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American Airlines Hand Luggage 2020

American Airlines Hand Luggage Allowance 2020



What is American Airlines hand luggage policy?

American Airlines allows one large piece of hand luggage measuring 56 x 36 x 23 cm (22 x 14 x 9 inches) and one personal item measuring 45 x 35 x 20 cm (18 x 14 x 8 inches) such as a purse or handbag or laptop bag. This applies to all American Airlines flight classes. The hand luggage policy is, therefore, the same for all classes (Economy, Premium Economy, First, Business, etc.). 

American Airlines Hand Luggage 2020

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American Airlines: Hand luggage allowance for infants

Can passengers travelling with infants bring additional hand luggage?

Infants (under 2 years) are not entitled to any hand luggage.

Children (2 years or older) are entitled to the same hand luggage allowance as adults. Moreoverchildren (2 years or older) must have their own seat.

In addition, for each ticketed customer (= children 2 years or older) you are allowed to bring the following:

  • 1 stroller and 1 car seat to be checked free of charge (to carry on the safety seat, please don’t forget that you must have bought a seat for the child!)


American Airlines: Liquids in hand luggage

As far as liquids in hand baggage are concerned, American Airlines is subject to what actually applies to all airlines in both the EU and in the US (keyword: 3-1-1 liquids rule)

  • All liquids must be transported in the bag of liquids
  • This plastic bag for liquids must be both resealable and transparent
  • Each liquid container must not exceed the max. capacity of 100 ml/3.4 oz (important note: the capacity of the container is decisive, not the current filling level!!!)
  • The capacity of the liquids bag must not exceed one litre
  • The Ziploc bag must not be larger than 20 x 20 cm
  • Each passenger is only allowed to bring one such bag (type: freezer bag from the supermarket)

The rule for liquids in hand luggage is the same in most places of the world. If you are flying within the EU, for instance, the rule is almost identical.

There can be minor differences according to the country of departure. It is important that the regulations of the country of departure are always applicable, as airport security control usually takes place here.

So if you fly from the EU to the US, then the EU regulations on liquids must be observed. If you fly from the US to the EU, then the rules according to the TSA must be observed.


Please note:

Liquid baby food and liquid medication are not subject to the hand luggage regulations for liquids in hand luggage.

You may, therefore, also carry these items in containers larger than 100 ml (3.4 oz) per container in your carry-on bag, but these must be baby food or liquid medication on which the passenger is urgently dependent during the flight.

If we are talking about liquid medications, then you may be required to present a medical certificate at the security checkpoint (especially if the liquid is in a container larger than 100 ml/3.4 oz!). You can find more info about medical certificates in our article: Syringes in Hand Luggage.


American Airlines: Food in hand luggage

Is it allowed to take food in your hand luggage at American Airlines? On the whole, yes, it is allowed. However, there are a few things to keep in mind and a few restrictions to be observed.


Food in solid form

Within the EU, you can bring all kinds of foods in solid form and they do not cause any problems at the security checkpoint. However, when importing foods, the custom regulations need to be observed. For some foodstuffs, in particular milk and meat products, there are strict import regulations and, in many cases, bans.

Also, many types of fruits may not be imported. Here it is essential to understand that the importation of these kinds of foods will most likely not cause any problems at the security checkpoint, but rather at customs.

For example, you are generally allowed to take meat through the security check, even if you are travelling internationally and across EU borders.

However, your meat will then be confiscated at customs in the country of destination because meat products are generally not allowed to be imported.


Food in liquid form

You must comply with the regulations for liquids in hand luggage (according to EU regulations or for departures from America according to the Liquid Rule 3-1-1).

Hack: As long as the food is solid and you eat it on the plane, you can also carry practically all kinds of food in your hand luggage on international flights (even across EU borders). Even sandwiches do not cause any trouble in this case.


American Airlines: Musical instruments on board

Musical instruments onboard the airplane is indeed an interesting topic. Surely there are uniform rules that clearly define which musical instruments can be brought on board, how big they can be, and so on….

NOOOPE. Not even close.

On the contrary: as far as musical instruments on the airplane are concerned, every airline has different regulations. And these regulations often deviate drastically from each other.

So how does American Airlines handle this issue?

