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Emirates Review – Seats, Amenities, Customer Service, Baggage Fees, and More

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Erin Miller
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Erin Miller

Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 26U.S. States Visited: 28

An experienced points hacker, Erin is Alex’s partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points with in-depth guides and relationship management. Erin’s work has been cited in multiple major publicat...
Edited by: Stella Shon
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Stella Shon

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With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...
& Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Emirates is the fourth biggest international airline, based on scheduled passenger-kilometers flown, and has a large fleet including the enormous double-decker A380.

The airline’s vast route network, quick connections, and emphasis on quality meant that Emirates was the first choice for many passengers for a long time.

As with many airlines struggling in this competitive market, Emirates is making changes to compete for customer demand, launching its Business Class Flex fare offering business class without the pre-flight perks.

Basic Info

Airline: Emirates

Website: Emirates.com

Category: International airline

Frequent Flyer Program: Emirates Skywards

Tagline: “Hello Tomorrow”

Number of Passengers Annually: 59 million

Fleet: 255

Main Hub: Dubai International Airport (DXB)

Destinations: 158 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific

Emirates Route Map
Emirates route map. Image Credit: Emirates

Frequent Flyer Programs

Skywards is Emirates’ loyalty program where members can earn Tier Miles and Skywards that can be redeemed for award flights and other benefits.

Collecting Tier Miles enables members to ascend through Blue, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels to gain elite tier benefits such as excess baggage allowances, priority check-in, priority boarding, and lounge access.

Hot Tip: Explore the best ways to earn lots of Emirates Skywards, and you’ll soon see the points rack up for an award flight.

Ticketing Options

Emirates has 4 different fare types for its economy and business class tickets, and 2 for first class, offering a different level of flexibility and benefits such as baggage allowance.

Special

Emirates Special fares are available occasionally and will typically offer the cheapest rate. The low price tag comes with several restrictions, such as no seat selection or cancellation, higher change fees, and no access to the lounge for business class passengers.

Special fares for economy passengers also limit the checked baggage allowance to 33 pounds (15 kg).

Special fares cannot be purchased using frequent flyer miles, and it’s not possible to make cash or miles upgrades to other cabins. As a Skywards member, passengers flying on Special fares will earn fewer miles than other fare types — around 10-20% of the actual miles flown for economy and 80-100% for business class.

Hot Tip: If you are a Skywards member, you can use the Emirates Miles Calculator to see how many miles you can earn with different routes and fare types. Miles are not stated online during the booking process for Special fares so you will need to use the calculator to view this.

Saver

Saver fares are usually the next cheapest and offer a little more flexibility than a Special ticket. For economy passengers, seat selection is possible for a fee, but is free for business class. Checked baggage allowance is 55 pounds (25 kg).

For both cabins, it’s possible to use miles to upgrade to a higher cabin, and passengers will earn Skyward Miles from their flight (quantity featured on the online booking page).

For economy, the earning potential is around 30% of the miles flown, and for business class it’s 100-125%.

Saver fares allow upgrades using miles, are non-refundable, and offer changes at a lower fee than Special fares. Business Class Saver fares also permit usage of the lounge (where available).

Flex

Flex fares are available for economy, business class, and first class and offer premium rates for greater flexibility. Changes are possible (for a fee) across all cabins, and chargeable cancellations are possible for economy and first class only.

Upgrades from economy and business are possible using miles, although passengers are not able to purchase a Flex fare outright using miles. The earning potential for Skywards Miles is higher with a Flex fare at around 65% for economy, 150% for business, and 200% for first class.

Economy Flex passengers are permitted 66 pounds (30 kg) of luggage, all cabins have free seat selection, and Business Class Flex fares are not eligible to use the lounge or chauffeur services.

Flex Plus

As the name suggests, Flex Plus is the most flexible fare available (and the most expensive) with free changes and cancellations across all cabins. Economy passengers can earn 80-95% Skywards Miles of the actual distance traveled, 165-175% for business class, and up to around 220% for first class.

