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Luggage restrictions for airlines list the linear dimensions of a bag, or the sum of the height, width and depth. Typically, the maximum carry-on size is 45 linear inches or smaller. Any bag that is larger than 45 inches is considered an upright or checked bag.
Upright and carry-on bags are measured from the retractable handle top to the bottom of the wheels. If your carry-on is expandable, make sure the expanded dimensions fall within these guidelines or pack flat for carry-on use. Most types of luggage are differentiated by the height of the suitcase in inches.
Luggage Size Guide
- Small carry-on: 18-20-in. height
- A suitcase this size is ideal for short trips and can be used as carry-on bags for most airlines.
- Large carry-on: 21-22-in. height
- This type of suitcase still must be 45 linear inches or less to be used as carry-on for most airlines. The larger storage capacity is ideal for weekend travels or business trips.
- Small upright: 23-24-in. height
- Small upright bags are greater than 46 linear inches and will have to be checked for most airlines. These bags often feature multiple interior pockets to help keep you organized for longer trips.
- Medium upright: 25-27-in. height
- Medium uprights will also have to be checked for most airlines, and offer a greater packing capacity than a small upright.
- Large upright: 28-in. height and above
- Large uprights feature the most amount of packing space and are ideal for extended trips. In order to avoid extra airline fees for checked bags, it is recommended your suitcase be less than 50 lbs. when traveling by plane.