Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item?
Everything You Need to Know

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : a duffel carry-on luggage

Duffel bags are a popular option for airline travel, but the one question that seems to be on everyone’s mind is this: is a duffel bag considered a carry-on or personal item?

In this post, we’ll explore the definition of a carry-on and personal item, as well as provide some tips on how to make sure your duffel bag meets the requirements for either category.

Let’s get started!

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : Troubadour duffel carry-on luggage
Credit: troubadourgoods.com

The short answer to the question is that a duffle bag can count as a personal item or as a carry-on, depending on the size of the bag and the airline you fly with.  

Most airlines will allow you to bring a duffle bag as a carry-on, as long as it fits within their carry-on size requirements.

You can also use a small duffle bag as your personal item, which means you can bring it onboard with you in addition to your carry-on.

A duffel bag can be a great choice for a carry-on or personal item because it’s usually smaller and more compact than traditional suitcases.

This makes it easier to store in the overhead bin or fit under the seat in front of you and less likely to get damaged during transport.

However, if your duffel bag is too big, then the airline might charge you for checking it in.

So it’s important to check with your airline before flying to see what their size restrictions are for personal items and carry-on bags.

The term “carry-on” simply refers to any item of luggage that you can bring on board an airplane with you and store in the overhead bin.

A “personal item” is anything smaller that you can fit under your seat, such as a purse, backpack, laptop bag, duffel, or even a small underseat luggage.

Most airlines have very specific size and weight restrictions for carry-on luggage, so it’s important to check those before packing.

Generally speaking, a good rule of thumb is that if you can’t lift your carry-on into the overhead bin without assistance, it’s probably too big. For personal items, there are usually no restrictions other than that it must be able to fit under the seat in front of you.

The great thing about having a carry-on or personal item is that it allows you to avoid paying baggage fees (which can really add up!) and also means avoids the risk of lost luggage.  

The right carry-on duffel size will depend on the airline you’re flying with. Most airlines require that your bag not be larger than 22 x 14 x 9 inches or 45L. So, to be safe, it’s best to choose a duffel bag that is within those dimensions.

It’s also important to choose a duffel bag that will fit comfortably under the seat in front of you, or fit into an overhead bin by yourself, without any help.

With that being said, remember that each airline has its own size restrictions, and size limits may vary for domestic and international flights, so always verify with your airline ahead of time.

Airlines that allow a duffel bag to be used as a personal item or as a carry-on

A number of airlines allow a duffel bag to be used as a personal item or as a carry-on. The dimensions of the duffel that are allowed as a carry-on typically vary from airline to airline, but usually fall within the following range: 22 inches long x 14 inches wide x 9 inches high.

Here is a list of some airlines that allow a duffel bag to be used as either a personal item or as a carry-on:

Alaska Airlines?

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : Alaska airlines carry-on requirements
Credit: alaskaair.com

You can use a duffel bag as a carry-on or as a personal item on Alaska Airlines.

For a duffel bag to qualify as a carry-on, it must not exceed 22” x 14” x 9”/ 45 linear inches and you should be able to lift it into the overhead bin compartment on your own.

As a personal item, your duffel bag should be small enough to be stowed under the seat in front of you.

Allegiant Air

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : American Airlines carry-on requirements
Credit: aa.com

If your duffel doesn’t exceed the personal item size of 15 x 16 x 7 inches (40.6 x 38.1 x 17.8 cm), it’s free, but a fee applies if you want to bring a large duffel carry-on bag on board (22 x 14 x 9 inches).

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : American Airlines carry-on requirements
Credit: aa.com

The American Airlines flight allows passengers to take one carry-on (22 x 14 x 9 inches) and one personal item (18 x 14 x 8 inches).

It’s mandatory that your duffel 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

Delta Airlines

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : Delta Airlines carry-on requirements
Credit: delta.com

Each passenger flying with Delta Airlines can bring one carry-on bag and one free personal item that needs to fit under the seat.

Your duffel carry-on luggage size must not exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56 cm x 35 cm x 23 cm).

Frontier Airlines

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : Frontier Airlines carry-on requirements
Credit: flyfrontier.com

The Frontier Airlines flight allows passengers to take one carry-on, 24 x 16 x 10 inches (subject to applicable fees), and one free personal item (8 x 18 x 14 inches).

Your duffel carry-on must be able to fit either underneath the seat or in the overhead bin.

Hawaiian Airlines?

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : Hawaiian Airlines carry-on requirements
Credit: hawaiianairlines.com

You are permitted one carry-on bag (9 x 14 x 22 inches) and one personal item on Hawaiian Airlines.

Your duffel as a carry-on must not exceed 25 lbs., and should either fit under the seat in front of you or the overhead bin.

JetBlue Airlines

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : JetBlue Airlines carry-on requirements
Credit: jetblue.com

Passengers on JetBlue are permitted one carry-on bag (and one personal item, except for Blue Basic Fares customers who are only allowed a personal item (purse, small backpack, briefcase, laptop, etc.). 

Your duffel must not exceed a 22 x 14 x 9 inches’ carry-on size or personal item limit of 17 x 13 x 8 inches.

Southwest Airlines

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : Southwest Airlines carry-on requirements
Credit: southwest.com

Customers are limited to one bag plus one smaller, personal-type item on Southwest Airlines.

For your duffel to quality as a carry-on, it must either be sized as 24 x 16 x 10 inches to go to the overhead bin or must fit under the seat in front of you.

