a baggage claim conveyor belt rotates various bags around for pick up

Most Common Luggage and Carry-on Myths

It seems the rules and regulations regarding luggage and carry-ons for airlines are changing every month. Certain things are allowed onto planes and past security one year only to be banned the next. It doesn't help either that each individual airline has specific requirements that differ from the others, leading to a lack of consistency across the industry. We cut through all the false information by addressing 5 of the most common myths or widely-held incorrect assumptions.

If You Pay the Fees, You Can Check as Much Luggage as You Want

Often, movies show people coming to and from the airport with stacks of bags, which leads most people into believing you can check several bags for one trip. Contrary to popular belief, many of the major airlines have restrictions for how much luggage you can check. For example, Delta flyers can only check two bags, unless you're in one of their special reward programs, then you can check up to three or four bags.

Connecting Airlines Will Automatically Change Over Your Luggage

If you're switching airlines during a connecting flight, you may automatically assume your baggage will change carriers without you checking in on it. Most airlines have agreements to make the transition of your luggage easy, but it does not always go as smoothly as planned. Some baggage may be held up due to size or weight restrictions, which may lead to some airlines charging you excess baggage fees, or even worse, not changing it over at all. It's your responsibility to verify that your luggage goes on the right flight with the right carrier.

Baggage Size and Weight Allowances Are the Same on Every Airline

While most major airlines have similar carry-on and checked baggage size and weight allowances, some airlines' policies differ by a few inches and pounds. For example, Frontier Airlines allows a maximum carry-on weight of 35 pounds, whereas Southwest Airlines allows a greater allowance of 50 pounds. Before packing your bags, check the baggage size and weight allowances with the airline you're traveling with so you don't have to deal with gate-checked bag fees.

Airlines Will Completely Reimburse You for Lost Luggage

Losing your luggage is stressful enough, but finding out you didn't have any insurance to reimburse your loss it even more stressful. No matter if you lost a diamond ring or your laptop, most airlines will only reimburse you for lost luggage up to a certain amount of money. There are regulations as to the maximum amount they are required to reimburse you: up to $3,300 for domestic flights and up to $1,742 for international flights. If you're taking especially expensive items with you, buy insurance beforehand to cover your items just in case the worst happens.

You Can't Bring Scissors, Nail Clippers, or Lighters in Your Carry-on

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the rules of what you can and can't bring with you in your carry-on. Due to old regulations, most people think you can't bring common items like scissors, nail clippers, and lighters in your carry-on. In the past, items like these were confiscated due to strict rules. However, the regulations have changed. Nail clippers and common lighters are allowed in carry-on bags, and scissors with blades shorter than four inches. Call your airline or checkout the complete official list of what you can and can't bring on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website before packing your luggage.

Last Updated: May 23, 2017