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In addition to carry on luggage restrictions & regulations, passengers must be prepared to present a local, state, or federal government-issued identification card at the boarding gate, along with the boarding pass. In the past, passengers were required to show an ID at the ticket counter, but not at the gate. And travelers and their bags may be subject to additional screening.

Experts say carry on luggage restrictions & regulations will reduce the time needed to screen baggage, giving screeners more time to examine bags and passengers closely.

The FAA released the following travel tips "to help air travelers accommodate and assist" the heightened security measures:

Allow extra time:

  • The heightened measures require more time to properly screen travelers. Travelers should contact their airline to find out how early they should arrive at the airport.
  • Take public transportation to the airport if possible. Parking and curbside access is likely to be controlled and limited.
  • Curbside check-in is available on an airline-by-airline basis. Travelers should contact their airline to see if it is in place at their airport.


  • A government-issued ID (federal, state or local) is required. Travelers may be asked to show this ID at subsequent points, such as at the gate, along with their boarding passes.
  • E-ticket travelers should check with their airline to make sure they have proper documentation. Written confirmation, such as a letter from the airline acknowledging the reservation, may be required.

Screener checkpoints:

  • Only ticketed passengers are allowed beyond the screener checkpoints, except for those with specific medical or parental needs.
  • Each traveler will be limited to one carry-on bag and one personal bag (i.e., purse or briefcase).
  • All electronic items, such as laptops and cell phones, may be subjected to additional screening. Be prepared to remove your laptop from its travel case so that both can be X-rayed separately.
  • Limit metal objects worn on person.
  • Travelers should remove all metal objects prior to passing through the metal detectors in order to facilitate the screening process.

Items prohibited from aircraft cabins which must be placed in, or transported as, checked baggage or risk confiscation:

  • Knives of any length, composition or description.
  • Cutting instruments of any kind and composition, including carpet knives and box cutters (and spare blades), any device with a folding or retractable blade, ice picks, straight razors, metal scissors and metal nail files.
  • Corkscrews
  • Baseball/softball bats
  • Golf clubs
  • Pool cues
  • Ski poles
  • Hockey sticks
  • When in doubt, transport item in checked baggage

Permitted items:

  • Walking canes and umbrellas (once inspected to ensure prohibited items are not concealed)
  • Nail clippers
  • Safety razors (including disposable razors)
  • Syringes (with documented proof of medical need)
  • Tweezers
  • Eye lash curlers

At the gate:

  • Travelers must be prepared to present a valid photo identification card, along with their boarding pass.
  • Travelers and their bags may be subjected to additional screening.

At all times:

  • Control all bags and personal items.
  • Do not bring anything onboard for another person.
  • Report any unattended items in the airport or aircraft to the nearest airport or airline personnel

* This information may change at anytime and already may be outdated at the time of this writing.  This information is only meant to be a suggestion and it is highly recommended that you contact either the FAA or your airline for specific information.

Airline Carry-On Baggage Checklist
Planning a trip?
Thinking about carrying-on your luggage?
If so, here are a few tips for you:

Think Small...
   -The maximum size carry-on bag for most airlines is 45 linear inches (the total of the height, width, and depth of the bag).
Anything larger should be checked.
   -No oversize packages or luggage can be stowed onboard.
   -Pack less to carry-on. Stow only your essentials (such as prescriptions, personal hygiene items, passports and other documentation) and valuable items, such as jewelry or cameras, in your carry-on bag.

Think Smart...
   -Plan to check more of your baggage and carry-on less.
   -Check with your airline before packing to determine its carry-on guidelines regarding the number of items you may carryon and the maxiumum size of those items.
   -In certain situations the airline may require most or even all of your bags to be checked, so be prepared to do so.

Think Safe...
   -Carry-on items which may fall from overhead bins can injure you or other passengers during flight or in the event of an emergency evacuation.
   -Stow heavy items under the seat in front of you, not overhead.
   -Don't stack items in the overhead storage bin.
   -If an emergency evacuation is necessary, leave your carry-on items on the plane. Retrieving personal items may impede the safe evacuation of passengers.
   -Remember, be safety conscious when stowing your carry-on items.

Have a Question?
   -Call your airline or visit its web site.
   -Check with your travel agent.
   -Check the FAA cabin safety web page at:

What should I pack in my carry-on luggage?

  • Since luggage can be lost, your best defense is a well-packed carry-on bag.

  • This is the best place for your travel documents, itinerary and coupons.

  • Your valuables, such as jewelry and electronics, are also safest in your carry-on.

  • Appropriate converter and/or adapter, if you plan on using any electrical devices abroad.

  • Phrase book, if you are traveling into a region with an unfamiliar language.

  • A list of everything in your checked baggage, in case you need to fill out a claim form.

  • Address and phone numbers of friends, relatives and contact phone numbers of your doctor.

  • A copy of your credit card numbers and contact information.

