The underseat luggage size varies between airlines, but it’s important to know before you hop on the plane. All airlines currently allow free personal items on-flight, but those objects need to be able to slide under the seat in front of you when the flight takes off.
So, this article will cover the details of the average under seat luggage size, and what the restrictions for several popular airlines are.
What is Underseat Luggage?
Underseat luggage refers to any items that can fit into the under-seat storage, which is the small space under the seat in front of you. Small bags and personal items usually go down there, and you need to push them as far forward as possible so you don’t block the floor in case of an emergency.
Any on-board luggage that doesn’t fit under the seat in front of you will go in the overhead bins. So, if possible, try to keep the items you plan to use during the flight in your under seat bag.
What Counts as a Personal Item?
Airlines usually have less size restrictions for personal items than they do for carry-on and checked bags. As long as your personal item can slide under the seat in front of you, it will usually be accepted size-wise. Personal items are usually purses, briefcases, small backpacks, laptop bags, or anything of a similar size. Personal items are usually less than 18 inches long.
To ensure that your personal item will be accepted on the flight, check your airline’s personal item rules and measure your item if needed. You can find the exact airline under seat dimensions online. In airline restrictions, the term “personal item” and “underseat luggage” are often used interchangeably because they mean the same thing.
Personal Item vs Carry-on
Both personal items and carry-ons can be brought in the cabin during the flight, but the main difference is that personal items are smaller and always free. Personal items are also expected to go under the seat while carry-ons are supposed to go in the overhead bins.
Carry-ons are usually small suitcases that you sometimes need to pay extra for. The reason many airlines charge for carry-ons and not personal items is because there’s limited space in the overhead bins, so they want to make sure there’s enough room for everyone to fit their luggage.
What is the Average Underseat Luggage Size?
Every airline has slightly different underseat storage dimensions, but on average, most of them are about 22 x 14 x 9 inches. You’ll want your personal item to be smaller than those dimensions so it can easily slide under the seat without getting stuck.
Not only do these dimensions vary based on airline, but they also vary for different aircraft types. For example, Boeing 737 under seat dimensions may not be the same as a Bombardier Q400 dimensions, even if they’re run by the same airline. So, pay attention to those details when booking your flight.
Underseat Luggage Size for Popular Airlines
To help you find out your airline’s luggage size, we compiled a list of the luggage size for under the seat on several popular airlines. You can find the most up-to-date baggage restrictions on each airline’s website. The following airlines are listed in alphabetical order.
The under-the-seat luggage size on Air Canada cannot exceed 17 x 13 x 6 inches.
On this airline, underseat carry on luggage must be 16 x 12 x 6 inches or less.
Alaska Airlines doesn’t have their luggage under seat size publicly listed. They state that your personal item should be a purse, briefcase, laptop bag, or something similar. The seats are about 17 inches wide, but you can contact the airline for exact measurements.
Underseat items on Allegiant must be 16 x 15 x 7 inches or less. Personal items are described as purses, briefcases, or small backpacks.
Personal items on American Airlines need to be 18 x 14 x 8 inches or less.
The size for underseat luggage on this airline must be 16 x 12 x 6 inches or less. The luggage can be up to 51 pounds.
The size of Delta underseat dimensions varies greatly, so the company doesn’t list the exact dimensions on their website. They describe a personal item as a purse, briefcase, diaper bag, laptop computer, or anything of similar dimensions. The seats are usually 17 to 18 inches wide, but you should contact Delta to find out the exact dimensions on your flight.
EasyJet’s underseat luggage must be 17.7 x 14.2 x 7.9 inches or less, including wheels and handles. They don’t have an exact weight limit, but they ask that passengers can lift and carry the items themselves.
On Finnair, the underseat luggage must be 15.7 x 11.8 x 5.9 inches or less. The combined weight of your carry-on and personal item can’t exceed 17.6 pounds, so pack lightly.
Personal items on Frontier, a popular budget airline, must be under 18 x 14 x 8 inches. They describe suitable personal items as briefcases, backpacks, purses, totes, and diaper bags.
Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t list their underseat dimensions publicly. Instead, they state that a personal item should be a laptop bag, briefcase, purse, or backpack that fits under the seat in front of you.
On JetBlue, size of underseat luggage shouldn’t surpass 17 x 13 x 8 inches.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
The under the seat bag size of KLM should be 15.7 x 11.8 x 5.9 inches or less. That restriction is the same on all types of planes.
On this airline, the underseat luggage must not exceed 15.7 x 11.8 x 3.9 inches. You’ll need to pack a slim personal item.
Underseat luggage on Ryanair shouldn’t exceed 15.7 x 9.8 x 7.8 inches, but they don’t inspect personal items as closely as carry-ons.
The airline under seat dimensions for Southwest are 18.5 x 13.5 x 8.5 inches or less. If your personal item doesn’t fit under your seat, a staff member will ask you to store it in the overhead bins.
The size of under seat luggage on Spirit shouldn’t be more than 18 x 14 x 8 inches, including the bag’s handles and wheels.
On this airline, underseat luggage shouldn’t exceed 15.7 x 11.8 x 5.9 inches. In some cases, they don’t allow backpacks as personal items.
The maximum under seat bag size for United Airlines is 17 x 10 x 9 inches.
On Wizz Air, underseat luggage should be 15.7 x 11.8 x 7.8 inches or less. The wheels and handles aren’t included in the measurements, but the personal item must fit under the seat.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s normal to have lots of questions before a flight, so here are some things travelers commonly wonder.
Can You Put Personal Items in the Overhead Bins?
Yes, personal items can usually go in the overhead bins, but it’s not recommended. If your items can slide under the seat in front of you, the airline will always instruct you to do that. However, if there’s extra space in the overhead bins before take off, most airlines won’t have an issue with you sliding smaller items up there.
Can I Bring Two Personal Items on a Plane?
Yes, you can bring two personal items on most planes, but the second will count as your carry-on. So, you cannot bring a small suitcase in addition to two purses. Also, if you’re using a second personal item as your carry-on, you may need to pay extra for it.
Can Your Carry On Go Under Your Seat?
Yes, if your carry-on bag can fit under the seat in front of you, you’re free to put it there. However, that space will likely be occupied by your underseat luggage, so there’s usually not space for a carry-on too.
Do Pets Go Under Your Seat on an Airplane?
Yes, if you have a small animal on the flight, they will need to be in their carrier in the underseat storage area. Do not let staff put your animal in the overhead bin as it could be life-threatening. Before flying with your pet, make sure to check the airline’s fees and restrictions.
What Can You Bring in a Personal Item?
To find out what you can and can’t bring in personal items and carry-ons, you should check the TSA’s list.
Packing Your Underseat Luggage
Almost every traveler takes advantage of the free underseat luggage. However, every airline has a slightly different underseat luggage size, so it’s a good idea to determine that information before arriving at the airport. If you’re unsure if your personal item will fit, measure it in advance to save you time and stress during your travels.