What are carry on luggage restrictions?

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A perfect piece of carry on luggage conforms to all possible restrictions
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What are carry on luggage restrictions? Avoid travel headaches by planning ahead

It used to be so easy and simple to fly. You could carry on just about anything - treasures from your adventures in Europe or beautifully wrapped Christmas gifts for the grandkids - and as long as you were willing to hold it in your lap the entire duration of the flight no one seemed to care. Now it is imperative that you don't start your trip without knowing exactly what are carry on luggage restrictions.

Airport security has tightened significantly since the terrorist attacks in 2001. Restrictions and rules seem to be adjusted on a monthly, if not weekly, basis.

So, exactly what are carry on luggage restrictions? First and foremost, understand that carry on luggage restrictions are the rules that you must follow in order to board a plane. There are many of them; they're stringent and non-negotiable.

Plan ahead, conform to restrictions and do as you are expected to do when you are about to embark on an air flight. You must adhere to the carry on luggage restrictions. Carry on or hand luggage is that which you literally carry on to the plane.

Each specific airline has its own rules about how much luggage you are allowed to carry on. Some airlines allow each passenger approximately 45 inches total space for carried on luggage. Some airlines specify that you carry on nothing bigger than 24 X 16 X 10 inches. You will probably only be able to take on one piece of luggage; at maximum, two pieces of carry on. Many savvy travelers purchase high quality, size-compliant carry on luggage that they always travel with, taking the guesswork out of which carry on to bring and how much they can plan to pack to carry on.

Tips for traveling with carry on luggage

Read the rules for your airline beforehand and follow them to the letter. Call the 800 number for customer assistance and ask any questions you have about carry on policy before you head to the airport. You can also use a handy carry on bag finder online for advice and luggage suggestions. This way, you will get through security slick quickly, with no problems and no delays.

Your luggage will be x-rayed when you go through airport security, before you are allowed to board.

If you try to carry on something on that is banned you are going to be in for some un-pleasantries. Unless you surrender the item (and never see it again), you will not be allowed to proceed through security, and you will miss your flight.

Items that can not be carried on to an airplane include sharp objects, guns and firearms, tools, explosive and flammable material, disabling chemicals, and goods.

Sharp objects include box cutters (although they can be packed in checked baggage), ice picks, ice axes, knives (except for round bladed butter knives and plastic knives); razors, meat cleavers,scissors and sabers. These cannot be carried onto a plane. Swords, including fencing foils or any cutting or thrusting blades, are prohibited.

For most travelers, these rules make sense. How many times have you wanted to take an ice pick on a flight with you? These precautions are aimed at those who are up to no good and try to carry on items that they can use to wreak havoc and destruction when on board and in mid-flight.

Donít think you can carry on your sporting goods on either. No bows and arrows, golf clubs, baseball bats, pool cues, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks or spear guns. Some of these items (if not all) could be used with deadly force. 

Guns, gun parts, starter pistols, pellet guns, gun powder, gun lighters and realistic replicas of firearms are all forbidden, which is only common sense.

If you are a traveling handyman, sorry, but you canít take your hammer, crowbar, saws, drill bits or any tool longer than seven inches on board with you.

If you are a smoker, you are allowed to carry one or perhaps two lighters on board with you. If you are carrying more than that they will be confiscated. Butane for refillable lighters is forbidden.

Remember that some items may surprise you as being forbidden, so double check with the airline. These include sewing scissors, knitting needles, paint or snow globes.


TSA:permitted and prohibited items
Travel with Your Kids: carry on luggage

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