Can I bring a Duffel Bag and a Backpack as a Carry-on on a Plane?
A Guide on How to Fly with Two Bags

Can I bring a Duffel Bag and a Backpack as a Carry-on on a Plane? : backpack and duffel bag
Credit: pexel.com

Are you a traveler struggling to decide whether or not you can bring two bags on board an upcoming flight? You’re not alone. Many people have asked the question: can I bring a duffel bag and a backpack as a carry-on on a plane?

It’s natural to feel confused when trying to figure out the best way to travel with your luggage while navigating all the policies and regulations that seems to come with it.

You want to make sure that you have all your items with you on the plane, but also don’t want to break the bank on additional checked bags.

Thankfully, this guide will help you determine if bringing a duffel bag and a backpack is allowed as a carry-on for your flight. 

Read on for everything you need to know about flying with two bags!

Yes, you can bring a duffel bag and a backpack with you onto the plane, as long as one of them is small enough to be considered a personal item, and the other meets carry-on size requirements. When airlines allow two bags as hand luggage, they are called the carry-on and the personal item. If your backpack fits under the seat in front of you, and your duffel bag can be stored fits in the overhead bin, you’re good to go! 

Can I bring a Duffel Bag and a Backpack as a Carry-on on a Plane? : a male traveling with AER backpack and duffel bag
Credit: aersf.com

To determine if you can take a backpack and a duffel bag with you as hand luggage on your flight, it’s best to check with your specific airline before packing.

Below are airlines that allow you to bring a backpack and a duffel bag on board the plane: 

For those who are planning a trip and want to be sure they can bring two bags onto the plane with them, this section will provide information on which airlines allow you to do so.

Whether you need a backpack for your laptop and other personal items, or a duffel bag for your clothes and bigger items, you won’t have to worry about having to leave an important item behind.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular ones: 

  • Alaska Airlines: Passengers flying out of Alaska Airlines may bring one carry-on item and one personal item for free. The carry-on item must be no larger than 22″ x 14″ x 9″/45 linear inches.
  • American Airlines: The American Airlines flight allows passengers to take one carry-on (22” x 14” x 9”) as well as one personal item (18” x 14” x 8). Your carry-on must fit in the sizer at the airport, and also fit in the overhead bin or under the seat, otherwise, they may need to be checked. The personal item, on the other hand, must fit under the seat in front of you.
  • Delta Airlines: On Delta Airlines flights, passengers can bring one carry-on bag plus one additional personal item at no cost. Carry-on items must not exceed 22″ x 14″ x 9″, while personal items must fit underneath the seat in front of you.
  • JetBlue: Travelers may bring one carry-on bag and one personal item, except for Blue Basic Fares customers who are only allowed a personal item (small backpack) onto their flight with JetBlueThe Carry-on luggage size limit is 22 x 14 x 9 inches (55.88 x 35.56 x 22.86 cm), while the personal item limit is 17 x 13 x 8 inches.
  • Frontier Airlines: The Frontier Airlines flight allows passengers to take one carry-on as well as one personal item. The carry-on luggage size is 24 x 16 x 10 inches, while the personal item must not exceed 8 x 18 x 14 inches.
  • Hawaiian Airlines: Each ticketed guest is permitted one carry-on bag (9 x 14 x 22 inches) and one personal item that can fit under the seat in front of you.
  • Southwest Airlines: Passengers on Southwest Airlines may bring a carry-on (24 x 16 x 10 inches or 62 inches) and a personal item that fits under the seat.
  • Virgin Atlantic: Virgin Atlantic allows one carry-on bag (22 x 14 x 9 inches) and one personal item.
  • United Airlines: Travelers can bring on board one full-size carry-on bag and one personal item for free as long as they’re not traveling on Basic Economy. The Carry-on luggage size is 22 x 14 x 9 inches (62 inches), while the Personal item limit is 17 x 10 x 9 inches and must fit in the seat in front of you.

As we can see from the above examples, several airlines offer generous allowances when it comes to bringing two bags onboard with you during your flight.  

Some airlines do allow passengers to bring two bags with them onto their flights.

However, there are rules regarding carry-on and personal item luggage that you must adhere to if you want to have a hitch-free process during security at the airport.

By understanding these policies ahead of time, travelers can save themselves time and money while still bringing all their necessary items along with them on their trip!

