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TSA Airline Baggage Rules FYI

Updated on May 17, 2013

Summer is near and people are planning trips domestically and into foreign lands. The rules are a confusing collection of criteria issued by TSA and further complicated by the airlines.

Most airlines will allow each passenger a personal of not more that a combined height, width and depth total of 36". These are a purse, laptop computer or tote bag.You can take a laptop computer or other electronic devices. Most airlines will allow a total of 45" and under 50 lbs for a carry on.

Airlines also allow check bags. These are not carry on bags but taken when you check in at the airline counter and tagged. For most airlines, the total combined total cannot be more than 62" and not more than 50 lbs. If more than this, you face an additional luggage charge anywhere from $35-100+. Airlines really penalize for this and it is a big money maker for them to the tune of over a billion dollars last year alone. On some foreign flights, the surcharge is hundreds of dollars.

A carry on bag allows the passenger to quickly exit the aircraft with their bag and be on their way, while those with checked bags must go and wait for their bags to be unloaded from the storage. Checked bags can be lost. That is why dimensions for carry on and checks bags are different. The carry on goes with you when you board.

About Liquids

The TSA regulations often confuse fliers. If you are taking liquids or gels in your carry on, the container MUST be not more than 3.4 oz or 100 ml. If you are taking many such containers put them in a quart size ( 8"x 8") clear plastic bag whether in the carry on or checked bagged. Most think you cannot take a liquid container of more than 3.4 oz. on the airplane. That is not true. Any container more than 3.4 oz with fluid or gel can only be allowed if the items are in the checked bag-not the carry on.

The distinction is odd. What is the difference of allowing one to bring in 12 oz of shampoo in your suitcase that goes in the aircraft's storage but not allowed in the passenger area? Wouldn't bomb material still pose a danger?


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