Lots of our customers take equipment overseas, but what they don't always appreciate is that some airlines - including some that you might otherwise think of as "decent" airlines - are surprisingly stingy with their carry-on allowances. This can limit the maximum bag size and, perhaps even more importantly for photographers, weight. Obviously we all want our photographic equipment to go in our carry-on bag rather than being consigned to the hold where there is a greater risk of it being damaged, misrouted, lost, or stolen. So we thought it would be helpful to tabulate what various different airlines allow you to carry on.
Please note that the precise details of what you're allowed to take into the cabin can involve a lot of small print. For example some airlines allow you to take carry on a bag of duty-free purchases in addition to your allowance; others insist that any duty-free shopping must be packed into the bag you carry on. Some allow items such as books or newspapers, an umbrella, and food purchased in the airport in addition to your allowance; some don't. So it's a good idea always check the small print on the airline's website. But this guide should get you started.
We'll try to keep this guide up to date. If you spot any errors, or updates, do please let us know. And if there's an airline you think it would be useful to add to this list, again do please let us know.
|Aer Lingus||55 x 40 x 24||10||Plus one small handbag, laptop, duty free or baby changing bag 33x25x20|
|Air Canada||55 x 40 x 23||10||Plus one personal article 43x33x16, 10kg; plus small handbag 30x25x14|
|Air China||55 x 40 x 20||5||Just one item|
|Air France||55 x 35 x 25||12||Plus one handbag, briefcase, camera or laptop, within same weight limit|
|Air India||55 x 35 x 25||8||Plus lady's hand bag or laptop; only 55x35x20 on ATR and CRJ aircraft|
|Air New Zealand||56 x 36 x 23||7||Other shapes allowed W+H+D<=115; plus one small personal item such as handbag or laptop|
|Alaska Airlines||61 x 43 x 25||not specified||Plus one personal item such as handbag, briefcase, laptop; must fit under seat|
|Alitalia||55 x 35 x 25||8||Plus one briefcase, laptop or handbag|
|American Airlines||56 x 36 x 23||not specified||Plus one smaller personal item, must fit under seat|
|Aurigny Air Services||48 x 36 x 20||10||One item only; limit 6kg on some routes|
|Austrian Airlines||55 x 40 x 23||8||Plus one personal item 40x30x10, e.g. lady's handbag, laptop bag or shoulder-strapped bag|
|Blue Islands||55 x 35 x 20||10||Plus one additional smaller item such as laptop or handbag, must fit under seat|
|British Airways||56 x 45 x 25||23||Plus one personal bag 40x30x15 (45x36x20 on Brazil flights), must fit under seat|
|Cathay Pacific||56 x 36 x 23||7||Plus one one small handbag, small backpack or laptop bag, 40x30x15, must fit under seat|
|China Eastern||56 x 36 x 23||5||Just one item|
|China Southern||56 x 36 x 23||5||Just one item; other shapes allowed with W+H+D<=115|
|Comair||56 x 36 x 23||7||Plus one personal bag 45x36x20|
|Delta Air Lines||56 x 35 x 23||no limit||Max 7-10kg on some Asian routes. Plus one item such as handbag, briefcase, camera bag, laptop|
|Easyjet||56 x 45 x 25||no limit||Must be able to lift into overhead locker. Plus one small handbag or laptop bag 45x36x20 for an extra fee|
|Egyptair||56 x 45 x 25||8||Egyptair don't specify size; dimensions here are UK CAA maximum|
|El Al||56 x 45 x 25||8||Just one item; must comply with W+H+D<=115|
|Emirates||55 x 38 x 20||7||Just one item; if boarding in India only, can be larger up to W+H+D<=115|
|Etihad||50 x 40 x 25||7||Just one item|
|Eurowings||55 x 40 x 23||8||Just one item|
|Finnair||56 x 45 x 25||8||Plus a small handbag or laptop bag 40x30x15, must fit under seat|
|Flybe||55 x 35 x 20||10||Plus one additional smaller item such as laptop or handbag, must fit under seat|
