Is a duffle bag permitted under American Airlines' carry-on regulations?

VD October 10 2023

Like many other airlines, American Airlines has specific regulations in place regarding carry-on baggage. Understanding these rules is crucial for travelers to ensure a smooth and hassle-free trip.

Whether a duffel bag counts as a carry-on item on American Airlines is a common question. We'll examine American Airlines' carry-on regulations in this article and explain whether a duffel bag is a suitable option for your trip.

Understanding the carry-on regulations of American Airlines

Understanding the carry-on regulations of American Airlines

Let's first get a clear understanding of American Airlines' carry-on restrictions before discussing the situation with duffel bags. Each passenger is allowed to bring one personal item and one carry-on bag on American Airlines flights.

The personal item should fit under the seat in front of you and often includes items like a purse, laptop bag, or backpack. The carry-on bag must be small enough to fit in the overhead bin and cannot be larger than what the airline allows.

Using duffel bags as carry-on luggage

Let's address the main issue at hand: Is it permissible to bring a duffel bag on American Airlines? The answer is generally yes, assuming your duffel bag complies with the airline's size restrictions.

According to American Airlines, carry-on luggage must not exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56 x 36 x 23 cm), handles included. These size restrictions accommodate most typical duffel bags, making them a suitable choice for your carry-on item.

Duffel bag factors to consider

Duffel bag factors to consider

Although duffel bags are typically allowed as carry-on luggage, there are a few things to consider:

Size and Shape

Ensure that your duffel bag's dimensions fall within the range permitted by American Airlines. Consider your duffel bag's design as well; it should be flexible enough to fit comfortably in the overhead compartment or under the seat.


Weighing your duffel bag is essential since American Airlines may have weight restrictions for carry-on luggage. To avoid extra charges, ensure you don't exceed these limits.


 Though duffel bags are known for their flexibility and ease of storage, it's vital to pack them efficiently. Consider how you will organize your belongings to maximize storage and ensure items are accessible during your journey.

Additional personal items

You are allowed to bring a personal item such as a purse, laptop bag, or backpack on board in addition to your duffel bag. These items should be sized to fit under the seat in front of you.

The preferred carry-on item for many passengers is a duffel bag, accompanied by a smaller personal item to accommodate essentials like laptops, tablets, or in-flight entertainment.

Using Your Duffel Bag While Flying American Airlines

Navigating American Airlines' carry-on regulations is straightforward, and using a duffel bag as your carry-on is generally acceptable as long as it adheres to the airline's size and weight guidelines.

You can travel with confidence knowing that you can pack efficiently and in compliance with American Airlines' rules when you choose your trusty duffel bag for your journey.

Thus, your duffel bag can be a reliable travel companion in the cabin, allowing you to conveniently carry your essentials whether embarking on a business trip, a weekend getaway, or a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Travel safely!