They are explained below:

Every airline has its own set of rules when it comes to carry-on luggage.

Some are more lenient than others, so it’s important to research what the policy is before you book your tickets.

Generally speaking, most airlines allow one personal item (such as a purse, laptop bag, or small backpack) and one larger piece of luggage (like a suitcase, big backpack, or duffel bag) per person as long as both items meet their size requirements. 

So, in theory, yes, you should be able to bring both a duffel bag and a backpack onto the plane as long as each one qualifies as a personal item and carry-on luggage

When it comes to bringing two pieces of luggage as carry-on, both must comply with the airline’s size restrictions for both carry-on and personal items.

Generally speaking, most airlines allow bags that are no more than 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56 x 36 x 23 cm) as carry-on luggage.

This means that if your duffel bag or backpack is larger than this dimension, then it won’t qualify as a carry-on and will need to be checked instead.

For a bag to qualify as a personal item, it must fit under the seat in front of you easily, so be sure it’s small enough for this occasion.

Usually, a personal item bag should not exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches in dimension as this is the most common under-seat bag restriction size for most airlines.

That said, some airlines may vary slightly from that standard size limit or may even offer different sizes depending on where you’re flying from and to.

So make sure that your duffel bag and backpack are within the airline’s specific size limits before attempting to bring them onto the plane; otherwise, they may not be accepted at security checkpoints.

These restrictions are usually posted on the airline’s website or in its printed material.  

In addition to meeting size requirements, there are other restrictions on what type of items can be brought onto planes in carry-on luggage.

TSA refers to these as prohibited items.

These include liquid items (must not be over 3 ounces), sharp objects such as knives, firearms/ammunition, explosives/flammables, sporting goods (golf clubs/hockey sticks), tools (screwdrivers/hammers), etc.

Be sure to NOT pack any prohibited items in either your duffel bag or your backpack; otherwise, they will be confiscated at security checkpoints and could result in hefty fines or criminal charges against you! 

Note: Here’s a comprehensive list of items NOT allowed in your carry-on luggage by TSA. 

If you’re a frequent traveler, you know how difficult it can be to make sure that everything fits in one bag.

The good news is that traveling with two pieces of luggage does not have to be stressful if done correctly!

Here, we’ll discuss the best tips for traveling with a carry-on and a personal item while staying within the airline’s regulations and keeping your items safe and secure during your travels.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know: 

When traveling with two bags, the first thing to consider is the airline’s regulations.

Most airlines allow passengers one carry-on bag and one personal item per person.

However, the dimensions and weight of these items vary by airline. 

So, before packing up your bags, make sure you check out the restrictions for both your carry-on and a personal item on the particular airline you are flying with.

This is because some airlines have stricter rules about size requirements for certain types of luggage—especially if it is too wide or has wheels attached—so make sure you check their restrictions before leaving home.

Additionally, some airlines will charge extra fees for each bag if it exceeds their size requirements, so keep this in mind when packing heavy items.   

Once you know the regulations for your airline of choice, it’s time to choose your bags. 

Knowing which type of baggage and size is allowed onboard (and what isn’t) is a good way to start.

Most airlines will allow you to bring one bag that is no larger than 22 x 14 x 8 inches and as for your personal item, it should not exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches.

Your carry-on should be small enough to fit in the overhead bin or and your personal item should fit underneath the seat in front of you.

Your personal item bag can be anything from a small duffel bag or backpack to a purse or laptop bag as long as it meets the size requirements listed by the airline.

Your carry-on bag should be big enough for all of your essential items, and should also have plenty of pockets for organizing smaller items like chargers and toiletries.

You may also want to invest in packing cubes or other organizational tools if you plan on bringing multiple smaller bags when traveling with two pieces of luggage.

And don’t forget about a lock—it will help keep all of your belongings safe during transit. 

Can I bring a Duffel Bag and a Backpack as a Carry-on on a Plane? : AER backpack and duffel bag
Credit: aersf.com

Once you have chosen the right type of luggage, it’s time to start packing strategically!

Pack smartly by putting heavier items in your carry-on and lighter ones in your personal item; this will not only save space but also minimize strain on your body when carrying both bags around at once.

Also, try not to pack too much; weigh both bags before leaving home so that they comply with airline regulations.

Make sure that all fragile items are securely cushioned or packed away between layers of clothing and other soft materials like towels or scarves so they don’t get damaged during transport.

