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United Airlines Hand Luggage Allowance 2020

United Airlines Hand Luggage Allowance 2020

United Airlines Hand Luggage Allowance 2020


How much carry-on baggage can you take with you on United Airlines?

United Airlines Hand Luggage Allowance 2020

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United Airlines allows you to bring on board a large piece of hand baggage measuring 56 x 35 x 22 cm (22 x 14 x 9 inches) and a small piece of hand baggage measuring 43 x 25 x 22 cm (17 x 10 x 9 inches) in all classes of travel. In addition, you may bring the following accessories on board: Jacket or umbrella, reading material, food purchased at the airport, assistance aids (collapsible wheelchair, walking stick, a set of crutches, essential medical equipment, portable oxygen concentrator).

On BASIC ECONOMY flights, which are NOT transatlantic flights, you may only bring a small piece of hand luggage (43 x 25 x 22 cm / 17 x 10 x 9 inches) on board.


United Airlines: Carry-on baggage allowance for infants and toddlers?

In addition to the maximum cabin baggage allowance (see above), United Airlines allows passengers to take the following baby and children’s items into their cabin.

*By the way, liquid baby food and liquid medicines are not subject to the regulations for liquids in hand luggage. This means that you may also carry larger quantities (>100 ml per container) in your hand luggage. If you are carrying liquid medication, however, you must be able to produce a medical certificate. You can read more about this in our extensive article “Syringes in hand luggage”.

As a rule, your child is only entitled to a large and small piece of hand baggage if it has its own ticket (ticketed infant). An infant that is ticked is usually an infant that is travelling on its own seat.

Traveling on your own seat is considered to be safer (alternative for infants aged 0-2 is to travel on the lap of the adult) and is logically associated with higher costs, as children aged 0-2 can travel on the lap of the adult (lap children) with the vast majority of airlines and only pay a greatly reduced price for the ticket.

Children over 2 years of age pay the full ticket price, travel on their own seat and are, therefore, entitled to the same amount of hand luggage as their parents.


United Airlines: When hand luggage is too large

If you are travelling on the Basic Economy tariff and are NOT flying in the transatlantic category, you may only take a small piece of hand luggage measuring 43 x 25 x 22 cm (17 x 10 x 9 inches) into the cabin. If your hand baggage is too large, you must drop it off at the gate and check it in. United will charge you a $25 handling fee and the applicable checked baggage charges.

If you are travelling on one of the other fares, the maximum size of your large piece of hand baggage is 56 x 35 x 22 cm and the maximum size of your small piece of hand baggage is 43 x 25 x 22 cm (17 x 10 x 9 inches). If one of these hand luggage items is too large, it must also be checked in and additional charges will apply if your checked baggage allowance is exceeded as a result.


United Airlines: Liquids in hand baggage

As far as liquids in carry-on baggage are concerned, the following also applies to United Airlines:

  • Liquids must be transported in the bag of liquids.
  • This bag of liquids (type: freezer bag from the supermarket) must be transparent and resealable.
  • Each liquid container must not exceed a capacity of 100 ml
  • The transparent bag for liquids must not have a capacity of more than one litre
  • Each person may carry only one such plastic bag.

In the USA, when it comes to liquids in hand luggage, people speak of the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule. This rule applies to all airlines in America and was established by the TSA, the American Transportation Security Administration.

The 3-1-1 Liquids Rule complies with the regulations that apply in Europe for liquids in hand luggage.


Why is it called the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule?

The 3 in 3-1-1 stands for 3.4 ounces, which corresponds to 100 ml in Europe.

The first 1 in 3-1-1 stands for 1 plastic bag.

The second 1 in 3-1-1 stands for 1 such plastic bag per person.


United Airlines: Food in hand luggage

It is generally permitted to bring food in hand luggage. However, there are some important things to consider in this context:

  • If you bring food in liquid form with you, you must comply with the regulations for liquids in hand luggage (according to EU regulations or for departures from America according to Liquid Rule 3-1-1). The trick is to know which food is considered liquid and which is not. Among the liquids at the security checkpoint are, for example, Nutella, sausage spread and marmalade.
  • For some foodstuffs, in particular milk and meat products, there are strict import regulations and sometimes also bans. If you are travelling internationally, you should pay particular attention to the import regulations of the country of destination.
  • The TSA What-Can-I-Bring page also offers an excellent overview of food in hand (and checked) baggage at United Airlines.

Some neat advice: As long as the food is solid and you eat it before landing in the destination country, almost everything is fine, even on international flights. This even applies to meat snacks and sandwiches.


United Airlines: Musical instruments on board

United Airlines says that when it comes to musical instruments on board, a small musical instrument may be brought on board as part of hand luggage if there is enough space on board (in the luggage compartments or under the front seat). United mentions in this context violins, guitars, and other small musical instruments.

The problem is that you simply don’t know if there will be enough room on board or not. That’s why we recommend that you bring on board only those musical instruments that meet United Airlines’ standard cabin baggage size requirements. So it is best to bring only musical instruments that do not exceed 56 x 35 x 22 cm (22 x 14 x 9 inches). (Depending on the size, this musical instrument will replace either your small or large piece of hand baggage according to United’s hand baggage allowance).