With Flex Plus, economy passengers can bring up to 77 pounds (35 kg) of checked luggage, and all seat selection is complimentary across all cabins. Upgrades are permitted from economy and business class using miles, and all lounge access and chauffeur services are included for business and first class (where available).

Emirates Baggage and Other Fees/Add-Ons

Baggage Fees

Emirates uses a weight concept for the majority of its destinations where the fare type determines how many kilograms of luggage a passenger is permitted to check-in.

Flights to/from the U.S. work on a piece concept, where 2 pieces of luggage are permitted, and the weight is dependent on the cabin.

Emirates Carry-on Allowance

Economy passengers may bring 1 piece of carry-on that must not exceed 22 x 15 x 8 inches (55 x 38 x 20 cm) or 15 pounds (7 kg).

Business or first class passengers are allowed to bring 2 pieces of carry-on — 1 briefcase and either 1 handbag or 1 garment bag.

Size and weight restrictions:

  • Briefcase: 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm)
  • Handbag: 22 x 15 x 8 inches (55 x 38 x 20 cm)
  • Garment bag: 8 inches (20 cm) thick when folded
  • Each piece must not exceed 15 pounds (7 kg)

Emirates Checked Luggage Allowance

Flights to/from the Americas or flights originating in Africa (piece concept):

  • Economy: 2 x 50 pound (23 kg) bags. Economy Special fares are permitted 1 x 50 pound (23 kg) bag*
  • Business and First: 2 x 70 pound (32 kg) bags

* Flights originating in Africa are permitted to bring 2 x 50 pound (23 kg) with an Economy Special fare.

Size Restriction (Piece Concept):

  • Maximum linear dimensions of each piece must not exceed 59 inches (150 cm).
  • If checking 2 pieces of luggage (any cabin), total combined dimensions must not exceed 118 inches (300 cm).

Flights to/from other destinations outside of the Americas (weight concept):

  • Special: 33 pounds (15 kg**)
  • Saver: 55 pounds (25 kg)
  • Flex: 66 pounds (30 kg)
  • Flex Plus: 77 pounds (35 kg)
  • Business (all fares): 88 pounds (40 kg)
  • First (all fares): 110 pounds (50 kg)

**Flights between UAE and India are permitted to bring 55 pounds (25 kg) with an Economy Special fare.

With the weight concept, there is no limit to the number of bags a passenger can bring providing the combined weight/size does not exceed the stated allowances. A single piece must not exceed 70 pounds (32 kg).

Size Restriction (Weight Concept):

A single piece must not exceed max linear dimensions of 59 inches (150 cm) with the combined max linear dimensions not exceeding 118 inches (300 cm) across all pieces.

Hot Tip: Find out more information about the baggage policy in our dedicated Emirates baggage article.

Other Fees and Add-Ons

Change/Cancellation Fees (Cash Tickets)

Emirates does not disclose set fees for changes and cancellations on its website and advises customers to check their terms and conditions during the booking process, or contact customer service.

From running a few route searches, we found these consistent prices for changes and cancellations:

  • Economy: $75-$200
  • Business class: $300-$400
  • First class: $200-$400

However, word on the web is that charges could exceed $1,000 for some tickets! Be sure to check the change and cancellation terms before booking.

Name Change 

  • All markets (excluding U.K., India, and Brazil): $30 per ticket for direct bookings
  • U.K.:
    • $13 (£10) per ticket for direct bookings
    • $25 (£20) per ticket for travel agent bookings
  • Brazil: No charge when booked in Brazil and travel is from Brazil
  • India: No charge when booked in India

Hot Tip: Learn more about the Emirates’ fees in our award flight changes and cancellations article.

Advance Seat Selection

SCROLL FOR MORE
Seating typeFee
Regular$15-35
Preferred$25-80
Twin$35-135
Extra legroom$55-205

Other Fees

Unaccompanied minor: Charged at an adult fare.

