If you are planning to fly, the first thing that comes to mind is the luggage. What’s right and what’s not? Is a duffle bag a carry-on, or should it be a backpack? Hundreds of questions popping into your head, and you are not alone. Yes! Trust us; we have got you covered. Read this article and pack it right for your next flight.
Is a Duffle Bag a Carry-on?
Well, the good news is – yes, it is! You can fly with your duffel bag as a carry-on. We agree that regulations for each airline differ, but none bother what kind of bag you carry. All that matters is that you carry a bag that fits the standard measurement and weighs accordingly. Now, size matters because you need to fit that carry-on bag in the overhead cabin space, which is limited!
What Are the Carry-on Duffel Bag Restrictions?
Size and weight limits for carry-on duffels are the same as for any other carry-on. Even though the size limits vary by flight, most carry-ons can’t be bigger than 56 x 36 x 9 inches (22 x 14 x 22 cm). Some airlines have no weight limits on carry-ons, while others have limits between 15 and 25 lbs (7 to 11 kg), usually 22 lbs (10 kg). However, checking the airline’s website or contacting them beforehand is best to avoid any hiccups at the airport.
Here’s how to check for baggage restrictions on an airline’s website:
- Open the airline’s website and navigate to the “baggage information” section, commonly found under a “travel information” or “customer service” section.
- Check for the carry-on luggage information and note the maximum weight and size allowed.
- Cross-check the airline’s carry-on regulations and compare the measurements to your bag before traveling
- Remember, airlines have different regulations for different travel classes. Make sure to check the regulations for your specific ticket type.
What Are TSA Guidelines for Carry-on Bags?
The Transportation Administration Authority (TSA) has laid out certain guidelines that provide enough details about what can and cannot be on a carry-on bag. It is, hence, crucial for all passengers to be aware of these guidelines that can aid in a pleasant travel experience.
Here’s a glimpse of the TSA guidelines that will ease packing stress!
- Liquids: Pack all liquids in a clear, quart-sized bag; each bottle should hold no more than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters). You must take these bags from your carry-on and put them separately for the screening.
- Electronics: For laptops, tablets, and other electronics bigger than a cell phone, the passenger must remove them from their carry-on bag and put them separately for screening. This includes things like headphones and chargers that you can take with you.
- Food: You can bring solid food with you in your carry-on bag. But liquid or gel-like foods must follow the same rules as drinks and undergo screening in a quart-sized bag.
- Medications: You may carry both prescription and over-the-counter medicines on board in carry-on bags. Passengers must place them separately for checking and inform the TSA officials.
How Do You Measure a Duffel Carry-on Bag?
It would be great if you packed your duffel before measuring. The size varies depending on how full it is. There are multiple ways to check if your duffel fits as a carry-on.
To get the width of the bag, measure around the widest ends and divide it by 2 to get the total width and depth. The result should be less than 23 inches or 58cm to meet the carry-on size regulations. Now, to find the height, measure the longest side. The result here should be less than 22 inches or 56cm.
You can measure the bag’s length, height, and depth (or width) to determine its size as a carry-on item. You can add up the three numbers and get the linear measurement. A bag 22 inches long, 10 inches wide, and 8 inches deep would have a linear measurement of 40 inches.
If you don’t have tape on hand, you can check the details of your bag on the seller’s online product page (either before or after you buy it). There’s also the possibility that the hang tag on your new bag has the dimensions mentioned. So, you can have it handy and show it as proof if the airline asks for the bag’s measurements.
How to Pack Carry-on Duffels?
Packing for travel is an art; nevertheless, you cannot pack anything considered a safety hazard. This includes explosives, dangerous-looking items, guns, or sharp objects like knives or scissors. All liquids, gels, and aerosols must be sealed in a one quart-sized transparent bag under 3.4oz or 100ml.
If you have checked luggage, it is wise to carry only the most important items in your carry-on. Keep your valuables, perfumes, electronics, medicine, and other flight necessities at the top of your carry-on bag. It will also be easier for you to take them out while at the security check.
Secure fragile items, if any, towards the center or in between clothes to avoid any possible damage. Also, placing such items towards the sides may get in your way while squeezing your bag into the overhead cabin space.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Duffel as a Carry-on?
Certainly, there are some advantages to using a duffel bag as a carry-on. They are comfortable and stylish for any traveler to carry around.
- Duffels are easy to pack and lighter than suitcases.
- They’re cost-effective when compared to suitcases and backpacks.
- A duffel’s flexibility is an added advantage. If you exceed the size limit by an or two, it’s fine!
- They can be too much for a long journey as they can be carried only by the handle.
- The lack of compartments or multiple pockets can disrupt organized packing.
- Duffel’s exterior is not that tough; hence, protecting items within is difficult.
So, is a duffle bag a carry-on? If your bag fits right with the airline carry-on bag standards, then a definite yes. Remember to check with your airline beforehand to avoid unpleasant surprises on the day of travel. Also, airlines charge extra for excess weight and extra baggage. Do your research to avoid such scenarios. Pack what’s necessary for the flight in the duffle and put the rest in the checked luggage. Have a safe flight, and carry around that duffel in style!
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