With increasing checked bag fees, many travelers try to maximize their carry-on allowance. An important question arises: can I put my purse in my personal item? If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Yes, you can put your purse in your personal item as long as it fits the airline’s size requirements.
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about putting your purse in your personal item. We’ll cover the rules around personal items vs. carry-ons, standard size restrictions, tips for fitting your purse, and examples of airlines that allow this.
What’s the Difference Between a Personal Item and Carry-On?
Both a personal item and a carry-on are types of cabin luggage that you can bring with you on a flight. However, there are some key differences between the two.
Personal items are smaller and fit under the seat
A personal item is typically a smaller bag that you can bring onto the plane in addition to your carry-on. It is meant to be stowed under the seat in front of you during the flight. Common examples of personal items include purses, laptop bags, and small backpacks.
These items are designed to be compact and easily accessible throughout the journey.
It’s important to note that the size restrictions for personal items can vary depending on the airline. In general, they are smaller than carry-ons and should easily fit under the seat in front of you.
Some airlines may have specific dimensions or weight limits for personal items, so it’s always a good idea to check with your airline before you travel.
Carry-ons fit in overhead bins
On the other hand, carry-ons are larger bags that are stored in the overhead bins of the aircraft. These bags are usually bigger than personal items and can hold more items. Carry-ons are ideal for storing clothing, toiletries, and other essentials that you may need during your flight.
Similar to personal items, the size restrictions for carry-ons can vary depending on the airline. However, most airlines have a standard size limit for carry-ons, typically around 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56 x 36 x 23 cm) including handles and wheels.
Again, it’s best to check with your airline to ensure your carry-on meets their requirements.
Carry-ons are convenient because they are easily accessible throughout the flight. You can store them in the overhead compartment, allowing you to have more legroom and space under the seat for your personal item.
Comparison Between Personal Items and Carry-Ons
|Smaller in size||Larger in size|
|Fit under the seat||Stored in the overhead bins|
|Common examples: purses, laptop bags, small backpacks||Common examples: suitcases, duffel bags, larger backpacks|
|Easy access throughout the flight||Easily accessible during boarding and after landing|
What Are the Standard Size Restrictions?
Personal items: 18 x 14 x 8 inches or less
When it comes to bringing your purse as a personal item on a flight, there are standard size restrictions that you need to be aware of. Most airlines allow passengers to bring a personal item, such as a purse, under the seat in front of them.
The typical size limit for a personal item is 18 x 14 x 8 inches or less. This means that your purse should fit within these dimensions in order to be considered a personal item.
Carry-ons: 22 x 14 x 9 inches or less
In addition to a personal item, passengers are also allowed to bring a carry-on bag onto the plane. The size restrictions for carry-on bags are usually slightly larger than those for personal items. The typical size limit for a carry-on bag is 22 x 14 x 9 inches or less.
This allows for slightly more space for your belongings compared to a personal item. However, it’s important to note that there may be variations in size restrictions depending on the airline, so it’s always a good idea to check with your specific airline before your flight.
Check your airline’s exact limits
It’s important to remember that the size restrictions mentioned above are general guidelines and may vary depending on the airline you are flying with. Airlines may have their own specific size limits for personal items and carry-on bags, so it’s always a good idea to check with your airline’s website or contact their customer service for the most accurate information.
For example, Delta Airlines allows passengers to bring one personal item and one carry-on bag. The personal item should fit under the seat in front of you, while the carry-on bag should fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.
The specific size limits for personal items and carry-on bags can be found on Delta’s website.
By familiarizing yourself with the standard size restrictions and checking your airline’s specific limits, you can ensure that your purse and other belongings comply with the requirements and have a smooth travel experience.
Tips for Fitting Your Purse in a Personal Item
Opt for a small crossbody or shoulder bag
When it comes to fitting your purse in a personal item, size matters. Opting for a small crossbody or shoulder bag can be a great solution. These types of bags are usually compact and lightweight, making them easier to fit into a personal item.
Plus, they can be worn comfortably throughout your travel, allowing you to keep your essentials close at hand.
Use a foldable tote bag
If you have a larger purse that you can’t bear to leave behind, consider using a foldable tote bag. These versatile bags can be folded and easily stored when not in use, making them a convenient option for travelers.
Simply unfold the tote bag and place your purse inside when you need to fit it in your personal item. It’s a practical solution that allows you to bring along your favorite purse without sacrificing space.
Compress contents to save space
Another tip for fitting your purse in a personal item is to compress the contents of your purse to save space. Remove unnecessary items and organize your essentials in a compact and efficient way. Utilize small pouches or organizers to keep things tidy and maximize space.
By doing so, you’ll be able to fit your purse more easily in your personal item, leaving room for other important items.
Wear bulkier items like laptops
If you’re traveling with bulkier items like laptops or tablets, wearing them instead of packing them can help free up space in your personal item for your purse. Many airports require laptops to be removed from bags during security checks, so wearing them in a backpack or laptop bag can make the process smoother.
This way, you can keep your purse with you and ensure that it fits comfortably in your personal item.
Remember, it’s always a good idea to check with your airline’s specific guidelines for personal items to ensure that your purse meets their requirements. By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to fit your purse in your personal item and travel with ease.
Airlines That Allow Purses as Personal Items
United Airlines is one of the major carriers that allows passengers to bring their purse as a personal item onboard. They understand the importance of having easy access to personal belongings during the flight.
So, if you’re flying with United, you can rest assured that your purse will be considered a personal item and you won’t have to worry about any additional fees.
Delta Air Lines also recognizes that a purse is an essential item for many travelers. They allow passengers to bring their purse as a personal item, in addition to their carry-on bag. This means that you can conveniently store your purse under the seat in front of you, ensuring that it is easily accessible throughout the flight.
American Airlines is another carrier that allows purses as personal items. They understand that passengers may need to carry essential items in their purse, such as medication, identification, or personal electronics.
By allowing purses as personal items, American Airlines ensures that passengers have easy access to these items during the flight.
Southwest Airlines is known for its generous baggage policy, and this extends to personal items as well. Passengers flying with Southwest can bring a purse as their personal item, in addition to their carry-on bag.
This means that you can have your purse with you throughout the flight, without having to worry about additional fees or restrictions.
JetBlue is committed to providing a comfortable and convenient travel experience for its passengers. They allow purses as personal items, recognizing that many travelers rely on their purse to carry important items during the flight.
So, if you’re flying with JetBlue, you can bring your purse along without any hassle.
It’s important to note that while these airlines do allow purses as personal items, there may still be size restrictions. It’s always a good idea to check the specific requirements of the airline you’re flying with to ensure that your purse meets their guidelines.
Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that policies can change, so it’s a good idea to double-check with the airline before your flight.
To summarize, you generally can put your purse in your personal item as long as it adheres to the airline’s size restrictions. A small crossbody or foldable tote bag is ideal. Check your airline’s website for exact dimensions allowed.
With some planning and packing strategies, you can maximize your carry-on allowance by using your personal item for your purse. This will help you avoid checked bag fees and give you quick access to your essentials on board.