Transporting a pet as checked: Passengers cannot transport pets in the cabin, and the following fees apply to transport your pet as checked luggage:

  • Animal and cage combined does not exceed 50 pounds (23 kg) and 59 inches (149 cm): $500
  • Animal and cage combined weigh 52-70 pounds (24-32 kg) and dimensions are 59-118 inches (149-299 cm): $650
  • Animal and cage combined weigh over 70 pounds (32 kg) and dimensions are 59-118 inches (149-299 cm): $800

Onboard Wi-Fi: Passengers can enjoy 20 MB of free data or buy 500 MB for just $1 on all equipped aircraft.

Silver meet and greet service: $43.56

Bronze meet and greet service: $27.23

Family meet and greet service: $95.92 (family of 4);  $27.23 for additional passengers

Food and beverage: Meals and drinks (including alcohol) are complimentary across all cabins; however, economy passengers can purchase Champagne for $15 per bottle (200 ml). For a special occasion, passengers can purchase a cake and Champagne (Moët 200 ml) combo from $43.

How to Avoid Paying Excess Fees and Travel Expenses

There are several rewards cards where charges on your statement can be paid for by using your points/miles balance. We like Capital One cards for this strategy as each card allows you to redeem Capital One miles for 1 cent each as a statement credit for previous travel purchases (within 90 days). Here are the cards we recommend:

TOP PICK
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
75,000 miles
$1,350
$395
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-840)

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.

Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.

Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.

 

Pros

  • 10x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 5x miles per $1 on flights purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
  • $300 annual travel credit on bookings made through Capital One Travel
  • Unlimited complimentary access for cardholder and 2 guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • 10,000 bonus miles awarded on your account anniversary each year
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
  • Add authorized users for no additional annual fee (rates & fees)
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates & fees)

 

Cons

  • $395 annual fee (rates & fees)
  • Does not offer bonus categories for flights or hotel purchases made directly with the airline or hotel group, the preferred booking method for those looking to earn elite status

 

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

 

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
75,000 miles
$1,350
$95
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent Credit (670-850)

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most popular rewards cards on the market. It’s perfect for anyone in search of a great welcome offer, high rewards rates, and flexible redemption options.

Frequent travelers with excellent credit may benefit from this credit card that offers a lot of bells and whistles. And it offers easy-to-understand rewards earning and redemption.

Pros

  • 5x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates & fees)
  • Access to Capital One transfer partners

Cons

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The card offers unlimited miles at 1.25x per $1 and no annual fee. When you consider the flexible rewards, frequent travelers come out on top.

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

The card offers unlimited miles at 1.25x per $1 and no annual fee. When you consider the flexible rewards, frequent travelers come out on top.
Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel.
20,000 miles
$360
$0
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable),0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

Interested in a travel rewards credit card without one of those pesky annual fees? Then say hello to the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card.

In addition to no annual fee, the Capital One VentureOne card offers no foreign transaction fees.

But is this card worth its salt, or is it merely a shell of the more popular Capital One Venture card?

Pros

  • No annual fee (rates & fees)
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates & fees)
  • Ability to use transfer partners
  • Fraud coverage
  • Travel assistance services
  • Auto rental insurance

Cons

  • Weak earn rate at 1.25x miles per $1 spent on all purchases
  • No luxury travel or elite benefits
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable),0% intro on purchases for 15 months
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

Emirates Lounges

Dubai International Airport (DXB):

  • First Class Lounge
  • Business Class Lounge
  • Emirates Lounge

Other Emirates Lounge locations:

  • Auckland International Airport (AKL)
  • Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)
  • Beijing Capital Airport (PEK)
  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Brisbane Airport (BNE)
  • Cairo International Airport (CAI)
  • Cape Town International Airport (CPT)
  • Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB)
  • Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)
  • Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS)
  • Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
  • Glasgow International Airport (GLA)
  • Hamburg Airport (HAM)
  • Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
  • Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB)
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
  • London Gatwick Airport (LGW)
  • London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Manchester International Airport (MAN)
  • Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL)
  • Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP)
  • Munich International Airport (MUC)
  • New York – John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
  • Perth Airport (PER)
  • Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Shanghai Pu Dong International Airport (PVG)
  • Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
  • Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD)
  • Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)
  • Zürich-Kloten Airport (ZRH)

Inflight Inclusions, Amenities, and Seat Specs

Economy Class

Emirates Economy on Boeing 777-300ER
Emirates economy on Boeing 777-300ER. Image Credit: Emirates

