It is essential to know airline’s policy and regulations about many things when you decide to take a flight. You can ask yourself such question as “Am I allowed bringing the liquid to the flight? What is considered as a special item I can carry with myself?”.
Here you will find the rules and restrictions of United Airlines regarding luggage. So, if you want to bring a carry-on bag and personal item, make sure to read this first to be prepared.
Traveling is not so easy, especially when it comes to airports where you have to go through check-in lines, long security lines (in case you do not have TSA Precheck) and eventually end up in your economy seats.
Today we’re going to discuss how you can avoid some of these obstacles when flying United with a carry-on and personal item.
In this article, you can find information about making your travel life a little easier, and also you will learn some tips about carry-on and personal items on United flights.
- United Carry-on and Personal Item Requirements
- United Express Flights
- United Basic Economy Carry-on Rules
- Final Thoughts
United Carry-on and Personal Item Requirements
It is obligatory for carry-on bags (such as backpack) and personal items to meet certain standards being set by United. You may bring 1 of each with you when flying United, but the requirements for each are different.
When flying United, the size limit for carry-on bags is that it can be no larger than 9 inches X 14 inches X 22 inches (22 cm X 35 cm X 56 cm). These dimensions include wheels and handles, so make sure you include those in your measurements.
If your carry-on bag does not meet the dimension requirements, you could be forced to check your bag and pay United’s standard checked baggage fee.
Hot Tip: Check out the best ways to avoid checked baggage fees on United.
Unlike checked baggage, carry-ons don’t have to meet certain weight requirements to avoid an extra fee.
Personal Item Dimensions
The size of a personal item should be appropriate for fitting under the seat right in front of you. Common items include backpacks, laptop bags, and purses. These bags can be no larger than 9 inches X 10 inches X 17 inches (22 cm X 25 cm X 43 cm).
Like carry-on bags, personal items do not have to meet a weight requirement.
Passengers are allowed to bring other items on board with themselves along with a carry-on bag and a personal item (for example, Delta Airlines allows this to their passengers too). These items include:
|Additional Items Allowed on Board|
|Jacket||Assistive devices (cane, crutches, etc.)|
|Umbrella||FAA-approved child restraint system or safety seat|
|Food from the airport||Diaper bag|
|Merchandise from the airport||Breast pump|
|Reading material||Pet carrier (service charges will apply)|
Musical instruments such as guitars, violins, and other small instruments are permitted on board if the instrument is packed in a hard case and space is available in an overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you.
If you choose to bring a musical instrument with you, it will count as part of your carry-on allowance, so keep that in mind when you’re packing.
What Items Are Allowed in Your Carry-on Bag?
The limits for items allowed in your carryon baggage are regulated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA allows liquids, gels, and aerosols to be packed in your carry-on bag, provided they are in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces (100 mL).
United Express Flights
Keep in mind that you might have to gate check a carry-on bag you brought since an overhead storage space in Regional United Express jets is smaller.
United Express Flights are operated by regional airline partners that use smaller aircraft. As such, the overhead compartments have less space than on United’s mainline aircraft. Roller bags and larger carry-on bags often won’t fit in these overhead bins at all.
If this is the case, you may need to gate check your carry-on before boarding. These gate checked bags will not be sent to the baggage claim area when exiting the airport. Instead, they will be brought to you just outside the aircraft, often in the jet bridge.
If you are forced to gate check your carry-on bag, any personal vaporizers and e-cigarettes should be removed and stored in your personal item on board.
You will not incur a fee to gate check your carry-on in this case.
United Basic Economy Carry-on Rules
Basic economy fares is a feature that was introduced by such low-cost carriers as Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines, and United Airlines has decided to keep up this pace. United introduced basic economy fares as well, however, they do not advertise fares as a basic economy, and a traveler will not be able to see this designation until the flights are selected.
At this point, you can pay extra for an economy ticket that comes with a few more benefits. If you choose to keep your basic economy ticket, you won’t be allowed to bring a carry-on bag on board at all.
You will still have the option to bring a personal item with you that can be stored under the seat in front of you, but that’s it.
If you go to the gate with a carry-on and you’re sitting in basic economy, you will be required to check the bag and pay the applicable checked bag fees plus a $25 gate handling fee.
Avoiding Basic Economy Carry-on Fees
A situation can happen when you have to travel with a basic economy ticket, and there are only 2 ways which will provide you with the opportunity to bring a full-size carry-on bag on board with you. One is easy, while the other is expensive and time-consuming.
If you pay for your basic economy ticket using a co-branded United credit card, you can bring your carry-on bag with you at no extra charge. There are 4 credit card options to choose from 2 personal and 2 business.
|CREDIT CARD||CARD INFO|
|UnitedSM Explorer Card|
|Chase United MileagePlus® Club Card|
|United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card|
Another benefit of these cards is a free checked bag for you and a traveling companion on your itinerary. In fact, the Club cards both provide 2 free checked bags.
Unfortunately, the ability to bring a carry-on when booked in a basic economy is not extended to your traveling companion. Only the cardholder is eligible to bring a carry-on on board with a basic economy ticket, even if the companion is on the same reservation.
The second way to avoid a fee is to have elite status with United. If you hold Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, Premier 1K, or Global Services status with United, you are permitted to bring a carry-on bag.
Earning status requires a high level of spending, so this is mostly applicable to business travelers who work for companies that pay for their travel.
Hot Tip: Use a United MileagePlus credit card from Chase if you have to purchase basic economy tickets so you can bring a carry-on bag with you.
How to Handle Basic Economy Bag Issues
There is a chance to avoid or offset paying baggage fees when you have a basic economy ticket, and all you have to do is to plan a little.
So if you don’t hold elite status with United, what’s the best way to ensure you can bring your carry-on bag for free?
First, if you really want a carry-on with you so you can jet off the plane to a meeting or catch a train, use one of the co-branded United cards to book your flight. This is the easiest way to ensure you can bring both your personal item and carry-on on board even with a basic economy ticket.
If you don’t have one of the co-branded cards, don’t try to sneak a carry-on bag on board—it’s unlikely to work. When they stop you, you’ll be on the hook for the standard checked bag fee of $25 plus the additional $25 gate handling fee.
Rather than going through this hassle and paying double, plan ahead by putting everything you can in a checked bag and only keeping essentials such as medicines in your personal item. By checking the bag at the United check-in desk, you’ll still have to cover the checked bag fee—but it will be half of what you’d pay at the gate.
Finally, if you’re going to check a bag, pay for it with a credit card that will reimburse you for the cost.
|Credit Card||Card & Fee Reimbursement Details|
|Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite MasterCard®|
|Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express|
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN|
If you use one of these cards, it can save you some money, even though you might have a carry-on bag.Keep in mind that to use an American Express airline fee credit on checked bags with United, you must designate United as your selected airline before making the purchase.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a ticket to a first-class or to economy class, to an international or domestic flight when it comes to carry-on baggage and personal items, as long as they fit dimensions required by United Airlines.
It’s when you’re stuck in a basic economy that you need to consider your needs. You’re likely going to have to check a bag if you want to bring anything more than a personal item, so planning ahead is advisable. Fortunately, you can use any of several credit cards to offset the checked baggage fees.
This is just another hassle to flying basic economy, but with the right information in hand, you can at least make the best of a frustrating situation.