  • A copy of your travelers checks and contact information

  • You should also include a one-night stay package in your carry-on, in other words, everything you’ll need to make it one night in case your bags are delayed or lost.

  • A small umbrella, sweater, change of shoes, extra pair of eyeglasses, camera, film, batteries, first aid kit, moist towelettes.

  • Clothing pins for all those hotel curtains that won’t quite close.

  • You should also pack your medication, especially temperature sensitive medication, in your carry-on keeping your pills in their original bottles to help avoid security questions.

  • It is also best if your carry-on bags are plain. A computer logo may look cool, but it also says " Hey, look everybody I have something really expensive in here. Now watch cause if I only look away for a second, it’s steak dinners on me".

  • Put lots of crisp one-dollar bills in with your other cash. This will come in handy when dealing with all the skycaps, bus drivers and porters.

How can I avoid damaging my film?

  • High-speed film is the most susceptible to damage, but all your film is at risk.

  • Carrying your film in your checked bags used to be a safer bet, but with stronger bomb detection devices, your film is now more likely to get fried.

  • Buy special carrying cases designed for protecting film.

  • You can ask for a manual inspection in the United States and some foreign airports to avoid the x-rays if you place your film in your carry-on bag.

  • The walkthrough and hand wand security devices shouldn’t effect your film.

  • The safest bet for film is to buy it after you arrive and develop it before you go. This may not be the cheapest route, but it is the best guarantee to keep your memories safe.

What are the size and weight restrictions for my luggage?

  • Since the Airlines’ luggage restrictions are going through a recent period frequent change, you should check directly with your Airline as to size, weight and number of bags that you can check and carry-on.
  • In many cases, the Airlines have added new limits on both carry-on and checked baggage. You should check, but most Airlines limit their carry-on bags to a range of 14" to 16" high, 21" to 24" wide, and 8" to 9" deep. The lower limits are for under seat storage and larger limits for the more generous overhead compartment. A 45" total (height+width+depth) can be used as a basic guideline to see if your bag will be allowed as a carry-on.
  • Most Airlines have a carry-on weight limit of 40 pounds and a checked baggage weight limit of 70 pounds.
  • Some Airlines allow you a larger size and weight for your first bag, but have more restrictive limits for additional bags.
  • Many Airlines’ limits vary if you are taking a domestic or international flight, are flying first, business or coach class or if you are a member of their premium membership clubs.
  • All limits are much more strictly enforced then in the past. Bags are weighed at check-in and many Airlines have placed bag-sizers at their gates. If your carry-on bags are too big, you’ll have to check them and that might cause them to be classified as "extra bags" which usually carries an extra charge. If you bags are too heavy, you can be charged a rather high overweight luggage charge.

How many pieces of luggage can I take with me?

  • Just because you sneaked it on once, don’t always expect to get away with it. More rigorous enforcement of the rules and more and more bag-sizer stations will likely catch you now. This is especially true during the holidays and other peak flying times when the Airlines are watching closely since the planes are full and everyone is trying to sneak lots of stuff on the plane.
  • During periods of high security, you may be required to check items you would normally be allowed to carry onboard the aircraft.
  • Most Airlines allow for a combination of three bags to be divided among your carry-on and checked baggage. You’ll want to check with your specific Airline, since there are differences in their allowance programs. The Airlines also look at some items differently; some will count a laptop or briefcase against your allowance, while others will not.
  • You may be allowed to bring more luggage free of charge if you are traveling on a first or business class ticket or are a member of the Airline’s premium membership club.
  • If you plan on bringing extra luggage, you had better check with the Airline to see if they will allow it on the plane. Even if you are willing to pay an extra fee, they can still refuse your extra luggage if the plane is already full. If you do receive permission to bring the extra luggage, have the person granting the permission note this on your reservation and be sure to get their name.
  • If you are changing Airlines during your trip, you’ll need to take into account the luggage limits for all the Airlines you’ll use. What is acceptable to one Airline may bring an extra charge on another.
  • Check the regulations when making connecting flights in European or other foreign countries. You may be held to more restrictive luggage limits while flying within the area than you did flying into the area.
  • If you are flying on a commuter Airline for any leg of your trip, you’ll need to know their luggage limits. Many commuter Airlines have limited space and only allow carry-on baggage, they also have more restrictive weight limits.

How can I avoid extra charges for my luggage?

  • Know the luggage limits on all the Airlines you’ll use on your trip and try to stay within those limits.

  • Don’t over pack, overweight bags have caused a great many injuries to baggage handlers. To try to discourage people, the Airlines often charge a hefty fee for handling an overweight bag.

  • If you really need the items, then you should check into paying the extra bag fee. It is usually cheaper to divide your items into two bags and pay the extra bag fee than pay one overweight bag charge. You might also avoid the embarrassment of having your luggage explode because they are packed too full.



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