With American Airlines there are three ways to transport musical instruments on the plane:

  • Carrying musical instruments in the cabin of the aircraft as hand luggage
  • Transport musical instruments in the cabin on an additional seat (for which you have to pay obviously = same amount as for a regular seat) or on a free seat in the cabin, provided that the instrument is below the usual size and weight limits for hand luggage.
  • The transport of musical instruments in the cargo hold (i.e. as checked baggage)


In general, American Airlines also considers musical instruments as a carry-on piece, as long as the musical instrument will fit in the overhead bin or fit under the seat in front of you.

This basically means that as long as your musical instrument does not exceed the general size restrictions for carry-ons (max. of 56 x 36 x 25 cm/22 x 14 x 9 inches, you can bring your musical instrument as your carry-on bag.

Some more tips:

  • When travelling with musical instruments that are meant to be transported in the cabin, you should always make sure to board as soon as possible because American Airlines specifies that the travel with small instruments is handled on a first come, first serve basis.
  • If your instrument is too big for the overhead bins and also does not fit under the seat in front of you, it might be transported on an additional seat. This is usually a good idea for the transport of a Cello.

If your musical instrument does not qualify for the transport in the cabin or on an additional seat, then your instrument can also be checked.

Large instruments such as harps or drums might need to be transported as cargo.

For some more in-depth information about the topic, please visit the official website and see the details under Musical Instruments.

Moreover, it can’t hurt to have a look at these 9 great tips for carrying musical instruments on airplanes. 


American Airlines: Travelling with Pets

American Airlines does carry pets, both in the cabin and in the cargo hold of the aircraft.

Only dogs and cats are allowed to travel in the cabin of the aircraft.

The rules for the carriage of pets @American Airlines are rather complex and there are many restrictions to be observed.

You will find all the necessary info on the official AA website here.


When departing from the US, take this into account

If you are travelling with American Airlines and take a flight from America, the rules as defined by the American Transportation Security Administration (TSA) need to be observed.

The TSA has an amazing website where you can find out in a hurry which items are allowed or forbidden in your hand and checked baggage, how much you can bring with you and under which (special) conditions.

In Europe, such an official website that does provide in-depth information about allowed/forbidden items in hand luggage does not exist (yet).

However, is working very hard to ensure that you can find at least some reliable info about all these kinds of luggage related topics & questions online!

Now back to the TSA:

Especially their page What Can I bring is extremely useful in case you simply try to find out if an item is allowed in (hand) luggage or not (when departing from the US or when travelling in the US).

If that wonderful overview (covers items from A-Z) still does not answer your question, you can write to the TSA directly. And best of all you can do so via Twitter.

The official TSA channel on Twitter allows you to reach TSA staff at virtually any time, and in most cases, you will receive a prompt reply.

To make sure that the TSA knows exactly what you are talking about, you can simply attach a picture of the item in question.

So if you’re not sure if you can bring your food supplements on the plane, just take a picture of your protein & creatine, upload them as attachments and send them straight to the TSA. Soon enough you will find an answer in your inbox and then you can finally relax (hopefully!).


When flying with American Airlines to the US, be sure to observe the powder rule

If you are travelling to the US, regardless of whether you are travelling with Delta Airlines, United Airlines or a European airline such as Aer Lingus or British Airways, you must comply with the powder rule which came into force at the end of June 2018 for flights to the US.

Essentially, the powder rule states the following:

  • Containers in hand luggage with more than 350 ml/12 ounces are subjected to extra screening at the security checkpoint. You need to present them separately for screening (take the powders out of your carry-on from the start!)
  • If it is not possible to determine exactly what powder substances you are actually carrying, then the powder will be confiscated (or you will simply need to throw it away)
  • Powders larger than 350 ml/12 oz. should be placed in your checked baggage to avoid delays & trouble at the security checkpoint

One question that naturally arises in this context is which substances are regarded as powders at all?

Powders include (but are certainly not limited to) the following products & substances:


How strict is American Airlines on hand luggage?

First of all, it needs to be said that US Airlines often do not weigh carry-on bags at all. Airlines of some other countries are much more strict in this regard. Most airlines (well almost all) do care more about size, rather than weight.

