When packing for a flight, one of the common dilemmas we face is deciding what to carry on board. A question that frequently comes up is: “Can I bring a purse and a personal item on a plane?”
Well, we are about to find out!
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Can I bring a purse and a personal item on a plane?
In most cases, the answer is no. On the majority of airlines, your purse is considered your personal item. This means you have to make a choice between carrying a purse or another type of personal item, like a small backpack or laptop bag.
What Airlines Say…
Airlines typically allow one personal item per passenger. This item is meant to fit under the seat in front of you and can be a laptop bag, a handbag, a briefcase, a small backpack, and yes, a purse!
For example, according to American Airlines’ policy, your personal items like a purse or small handbag must fit under the seat in front of you. Also, the dimensions should be no larger than 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm), which typically encompasses the size of an average purse.
With budget carriers like Frontier, Spirit, and Ryanair, the rules are even stricter. They emphasize that passengers are only allowed one personal item unless additional baggage is purchased. Spirit Airlines’ guidelines, for instance, specify the dimensions and reiterate that only one item per passenger is allowed without an extra fee.
So, the takeaway is this: if you already have a personal item bag, bringing along a separate purse might push you into carry-on territory. Unless, of course, you’re willing to check one of your bags, or you’re rolling without a carry-on altogether – then, your purse gets to play the role of carry-on luggage.
What Travelers Say…
On the Southwest community, a passenger sought clarity on whether their purse qualifies as a personal item, and the consensus was clear – a purse is indeed considered a personal item. As one member highlighted, “your purse is considered a personal item and not a carry-on.”
That said, some argue that the petite size of their purse should exempt them from the baggage count. As a result, many have asked, can I put my purse in my personal item? This could be their backpacks, duffel bags, etc.
Turning to various forums, I discovered a few travelers who successfully pulled this off. For example, a Reddit member shared, “I flew Spirit 2 weeks ago and had my purse and a medium-sized bag. I didn’t pay for either. Nobody said anything… I guess I got lucky.”
Contrary to the fortunate few, most travelers stick to the two-bag rule and seek creative solutions. The prevalent advice from the community is to consolidate three bags into two. This involves stowing your purse with your personal item, be it a backpack or duffel bag.
Responses from both Reddit and the Southwest Airlines community suggest that this approach is a viable workaround. A Southwest community member affirmed, “Yes. My wife carries a tote bag as she crochets and has room for her purse in it. So only one personal item that way.”
User @DancingDavidE also recommends this practical suggestion: “Consolidate two things into one, and then you will have the one carry item and the one personal item. Once on the plane, you can quickly remove your purse from your bag before you put it in the overhead bin.”
So, yes, you can technically bring both your purse and personal items. Just make sure the bigger bag you’re using as your personal item follows the size rules and can fit your purse without a fuss.
So, can I bring a purse and a personal item on a plane? Well, in the end, it boils down to a balancing act. Yes, you can technically bring both your purse and personal item but the key is ensuring that the larger bag designated as your personal item follows size limits and can fit your purse without a fuss.
It’s not just about what you bring but how you cleverly manage it.
Practical Tips for Traveling with a Purse as a Personal Item
Below are some tips that I think are handy for when you want to travel with a purse, as well as your personal item bag.
Pack smart and combine items: If you’re carrying a purse, it’s wise to ensure it can fit inside your other personal item or consider it as your only personal item.
Choose the Right Bag: Opt for a bag that can serve dual purposes, like a small backpack or tote that can hold your essentials, including items you’d usually carry in a purse.
Essentials Only: Pack only what you need. Overstuffing your purse can make it cumbersome to handle and may cause issues with airline regulations.
Secure Your Valuables: Ensure your purse has secure zippers or locks, especially for storing valuables like wallets and electronics.
Balance Weight Distribution: If you’re also carrying a carry-on bag, distribute the weight between your purse and carry-on to make it easier to manage your luggage.
Check Airline Policies Beforehand: Always review your airline’s specific baggage policy to avoid surprises at the airport.
Can I Bring a Purse and a Personal Item on a Plane?
In most cases, no. Airlines usually allow only one personal item per passenger, and a purse is often considered a personal item. Bringing both may be against airline policies.
That said, in some cases, you may get away with bringing both a purse and a personal item on a plane. And some airlines may ask you to place your purse inside the designated personal item, especially if the combined size exceeds their specified limits.
While this rule is not always strictly enforced, it’s advisable to check with your specific airline to understand their policies and guidelines regarding the carriage of both items.
Can I take 2 personal items on a plane?
No, airlines permit only one personal item per passenger. Bringing two personal items is not standard practice and may result in additional fees or restrictions.
Can I take a purse and a personal item on Spirit?
No. Spirit Airlines usually adheres to a strict one-item policy. You’re allowed only one personal item unless you purchase extra baggage. Your purse is considered your personal item in this context.
Does a purse count as hand luggage?
Yes, a purse typically does count as hand luggage. Airlines often consider a purse as a personal item, and passengers are allowed to bring it in addition to their carry-on or hand luggage.
However, I recommend you check your specific airline’s policies, as size restrictions for personal items can vary. In most cases, a purse is considered a item that goes under the seat in front of you without additional charges.
How to pack your travel purse
Can you bring a purse and a personal item on United?
No. United Airlines, like many others, usually allows only one personal item per passenger. Your purse would be considered your personal item in this case. Bringing both may go against their policies.
So, can you have a purse and a personal item?
In conclusion, when flying, you typically cannot bring both a purse and another personal item, as the purse is considered your personal item. This rule helps airlines manage cabin baggage space and ensures a smoother boarding process for everyone.
So if you really need to travel with your purse, it’s safest to consider your purse as your personal item. This approach ensures you comply with most airlines’ baggage policies and avoid any unexpected surprises during boarding.