American Airlines Carry-On Size Policy: Everything You Need to Know!

Steve Cummings

American Airlines Carry-on size

If you are looking to travel shortly, you need to know the different airline carry-on policies. These policies can put you in a bind if you do not know the proper size of the carry-on or what you can carry in it. American Airlines is not different in its strictness from any other airline. So, how strict is the American Airlines carry-on size policy?

Guidelines For American Airline's Main Cabin Carry-On Baggage

 There are some carry-on requirements. American Airlines allows each person who buys a flight ticket can get one American Airlines carry-on free. Even if you buy the cheapest Basic Economy flight, you can still get one free carry-on. Here are the carry-on conditions:

American Airlines Carry-On Size:

The carry-on that is brought on the plane cannot exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches in size, including handles and wheels. There is no weight requirement for the carry-on. 

There will be a place to check the size of the carry-on in each airport. If the carry-on is too large, the airline will make you check the bad in. It must fit in the sizer at the airport.  

carry-on baggage size

American Airlines Personal Item Size:

A personal item can be anything from a book bag, laptop bag, purse, or bag that must fit under your seat. The bag's dimensions cannot exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches in size (45 x 35 x 20 cm). 

Usually, airlines do not check personal items. So if you are looking to save room in your carry-on, you can bring a personal item like a book bag that can store some additional things inside.

If it can fit underneath your seat, then it should be fine. Budget airlines may have some other restrictions on personal items, but for American Airlines, make sure it can fit under the seat. 

American Airlines Carry-On Liquids

The rules have not changed at all with carry-on liquids in your bags. Make sure they all fit in a quart-size resealable see-through bag. The size of the liquids cannot exceed 3.4 ounces or 100 ml per item. 

For more details on what is allowed, check out the Transport Security Adminstraitive's (TSA) website

American Airlines Carry-On Exceptions

There are some exceptions to the rules for exceptional circumstances. 

  • One diaper bag per child
  • Musical instruments (if they fit in the overhead bin)
  • Carry on Pet kennels (extra fee)
  • Medical or Mobility devices
  • Soft cooler bag for breast milk
  • Some Sports equipment

What If My Carry-On is Oversized?

If your carry-on is oversized and does not fit in the required size department, then American Airlines will make you check it in. It will also depend on how full the flight will be. 

Take a personal item to carry some other things. The worst thing that can happen is checking the bag and being charged baggage fees on top of the carry-on. The best bet is to make sure the carry-on fits the dimensions even with the handle and wheels. 

How Strict is American Airlines On Carry-On Size?

How strict is American Airlines' carry-on size? The dimensions were created for a reason. In case of an emergency, the carry-on needs to be able to go down the aisle and fit in the overhead bins. 

The FAA has made numerous regulations, and to stay compliant, American Airlines is strict on its carry-on policy. 

It is best to make sure you have a carry-on that follows all the guidelines to ensure you can enter the flight with your carry-on. 

How to Avoid Baggage Fee

Baggage fees are something people do not want to pay at all. People with status within the airline get a free checked bag, and if you do not, then there are baggage fees. 

The great thing about American Airlines is that everyone can get a free carry-on even if you purchased the basic economy ticket. 

Other airlines like United and JetBlue do not allow their flyers to have a free carry-on with the Basic Economy ticket. 

Depending on your flight and destination or the ticket's cost depends on the price of baggage. You can get a complete list of the fees from the American Airlines site

Having an American Airlines Credit card can also avoid baggage fees. It gives you one free checked bag and priority boarding, which will enable you to get on the plane at the beginning of the line. Priority boarding allows you to have ample time to stow away your carry-on. 

As a traveler, picking up a good travel credit card helps earn bonus points and fly for free. It is part of the travel hackers' toolset. Here are some cards to help on the way. 

Those cards:

Bottom Line:

Flying these days, you need to know the ins and outs of some of the allowed restrictions and baggage allowances. American Airlines' carry-on policy is a generous one allowing all ticket holders to have one bag to bring on the airplane. If the carry-on does not fit the correct size, you must pay for checked baggage. 

When you buy your carry-on bag, ensure that it fits the parameters set by American Airlines. Then you can have a safe stress free flight. 

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