Is There a Weight Limit for Carry-on Bags?
Most travelers are familiar with a weight limit for checked bags on flights, but did you know there is a carry-on weight limit as well? Typically the size of your carry-on receives more attention at ticket counters, but knowing how much it weighs is just as important for certain airlines in the U.S.
Use the following guide to make sure you don’t end up spending unnecessary money before a trip because you have to check an overweight carry-on.
Tips for Weighing Your Luggage
First things first: Decide which luggage you’re going to use. There are many different types of carry-on bags, so consider which one fits your needs for the length of your trip. No need to fuss with a bulky bag – choose a lightweight carry-on that’s designed to make traveling a breeze and is accommodating for over-packers, since its weight alone won’t tip the scale. Be sure you can also lift it and place it in the overhead bin. If you can’t easily pick up your bag, chances are it’s too heavy.
Many airlines also have a sizer bin at the ticket counter, where you can make sure your bags are small enough to fit in the overhead bin of the aircraft before going through security. If your carry-on is too large – or too overstuffed – you might get stopped at the gate before boarding. Sometimes flight attendants will have to tag your bag and send it off to be stowed with checked luggage. This is especially true for completely booked flights, so it’s best to err on the safe side by packing a smaller – and lighter – carry-on.
Before heading to the airport, the most common way to weigh your carry-on bag is to use an at-home scale. While the results might vary slightly from an airport scale, this is the easiest way to determine if your bag will be free to fly. Pro tip: If you weigh the bag at home, staying at least three pounds below the maximum carry-on luggage weight limit should give you plenty of wiggle room.
Carry-on Weight Limit Cheat Sheet
So, how much can a carry-on bag weigh? It depends on the airline, but fortunately most domestic flights don’t have overly strict rules.
Here’s your guide to carry-on weight limits for popular airlines in the U.S. as of 2022:
- American Airlines: May weigh up to 40 pounds
- Allegiant Air: No maximum weight applies if you pay to carry-on
- Delta Airlines: No maximum weight applies for domestic flights
- Frontier Airlines: May weigh up to 35 pounds
- Hawaiian Airlines: May weigh up to 25 pounds
- JetBlue Airlines: No maximum weight applies; keep in mind if you buy the lowest-cost, basic airfare, then a carry-on bag is not allowed – only a personal item
- Southwest Airlines: No maximum weight applies
- Spirit Airlines: May weigh up to 40 pounds; keep in mind if you buy the lowest-cost, basic airfare, then a carry-on bag is not allowed – only a personal item.
- United Airlines: May weigh up to 50 pounds; keep in mind if you buy the lowest-cost, basic airfare, then a carry-on bag is not allowed – only a personal item