Trying to figure out United’s carry-on weight restrictions? Their rules on size and weight allowances can be confusing. Exceeding the limits means possible fees at the gate or having to check your bags.

This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about United’s carry-on weight limits, including rules for different cabin types, tips for weighing bags, and how to avoid extra charges.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: United’s standard carry-on weight limit is 22 pounds for bags you bring onboard. You can avoid fees by pre-checking bags over the limit or redistributing weight between bags.

What Is United’s Carry-On Weight Limit?

The maximum weight for standard carry-on bags on United flights is 22 pounds or 10 kilograms.

When traveling with United Airlines, it’s important to be aware of the carry-on weight limit to avoid any unnecessary fees or inconvenience. United’s standard carry-on weight limit is set at 22 pounds or 10 kilograms.

This means that any bag you bring onboard and plan to store in the overhead bins must not exceed this weight limit. It’s important to keep in mind that this weight limit is for the bag itself, and not the contents inside it.

Exceeding the carry-on weight limit can result in additional fees or the need to check your bag, which could delay your travel plans. To ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience, it’s always a good idea to weigh your carry-on bag before heading to the airport.

This way, you can make any necessary adjustments to meet the weight requirements.

This limit applies to any bag you bring onboard and store in the overhead bins.

United Airlines enforces the carry-on weight limit for all bags that passengers bring onboard and plan to store in the overhead bins. This includes both standard carry-on bags as well as any additional personal items, such as backpacks, laptop bags, or purses.

It’s important to note that any bags that do not fit in the overhead bins will need to be checked, regardless of their weight.

To avoid any issues at the gate, it’s recommended to measure your carry-on bag to ensure it meets the size requirements as well. United Airlines has specific dimensions for carry-on bags, which are typically around 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches (22 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm).

By adhering to both the weight and size limits, you can ensure a seamless boarding process and avoid any additional fees or delays.

For personal items that fit under the seat, there is no official weight restriction.

If you’re traveling with a personal item that fits under the seat in front of you, such as a small backpack or a laptop bag, United Airlines does not have an official weight restriction. However, it’s important to ensure that your personal item is still within a reasonable weight limit that you can comfortably carry with you.

Keep in mind that you’ll still need to be able to safely stow your personal item under the seat in front of you, so it’s best to avoid packing it with heavy or bulky items.

While there is no official weight restriction for personal items, it’s always a good idea to check with United Airlines directly or refer to their official website for any specific guidelines or recommendations.

By being mindful of the weight of your personal item and packing it responsibly, you can have a more enjoyable and stress-free travel experience.

Weight Rules for Other Cabin Types

On United Polaris business class flights, the carry-on weight limit is increased to 25 pounds.

For those lucky enough to be flying in United’s Polaris business class, you’ll be pleased to know that the carry-on weight limit is increased to 25 pounds. This means you can pack a little extra without having to worry about exceeding the weight limit.

So go ahead and bring that extra pair of shoes or that bulky winter coat without any hassle. Enjoy the luxury of additional space and convenience during your flight.

For first class cabins on 2-cabin planes, the carry-on limit is also 25 pounds.

If you’re flying first class on United’s 2-cabin planes, you’ll also have the benefit of a 25-pound carry-on weight limit. This allows you to bring more items on board without having to worry about paying any additional fees.

Whether it’s a business trip or a well-deserved vacation, you’ll have the freedom to pack what you need and have it easily accessible during your flight.

It’s important to note that these weight limits are specific to United’s Polaris business class and first class cabins on 2-cabin planes. For other cabin types, such as economy or premium economy, the weight limit may vary.

It’s always a good idea to check with United’s official website or contact their customer service for the most up-to-date information regarding carry-on weight limits for your specific cabin type.

Tips for Weighing Your Carry-On

Use a luggage scale to weigh bags at home before leaving for the airport.

One of the best ways to avoid any surprises at the airport is to weigh your carry-on bags at home before you leave. Investing in a luggage scale can be a wise decision, as it allows you to accurately measure the weight of your bags.

Simply attach the scale to the handle of your bag and lift it up to get the weight. This will help you ensure that your carry-on meets the weight limit set by the airline.

Account for additional items you may add last minute like duty-free purchases.

It’s important to remember that the weight of your carry-on may change during your journey, especially if you plan on making any last-minute duty-free purchases. These items can add extra weight to your bag, potentially pushing it over the weight limit.

To avoid any issues, consider leaving some extra space and weight allowance in your carry-on when you pack it. This way, you can accommodate any additional items you may want to bring back with you.

Weigh your carry-on after fully packing it to get an accurate measurement.

Once you have packed your carry-on with all your essentials, it’s crucial to weigh it again to get an accurate measurement. This will give you a clear idea of whether your bag complies with the airline’s weight limit.

Keep in mind that different airlines may have different weight restrictions for carry-on bags, so it’s essential to check the specific rules for your flight. By weighing your bag after it’s fully packed, you can make any necessary adjustments before heading to the airport.

Following these tips will help you avoid any surprises or extra fees when it comes to the weight of your carry-on bag. Remember to check your airline’s specific rules and regulations regarding carry-on weight limits to ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

What Happens If You Exceed the Limit?