If you wish to bring larger musical instruments on board, it is important that you contact United in good time to check whether this will be possible on your flight. Do not necessarily trust that you will get a convincing answer from them. Often the staff will only be able to decide at the check-in or sometimes even at the gate whether your musical instrument (if larger than 56 x 35 x 22 cm / 22 x 14 x 9 inches) is allowed in the cabin or not.

One way you can ensure that your larger musical instrument is allowed to fly in the cabin is to book an additional seat on United Airlines. Classically, this is a good option for transporting cellos (guitars, on the other hand, are not allowed to be carried in an extra seat by United Airlines).

The option with an additional seat is expensive because such an instrument seat usually costs as much as your own seat, but you can only be sure that your (larger) musical instrument is guaranteed to enter the cabin.

Another important point to keep in mind for all musical instruments is the fact that United Airlines (and many other airlines) require them to be packed in a hard case.

Musical instruments that are not allowed in the cabin must be transported as checked baggage. In this case, a hard case for your musical instrument is also mandatory.

Further useful information, tips & tricks about musical instruments in aircraft can be found in our article: 9 Great Tips for Carrying Musical Instruments on Airplanes.

If you are travelling with a guitar, you should take a closer look at this text here. In this article, we will explain to you exactly what is important when transporting guitars on an airplane, what possibilities there are to transport guitars by air and what you should pay attention to when transporting them.


United Airlines: Travelling with pets

United Airlines carries pets on its flights. Pets can be transported in the cabin or in the hold. Whether an animal may travel in the cabin depends on the type, size, and weight of the animal.


United Airlines: Taking animals with you in the passenger cabin

United Airlines allows the following animals in the cabin:

  • dogs
  • cats
  • rabbits
  • House birds (but no cockatoos)

These pets can be taken into the cabin in addition to your hand luggage. For the safe transport of the animal in the cabin, you must have an animal transport container that complies with the regulations.

The same applies, of course, if the animal is transported in the cargo hold of the aircraft. In this case, the requirements for the transport container are much higher and must comply with the standards as defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).


United Airlines: carrying pets in the cargo hold of the airplane

United has a special service called PetSafe for dogs and cats that cannot be transported in the cabin of the aircraft.


When departing from the US, please note the following in particular

If you are taking an international flight from America with an American airline such as United Airlines or another international airline, you must always observe the rules of the American Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at the security check at the departure airport in America.

The TSA has an excellent website where you can see at a glance what items are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage, in what quantities and under what (special) conditions.

To find out if your item is allowed in carry-on/check-in baggage, simply go to the “What Can I bring” page and enter the name of the item there.

If, after consulting this list, questions remain unanswered (which usually is not the case), you can also reach the TSA via Twitter (AskTSA). Highly recommended.


Pay attention to the powder rule

If you are travelling to the USA, whether with United Airlines, Delta Airlines or a European airline such as SWISS or Lufthansa, you must comply with the powder rule that was introduced in 2018 for flights to the USA.

In summary, the rule says the following:

  • If you bring a container with more than 350 ml of powder in your hand baggage, it will be subjected to an extended security check at the security checkpoint.
  • If it is not possible to determine what powder substances are involved, you must leave the powder at the security checkpoint.
  • Powder over 350 ml should, therefore, be transported in checked baggage.


How do I contact United Airlines?

United Airlines Contact

Contact United Airlines conveniently via Twitter or Facebook. Another convenient way to get in touch with United Airlines is to use the contact form. Usually, however, you will get an answer faster via the social media platforms than would be the case via the contact form. Fotocredit: Tis Meyer / Foto Credit: Tis Meyer /


The American airline United Airlines can be reached via all common channels:

If you have any questions about tickets, reservations or ticket changes, you can contact United Airlines from the United States at the following number:

  • Reservations: 1-800-864-8331
  • To contact us from other countries (such as the UK), you can find the phone number here

If you want to contact United through social media, we recommend you contact us through Twitter. Of course, you need a Twitter account. But Twitter is undoubtedly one of the best and most efficient ways to get in touch with United Airlines.


Related Questions


Is it allowed to carry a power bank in your hand luggage at United Airlines?

Yes, Powerbanks even have to be carried in hand baggage, because replacement batteries, including the Powerbanks, are prohibited in checked baggage.


How many kilograms of carry-on baggage are allowed on United Airlines?

United Airlines has not defined a maximum weight for hand luggage. So all you have to do with United Airlines is make sure that you stick to the maximum permitted dimensions (56 x 35 x 22 cm / 22 x 14 x 9 inches for the large piece of hand baggage and 43 x 25 x 22 cm / 17 x 10 x 9 inches for the small piece of hand baggage).


How much carry-on baggage can I bring on United transatlantic flights?

On United transatlantic flights, you are entitled to a large 56 x 35 x 22 cm (22 x 14 x 9 inches) piece of carry-on baggage and a small 43 x 25 x 22 cm (17 x 10 x 9 inches ) piece of carry-on baggage. There is no weight limit for these hand luggage pieces.


How much carry-on baggage is allowed in First Class on United Airlines?

The First Class free hand baggage allowance is exactly the same as the Economy Class allowance (with the exception of the BASIC Economy fare on “non-transatlantic flights”, where only a small piece of hand baggage is allowed): A large piece of hand baggage (56 x 35 x 22 cm / 22 x 14 x 9 inches) and a small piece of hand baggage (also called personal item) of 43 x 25 x 22 cm (17 x 10 x 9 inches). There is no weight limit on these items at United Airlines.