|Iberia||56 x 45 x 25||no limit||Must be able to lift into overhead locker. Plus a handbag or small briefcase, and a laptop computer or camera.|
|Icelandair||55 x 40 x 20||10||Plus one small personal item, such as small hand bag or laptop|
|Japan Airlines||55 x 45 x 25||10||Other shapes allowed W+H+D<=115; Plus one personal belonging, such as a handbag|
|Jet Airways||55 x 35 x 25||7||Allowances can be less on India internal flights|
|Jetblue||56 x 36 x 23||not specified||Plus one personal item such as handbag, briefcase, laptop 43x33x20|
|Kenya Airways||55 x 35 x 25||12||Plus one handbag, briefcase, laptop, camera bag etc within overall weight limit|
|KLM||55 x 35 x 25||12||Plus one handbag, briefcase, camera or laptop, max 40x30x15, within same weight limit|
|Korean Air||55 x 40 x 20||12||Other shapes allowed W+H+D<=115; plus one handbag, laptop or briefcase within weight limit|
|LATAM||55 x 35 x 25||8||Max 5kg on Brazil internal flights|
|Loganair||40 x 35 x 18||6||Just one item|
|Lufthansa||55 x 40 x 23||8||Plus one small bag 40x30x10 e.g. handbag, laptop bag|
|Malaysia Airlines||56 x 36 x 23||7||Plus briefcase, laptop or camera bag max 4kg; plus handbag|
|Monarch||56 x 40 x 25||10||Or two bags within the same overall dimensions and weight limit|
|Norwegian||55 x 40 x 23||10||Max 8kg to/from Dubai. Plus one small personal item 33x25x20 e.g. small handbag or laptop case|
|Qantas||56 x 36 x 23||7||Plus one small personal item such as a handbag, laptop, small camera|
|Qatar Airways||50 x 37 x 25||7||Plus one personal item such as ladies handbag or one small briefcase|
|Ryanair||55 x 40 x 20||10||Plus one small bag 35x20x20|
|Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)||55 x 40 x 23||8||Plus a small handbag or laptop bag|
|Singapore Airlines||56 x 36 x 23||7||Other shapes allowed with W+H+D<=115; plus one handbag, laptop or camera bag 40x30x10|
|South African Airways||56 x 36 x 23||8||Plus one small personal item e.g. small handbag, small laptop case|
|Southwest Airlines||61 x 40 x 25||not specified||Plus one small personal item such as briefcase, handbag, laptop|
|Stobart Air (Flybe)||49 x 37 x 22||7||Just one item|
|Stobart Air (Aer Lingus Regional)||48 x 33 x 20||7||Just one item|
|Sun-Air||45 x 36 x 20||6||Just one item|
|Swissair||55 x 40 x 23||8||Plus one handbag, laptop bag or shoulder bag 40x30x10|
|Thai Airways||56 x 45 x 25||7||Plus handbag, laptop etc W+H+D<=75, max 1.5kg|
|Thomas Cook Airlines||55 x 40 x 20||6||Plus one laptop, handbag or small bag|
|Thomson Airways||55 x 40 x 20||5||Just one item|
|TUI Fly||55 x 40 x 20||6||Plus one notebook|
|Turkish Airlines||55 x 40 x 23||8||Plus one handbag or laptop|
|United Airlines||56 x 35 x 22||not specified||Plus one personal item such as a shoulder bag, backpack, laptop bag 43x25x22|
|United Express||56 x 35 x 22||not specified||Items close to size limit might not fit on some flights; no further details available|
|Virgin Atlantic||56 x 36 x 23||10||Plus one handbag, or small backpack/rucksack|
|Vueling||55 x 40 x 20||10||Plus one additional item of significantly smaller size|
|WestJet||53 x 38 x 23||no limit||Plus one personal item 41x33x15 e.g. briefcase, camera, laptop|
19th September 2016 - First publication.
19th September 2016 - American airlines' usage of 'purse' changed to 'handbag' to improve clarity for British readers.
19th September 2016 - Aurigny Air Services added.
20th September 2016 - EasyJet clarified from 'not specified' to 'no limit'.
21st September 2016 - Delta Air Lines and Iberia clarified from 'not specified' to 'no limit'.
5th October 2016 - WestJet added.
6th March 2017 - El Al added.
13th January 2018 - British Airways corrected - allowances for Brazil flights and non-Brazil flights had been the wrong way round.