If your carry-on is over the weight limit, you may be asked to check it at the gate for a fee. Airlines have weight restrictions for carry-on bags to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers on board. Exceeding these limits can cause inconvenience not only for you but also for other travelers.

The airline fee for gate-checking an overweight bag is $35 on standard domestic flights.

If you find yourself in a situation where your carry-on exceeds the weight limit, United Airlines charges a fee of $35 for gate-checking an overweight bag on standard domestic flights. This fee is in addition to any other fees you may have already paid for your checked luggage.

It’s important to note that this fee is subject to change, so it’s a good idea to check the United Airlines website for the most up-to-date information.

Fees vary for international routes – up to $100 for bags checked at the gate.

For international routes, the fees for gate-checking an overweight bag may vary. United Airlines charges up to $100 for bags checked at the gate on international flights. It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the specific policies and fees for your particular route to avoid any surprises.

It’s worth mentioning that these fees are in place to discourage passengers from exceeding the weight limits and to ensure that the aircraft remains within its allowable weight limits for safe takeoff and landing.

By adhering to the weight restrictions, you can help maintain a smooth and efficient boarding process for everyone.

If you’re concerned about exceeding the weight limit, there are a few tips you can follow to avoid incurring additional fees. Consider packing light and only bringing the essentials, weigh your carry-on before heading to the airport, and if necessary, consider checking in a larger bag instead of carrying it on board.

By planning ahead and being mindful of the weight restrictions, you can have a stress-free travel experience with United Airlines.

How to Avoid Carry-On Weight Fees

Pre-check overweight bags – $30 for first bag online vs. $35 at the gate.

If you suspect that your carry-on might exceed the weight limit, it’s a good idea to pre-check your bags online before arriving at the airport. Most airlines, including United, offer the option to pre-check your bags and pay the overweight fee in advance.

By doing so, you can save a few dollars compared to paying the fee at the gate. For example, United charges $30 for the first overweight bag when pre-checked online, whereas the fee increases to $35 if paid at the gate.

This small step can help you avoid unnecessary fees and make your travel experience smoother.

Redistribute heavy items between your carry-on and personal item.

If you find that your carry-on is close to the weight limit, one simple strategy is to redistribute some of the heavier items between your carry-on bag and your personal item. For example, you can transfer some of the weighty items from your carry-on to your backpack or purse.

This can help balance the weight and prevent your carry-on from exceeding the limit. Just make sure to keep essential items easily accessible in your personal item, such as medications, electronics, and travel documents.

Only bring essentials onboard if close to the weight limit.

If you’re approaching the weight limit for your carry-on, it’s a good idea to evaluate the necessity of each item you plan to bring onboard. Consider whether you can do without certain non-essential items during your flight.

By packing only the essentials, you can significantly reduce the weight of your carry-on and avoid any potential fees. Remember, it’s better to travel light and avoid additional costs than to carry unnecessary items that may burden you financially.

For more information on United’s carry-on weight limit and fees, you can visit their official website:

Tips for Packing Light Carry-Ons

When it comes to packing for your trip, one of the most important things to consider is the weight of your carry-on. Airlines, like United, have weight limits in place to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers.

To help you avoid any extra fees or hassles, here are some tips for packing light carry-ons.

Choose lightweight versions of items like shoes, clothing, toiletries.

One way to minimize the weight of your carry-on is to opt for lightweight versions of your essential items. For example, consider packing travel-sized toiletries that are specifically designed to be lightweight.

Additionally, choose clothing made from lightweight materials, such as linen or polyester, which can help reduce the overall weight of your bag. When it comes to shoes, look for options made from lightweight materials as well.

Not only will these choices help you stay within the weight limit, but they will also make your bag easier to carry.

Use packing cubes, folders, and compression sacks.

Packing cubes, folders, and compression sacks are great tools for maximizing space and minimizing weight in your carry-on. These handy accessories allow you to organize your belongings efficiently and compress them to save space.

By using packing cubes to separate your clothing, you can easily find what you need without having to dig through a messy bag. Packing folders help keep your clothes wrinkle-free, and compression sacks can significantly reduce the overall volume of your items.

With these tools, you can pack more efficiently and stay within the weight limit.

Wear bulky clothing like jackets and boots instead of packing.

If you’re traveling to a colder destination or simply need to bring bulky clothing items like jackets or boots, consider wearing them instead of packing them in your carry-on. By layering your clothing and wearing your bulkiest items onto the plane, you can save valuable space and weight in your bag.

This tactic not only helps you stay within the weight limit but also keeps you warm and comfortable during your journey. Just remember to remove any items that may be prohibited during security screening, such as belts or heavy jewelry.

By following these tips, you can pack light carry-ons and avoid any extra fees or inconveniences. Remember to check the specific weight restrictions and guidelines set by your airline, such as United, to ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.


Understanding United’s carry-on weight rules helps ensure a smooth airport experience. Their standard limit for bags stored overhead is 22 pounds. Heavier carry-ons may incur gate-checking fees. Carefully weighing bags before your flight and packing lightly are key to avoiding excess charges.

With the right preparation, you can maximize your carry-on while staying within United’s weight restrictions.

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