If possible, use packing cubes so that everything fits neatly into its own little pocket; this way nothing gets jumbled up during transit!

Also, remember to leave some room at the top of your bag; this will make it easier for security personnel to inspect your belongings without having to unpack everything inside.

Finally, try not to overstuff either bag as this can cause damage and make them difficult to close securely! 

Careful travelers now have an easier way to travel light while still bringing all their essentials along for their journey!  

FAQs

Can I travel with a backpack and a carry-on bag?

Can I bring a Duffel Bag and a Backpack as a Carry-on on a Plane? : a male traveling with AER backpack and suitcase
Credit: aersf.com

Yes, you can travel with a backpack and carry-on bag. Most airlines allow you to bring a backpack as your personal item, in addition to your carry-on bag.

Your backpack must be small enough to be considered a personal item and should be able to fit underneath the seat in front of you.

However, if your backpack is too large or heavy, the airline may require you to check it as luggage.

So it’s best to check with your airline before packing for your trip. 

How many bags can you carry-on?

Can I bring a Duffel Bag and a Backpack as a Carry-on on a Plane? : luggage under the seat in an airplane and a backpack in overhead bin compartment

You are allowed to carry on one bag and one personal item. Your carry-on bag should not exceed the following dimensions: 22 inches long x 14 inches wide x 9 inches high.

The personal item should be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you and should not exceed the dimension set forth by the airline you’ll be traveling with.

That way, you won’t have to worry about checking any luggage and you’ll be able to save time by going through security and boarding the plane more quickly. 

Can I bring a Duffel Bag and a Backpack as a Carry-on on a Plane? : a male traveling with AER backpack
Credit: aersf.com

You can take a backpack instead of carry-on luggage, but there are a few things to keep in mind. For one, most airlines have size restrictions for carry-ons, so your backpack may be able to fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

This means your backpack must not exceed the carry-on size restriction, which is usually 22” by 14” by 9 inches”.

So before you decide to take your backpack as your carry-on bag, be sure to check with your airline about their specific size restrictions and packing guidelines.

As with most carry-ons, keep in mind that you may have to gate-check your backpack at the last minute if the overhead bins are all full. 

How many personal items are allowed on a plane?

Can I bring a Duffel Bag and a Backpack as a Carry-on on a Plane? : luggage under the seat in an airplane

How many personal items can I carry?

Typically, each passenger can bring one personal item onboard with them, in addition to their carry-on luggage. The personal item must be able to fit under the seat in front of you

A personal item could be something like a handbag, a laptop bag, an underseater luggage, or a small backpack.

As is the case with all carry-on luggage, it’s important to check with your airline before you travel to find out their specific restrictions. 

Closing Thoughts

Can I bring a Duffel Bag and a Backpack as a Carry-on on a Plane? : a male traveling with a backpack and duffel bag
Credit: pexel.com

So, can you bring a duffel bag and a backpack on board a plane?

Yes. Bringing two bags onto the plane is possible if done right – just remember that one of those bags must be small enough to qualify as a personal item and the other must meet the requirement as carry-on luggage!

Be sure that both of your bags meet all size requirements set by your airline and double-check that you comply with all other guidelines so that there aren’t any unpleasant surprises when trying to board your flight! 

By following these simple rules and tips, you will have no problem bringing two bags with you on board when flying!

Happy travels!   

2 thoughts on “Can I bring a Duffel Bag and a Backpack as a Carry-on on a Plane? A Guide on How to Fly with Two Bags”

  1. This is great advice for those wishing to max out their hand luggage on a flight! I have gone through this many times, usually have to consolidate into fewer bags when I arrive at the gate to board the plane. Another thing you can do is bring a shopping bag to put overflow items into after you pass security – gate agents typically don’t stop you from bringing this onto the plane since it looks like you went shopping in the airport. Thanks for putting these tips together!

    Reply
  2. Hi Femi,

    This is such an important article for so many people around the world who travel a lot.

    I am going to be doing a bit of travelling in 2023 and reading this article has taught me a few things about travelling with two bags.

    I will make sure that both my bags are easy to carry and can fit in the overhead compartments on the plane. I’ll also make sure they are strong and won’t fall to bits while I travel.

    I’ll let you know how my travelling goes and how my bags end up.

    Keep up the great work.

    All the best,

    Tom

    Reply

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