And so, before even talking about the weighing of your carry-on, you should always make sure that your hand luggage does not exceed the maximum measurement as defined by the airline.

Now, when talking about the question of whether American Airlines does indeed weigh the carry-on or not, the answer is pretty simple: No, they don’t! For the simple that American Airlines actually does not have a weight limit for carry-on bags at all. So it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to weigh the bags….right?

So, to sum things up, American Airlines is not very strict when it comes to carry-on bags. Make sure you adhere to the size limit and only bring two pieces of hand luggage (one large piece of hand luggage & one personal item) and you should be fine.


How can I contact American Airlines?

American Airlines


American Airlines can be reached via the following contact channels:


If you want to contact American Airlines via a call centre, here are the numbers for the UK & the US.


From the UK:

Reservations & Ticket Changes (English): 0207-660-2300 or 0844-369-9899 (0,05 GBP/Minute plus phone company’s access charges)


From the US:

Reservations & Ticket Changes (English): 800-433-7300

If you want to reach out to American Airlines via social media, we recommend you to contact them via Twitter.

Contact via twitter is preferred because American Airlines answers quickly on that channel and it is easy to get competent answers from them using Twitter.


Related Questions


What is the weight limit for hand luggage pieces at American Airlines?

In fact, there is no weight limit for hand luggage pieces with American Airlines. This holds true for both the large piece of hand luggage (such as a trolley or a backpack) as well as for the personal item (handbag, purse, laptop bag).


What is American Airlines carry-on policy for business class passengers?

American Airlines carry-on policy is always the same, regardless of the flight class: So it is 1 carry-on bag (56 x 36 x 23 cm, no weight limit) plus one personal item such as a handbag, a purse or a laptop bag (no weight limit as well) for all passengers! (Economy, Premium Economy, First, Business, etc.)


What about American Airlines hand luggage allowance on domestic flights?

Even for domestic flights, the hand luggage allowance for American Airlines stays the same as always: 1 carry-on bag (56 x 36 x 23 cm/22 x 14 x 9 inches and one personal item (45 x 35 x 20 cm/8 x 14 x 8 inches).


Can I bring a laptop into the cabin in addition to my hand luggage?

Yes. American Airlines allows one carry-on bag plus a personal item. You can bring your laptop as a personal item. Please make sure the measurements don’t exceed 45 x 35 x 20 cm (18 x 14 x 8 inches).


Does American Airlines weigh carry-ons?

No, American Airlines typically does not weigh carry-ons. There is a very simple reason for this: American Airlines does not have a weight limit for carry-on pieces. So it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to weigh them.


Can I take a Powerbank with me in my hand luggage at American Airlines?

Absolutely. You can bring a power bank in your hand luggage when flying with American Airlines. In checked baggage, however, power banks are forbidden. This is the case with almost all airlines nowadays. There are certain restrictions you need to observe when bringing your power bank in your carry-on. All you need to know about this topic can be found here.


How many kilograms of hand luggage is allowed on American Airlines?

American Airlines has no set kilogram restriction as far as the weight of carry-on pieces goes. However, you must be able to place the bag in the overhead bin without the assistance of others.


Can I have sweets in my hand luggage on American Airlines flights?

Absolutely. Sweets & candy in solid can be brought into the cabin of the aircraft. If we are talking about sweets & candy in liquid form, the rules for liquids in hand luggage need to be observed.


Can I bring medication in my hand luggage on American Airlines flights?

Yes, American Airlines does allow medicines in carry-ons. In most of the cases, it makes far more sense to have important medicines with you in hand luggage rather than stowing it in your checked luggage.

Medicines in checked luggage are obviously also allowed, but checked luggage often arrives with a delay and sometimes even gets stolen.

It is therefore recommended that you bring your medicine in your carry-on whenever possible. For most medicine, such as tablets (pills), a medical certificate won’t even be necessary.

If you are bringing liquid medicine in containers larger than 100 ml (3.4 oz), you should, however, make sure to bring such a certificate with you.


Does American Airlines offer a live chat function?

No, American Airlines does not offer a live chat function. Airlines that do indeed offer a Live Chat are Condor, easyJet and Ryanair, just to name a few.

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