If you’re planning to travel on an American Airlines flight, make sure you understand the airline’s carry-on limits before you pack your luggage. The question that new travelers always ask is: What’s the American Airlines carry-on weight limit? This article tells you everything you need to know about American Airlines’ carry-on luggage limits and allowances to help you prepare your travel accordingly.
What is American Airlines Carry-on Weight Limit?
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The carry-on weight limit for American Airlines is 40 pounds (18 kilograms). As the largest airline in the United States, American Airlines records more than 6,700 flights every day, flying thousands of travelers to and from America. This airline has an extensive route network, covering almost every part of the globe.
In order to keep its thousands of passengers safe and comfortable, American Airlines has set very strict luggage scrutiny policies that every traveler must adhere to. However, some passengers haven’t shied away from expressing their dissatisfaction with these policies. Much like any other airline across the world, American Airlines charges for all checked luggage.
This has prompted many travelers to use this airline to devise ways of minimizing their travel costs. For example, many passengers now prefer to travel with only carry-on bags because they’re not likely to be charged for them. You can also lower the cost of traveling on an American Airlines flight by reducing your luggage to a carry-on bag.
You can do this by packing a week’s worth of items. This will likely fit in one carry-on bag. But achieving this can be a real challenge, especially if you’re planning to stay at your destination for more than a week.
That’s why you need to know how much luggage you’re allowed to carry in your carry-on bag so that you don’t surpass the limit.
American Airlines Carry-on Luggage Policy
The American Airlines Carry-on luggage policy stipulates that you’re only allowed to carry one carry-on bag and a single personal item on board. You won’t be charged for these items. So, if you want to reduce your cost of travel, then you have to figure out how to fit as many items as possible in your carry-on bag.
Use your carry-on bag prudently, especially if you’re going through the Customs desk before you board the flight. The American Airlines carry-on luggage policy is very clear on the type of personal items and carry-on bags to carry on board. The American Airlines personal items requirements are as follows:
- A personal item is anything that can fit under the seat in front of you. This includes items such as a purse, a small handbag, a wallet, etc.
- The dimensions of your personal item shouldn’t surpass 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm).
- Items that don’t count against personal item allowance include things like diaper bags, breast milk cooler bags, breast pumps, baby strollers, and child safety seats.
So, always refer to these requirements when packing your personal items to avoid problems at the airport. The American Airlines carry-on luggage requirements stipulate the following:
- A carry-on bag shouldn’t exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56 x 36 x 23 cm). This includes the bag’s handles and wheels.
- Your carry-on bag should perfectly fit into the sizer at the airport.
- Your carry-on bag must fit under the seat or in the overhead luggage bin. Otherwise, it’ll need to be checked and charged for.
- You’re allowed to carry bags that have soft garments on the sides as part of your carry-on luggage. But these bags shouldn’t exceed 51 inches or 130 cm (length + width + height).
- If you have a musical instrument like a guitar, trumpet, or small keyboard, you can include it in your carry-on luggage as long as it fits in the overhead luggage bin or under the front seat.
- Some sports items are allowed on board as part of your carry-on baggage provided they can fit within the required size.
Keep these requirements at the back of your mind when you’re packing your carry-on bag. Furthermore, you have to familiarize yourself with any additional carry-on luggage limits implemented by some airplanes and airports. If you want to pack some of your sports items as part of your carry-on luggage, make sure they meet the specific rules that define the sports item you can carry on board.
According to the American Airlines carry-on luggage policy, the special items and sports equipment allowed on board must not exceed 100 pounds or 45kg and 126 inches or 320 cm (length + width + height). The policy further stipulates that if you’re traveling to or from Mexico, your carry-on bag shouldn’t exceed 80 inches or 203 cm (L+W+H).
If you’re traveling to or from Madrid, Spain, your checked items shouldn’t exceed 43 inches or 110 cm in length on any side. Furthermore, the maximum outside dimensions of your item shouldn’t surpass 126 inches or 320 cm. Any item that violates any of these requirements will be subjected to oversize and/or overweight charges.
So, if your carry-on luggage exceeds these limits, contact the freight forwarder immediately for guidance. You also need to understand that any charge imposed on your carry-on baggage is non-refundable and these charges apply per passenger, one way. Another notable fact about American Airlines’ carry-on luggage is that you’re allowed to travel with your firearm and ammunition domestically.
However, this allowance is subject to the applicable rules and regulations. If you’re a military officer serving in the U.S. military and traveling on orders, you’re required to present your service ID and travel orders to the check-in officer at the airport. In this case, you’re allowed to carry a maximum of 5 complimentary bags.
These bags should weigh up to 100 pounds and shouldn’t exceed 126 inches in length, width, and height. As a military officer traveling on business or pleasure, you’re allowed to carry up to 3 complimentary bags. But you must present your service ID at the check-in desk.
In this case, your bags shouldn’t exceed 50 pounds and 62 inches in total dimensions. A military dependent, such as a spouse or relative traveling on orders is allowed the same privilege as a military officer provided they can present the service ID of their military dependent and a copy of active military orders at the check-in desk.
Please note that a military officer is any military personnel actively working in the U.S. armed forces (Marines, Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard). Your service status must be active. Military cadets are also included in this category. Those excluded from this category include customers with Civilian Military IDs, Military Reserves, National Guard, and U.S. Public Health Service.