Spirit Airlines

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : Spirit Airlines carry-on requirements
Credit: customersupport.spirit.com

is a duffle bag considered a carry-on Spirit?

Spirit Airlines allows passengers one free personal item (18 x 14 x 8 inches) while standard carry-on (22 x 18 x 10 inches) is paid for.

United Airlines

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : United Airlines carry-on requirements
Credit: united.com

Duffel bags count as a carry-on on United Airlines as long as the dimension is 22 x 14 x 9 inches, while the personal item is 17 x 10 x 9 inches and must fit in the seat in front of you.

If you fly under Basic Economy, you’re however only allowed a personal item, which essentially means a small duffel or bag that fits under the seat in front of you. 

Virgin Atlantic

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : Virgin Atlantic Airlines carry-on requirements
Credit: help.virginatlantic.com

Duffel bags are allowed as carry-on luggage on Virgin Atlantic, the requirement is that the maximum size must be around 9 x 14 x 22 inches (23 x 36 x 56cm).

Also, you should be able to place the duffel into the overhead bin by yourself, without any help.

Advantages of using carry-on duffel bags for airline travels

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : Kodiak leather duffel carry-on luggage
Credit: kodiakleather.com

There are several advantages to using carry-on duffel bags for airline travel.

For one, it’s a great way to avoid checked baggage fees.

Carry-on duffel bags allow you to travel light, so there’s no need to pack unnecessary items when you can simply pack everything you need in one bag. 

Also, they are spacious and can hold a lot of items from clothes to toiletries to gadgets – giving you plenty of room to pack all the items you need for your trip.

Duffle bags are trendy and look good, which means you can maintain a fashionable and professional look while traveling.

Additionally, carry-on duffel bags are extremely flexible – meaning you can easily maneuver them through airport security and into overhead bins.

They’re lightweight and can be easily carried around, meaning you can make the most of your time at your destination without having to worry about lugging heavy suitcases around.

They’re also versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes, whether it’s for a weekend getaway or an extended trip.

Plus, they come in a variety of different styles and colors, so you can choose the one that best suits your personality and travel needs.

So if you’re looking for an efficient, stylish, and easy-to-use option for your next flight, a well-made duffel bag is a good way to go.

FAQs

Can I bring a backpack and a duffel bag on a plane?

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : Troubadour backpack and duffel carry-on luggage
Credit: troubadourgoods.com

Since most airlines allow you to bring one personal item and one carry-on bag, you can bring a backpack and a duffel bag on a plane.

That said, one of them must be small enough to fit comfortably underneath the seat in front of you, and the other can go into the overhead bin.

Of course, it’s always best to check with your specific airline before packing to see what their restrictions are.

Can a duffel bag be a carry-on bag?

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : duffel carry-on luggage

Yes, a duffel bag can be a carry-on bag as long as it is within the airline’s size requirements for carry-on luggage.

Most airlines require that your bag not be larger than 22 x 14 x 9 inches or 45L, so make sure your duffel bag fits within those measurements.

You may also want to consider the weight of your duffel bag when packing; some airlines have a weight limit.

Also, pack light!

Remember that you will need to lift your carry-on bag into the overhead bin, so pack only essentials.

Just be sure to check the airline’s size requirements before you pack so that you don’t have to check your duffel bag at the gate.

Is a purse considered a carry-on bag for air travel?

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : purse

Technically, a purse is not a carry-on bag. Most airlines have a size limit for carry-on luggage, and most purses are not within those size limits.

However, many airlines will allow you to bring your purse on the plane as a personal item as long as it can fit underneath the seat in front of you.

So if you want to be sure that your purse will be allowed on the plane, it’s best to measure its dimensions and make sure they fall within the airline’s size restrictions.

How many carry-on bags are allowed on American airline?

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : a lady with a suitcase and handbag

American Airlines allows only one carry-on bag and one personal item per passenger. This policy is strictly enforced so it’s important to know what you can and can’t bring on the plane with you.

Carry-on bags must fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you and must be no larger than 22″ x 14″ x 9″. Personal items such as a purse, laptop bag, or briefcase can be brought on board in addition to your carry-on bag.

It must not exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches, and must fit under the seat in front of you.

Generally speaking, carrying more than the allotted two items will result in having to check your bag at the gate. And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can often add unwanted stress and hassle to your travel experience.

So if possible, stick to packing light and only bringing the essentials in your carry-on and personal items.

Final thoughts – is a duffel bag considered a carry-on or personal item?

Is a Duffel Bag Considered a Carry-on or Personal Item? : Bennett Winch duffel carry-on luggage
Credit: bennettwinch.com

So, is a duffel a carry-on or a personal item? The answer is both can be, as long as you meet the certain size requirements of the airline. 

Duffels are great for traveling because they’re roomy and versatile, but it’s important to make sure your bag meets the required dimensions before packing it full of your belongings.

Airlines have different rules for what they consider a personal item and what they consider a carry-on. Some airlines allow passengers to bring a duffel bag as their carry-on, while others classify it as a personal item. It’s important to know the specific rules of your airline before you go to the airport so that you don’t end up having to check your luggage at the last minute.

Over to you.

What was your experience with bringing a duffel bag on an airplane? Did the airline let you bring it as your carry-on or did you have to check it?

Let me know in the comments below!

For any other general luggage-related questions, you are sure to find some answers in my Ultimate Guide to Carry-on Luggage and the Ultimate Guide to Checked Luggage posts. 

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