size?

What is the largest size allowed for a carry-on bag for airlines? I want to buy the biggest possible carry-on i can get…but i dont’ know what the largest allowable size is for bringing on the plane.

Jeff Hwozdecki

Each airline has its own size restriction, Jeff.

I always read on the back of the ticket coupon something like “US passengers are allowed up to 70 pound / 30 kgs” or some such thing, but have never understood how that works. Most airlines only allow 20 kgs in the hold and 7 kgs in the overhead compartment, but budget airlines may allow even less. eg. Air Asia, the continent’s largest budget carrier, only allows 15 kgs of stowed luggage. Airline websites also usually give the maximum dimensions of bags allowed on their planes, and it can all get quite complicated.

As Stray Dog said, it varies from airline to airline, and there is that odd clause about Americans (even on European / Asian airlines). Could anyone explain that one to me?

Edit: Sorry, just read the OP correctly this time. Carry-on is usually 7 kgs. Dimensions for carry-ons are also more universal / standardized, as far as I know, Stray Dog. eg. At Johannesburg airport they have a contraption which you place your bag in/on which checks weight and shape. It is used for passengers on all the departing airlines, whatever the destination.

I stand corrected. :blush:

As a general rule covering most airlines, carry-on must be less than 115cm total of all dimensions, eg H20 + L55 + W40 = Total 115cm. Some are slightly more, some slightly less, some explicitly state each dimension. Any reputable manufacturer of carry-on luggage includes a card stating conformity and also a list of major airline rules. 7kg is generally OK, some are as low as 5 some American airlines as much as 18. I’ve only ever been asked to weigh once and never been questioned on dimensions.

One thing to be aware of is this: Once I bought luggage specifically to maximise the carry on dimensions. Problem is, the luggage itself (when empty) weighs something like 4.5 kg, so even half filling it up always takes it waaaaay over 7kg. Usually they let you away with maybe 10kg, but they are getting more strict about this and have no hesitation in forcing you to check the carry on in if it is over (and pay excess baggage if your total is exceeded)
The moral of the story (for me) is, don’t buy luggage with the max carry on dimensions. Go for something slightly smaller and light weight, so you can put plenty of stuff in there if you need to.

7 kgs max weight
22x14x9 inches standard measurement

Hwozdecki, don’t get the biggest you can get because if you can’t even carry it or put it in the overhead it’s gonna be annoying. And trust me, you won’t be reading all three novels you never read in the last five years, or finally organizing that photo collection…

I think a 40-50 liter backpack is the best carry on luggage. You can fillit with all you needs for be stranded anywhere, it’s light weight, and flexibel enough to be fitted into the compartments.

How often do they actuallyu weigh your carry-on luggage though. Last time I came back to Taiwan, I took some petanque balls in my carry-on bag that weighed 7KG by themselves.


[quote=“Bu Lai En”]How often do they actuallyu weigh your carry-on luggage though. Last time I came back to Taiwan, I took some petanque balls in my carry-on bag that weighed 7KG by themselves.

depends on the place and time. The time I got busted was a few years ago when I was in NZ and some old guy was on the job on his first day. When the carry-on stuff was xrayed, he insisted on physically taking the items of each passenger and placing then on the rollers. When he grabbed my bag, he said “what the F…” or something similar ( this was when Air NZ started strictly charging per kilo of excess on domestc flights) so I got busted for being about 5kg over, and had to check it and pay.
When I left Auckland for Hong Kong about 3 months ago, the staff were making passengers weigh all carry-on luggage before the customs check thru,and sending people back.