Amenities include:

  • Complimentary snacks, meals, and beverages including alcohol (number of meals depends on flight duration)
  • 13.3″ screen with access to over 4,000 channels (including live TV) on Emirates’ Ice in-flight entertainment system
  • USB power charging
  • Ergonomically designed headphones
  • 20 MB of free Wi-Fi data for 2 hours; additional data available for a fee

Premium Economy

Emirates Premium Economy Seat
Emirates A380 Premium Economy. Image Credit: Emirates

Amenities include:

  • Seat is 19.5″ wide with 8″ of recline
  • Anti-stain leather with stitching details and wood paneling
  • 6-way adjustable head rest
  • Calf and legrest
  • 13.3″ screen with access to music, movies, and TV
  • In-seat charging ports
  • Wide dining table and side table
  • 3 dedicated lavatories

Business Class

Emirates A380 Business Class
Emirates A380 business class. Image Credit: Emirates

Emirates has 2 fits for business class — 1 on its A380 aircraft and 1 on the 777 aircraft.

Amenities include:

  • Chauffeur-drive service to/from the airport
  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Access to Emirates’ airport lounges (where available)
  • Fully flat bed on the A380; angled flat beds on the 777
  • Personal mini bar on the 777
  • 23″ screen with access to over 4,000 channels (including live TV) on Emirates’ Ice in-flight entertainment system
  • Amenity kit by Bvlgari
  • Onboard lounge on the A380
  • Gourmet meals and fine wines
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Hot Tip: Want to explore what it’s like to fly Emirates business? Read all about it in Cherag’s experience flying Emirates business class on the A380.

First Class

Emirates First Class A380 Seat
Emirates A380 first class. Image Credit: Alex Miller / Upgraded Points

As with business class, Emirates has 2 fits for first class — 1 on its A380 aircraft and 1 on the 777 aircraft. These fits are significantly different with a fully enclosed suite available on its 777 aircraft and a pod with privacy doors on the A380.

Emirates First Class Suites
Emirates “Game Changer” first class suites on the 777. Image Credit: Emirates

Amenities include:

  • Chauffeur-drive service to/from the airport
  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Access to Emirates’ airport lounges (where available)
  • Enclosed suite with a fully flat bed (onboard the 777); privacy doors onboard the A380 with a fully flat bed
  • On demand dining and fine wines
  • Amenity kit by Bvlgari
  • Luxury Byredo skincare set including sleep oil and pillow mist (777) and Byredo amenity kit (A380)
  • Onboard show spa (A380)
  • Onboard lounge bar (A380)
  • 32″ screen with access to over 4,000 channels (including live TV) on Emirates’ Ice in-flight entertainment system
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Hot Tip: Did you know you can book one of these Suites on points? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to book Emirates first class on points!

Seat Specs

Emirates has a young fleet consisting of just 2 types of aircraft — the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777.

SCROLL FOR MORE
Airbus A380-800 3 Class (Layout 1)
CabinSeat CountSeat PitchSeat Width
First14 suites86/78″23″
Business76 flat bed seats48/70″18.5″
Economy39932-34″18″
Airbus A380-800 3 Class (Layout 2)
First14 suites86″23″
Business76 flat bed seats48″18.5″
Economy42732-34″18″
Airbus A380-800 2 Class
Business58 flat bed seats48/70″18.5″
Economy55732-34″17.5″

 

SCROLL FOR MORE
Boeing 777-200LR 3 Class
CabinSeat CountSeat PitchSeat Width
First8 suites86/78″23″
Business42 flat bed seats60″20.5″
Economy21633-34″17″
Boeing 777-300ER 3 Class (Layout 1)
First8 suites69″20.5″
Business42 angle flat bed seats60″20.5″
Economy30432″17″
Boeing 777-300ER 3 Class (Layout 2)
First8 suites69″20.5″
Business42 angle flat bed seats60″20.5″
Economy31032″17″
Boeing 777-300ER 2 Class
Business42 angle flat bed seats60″20.5″
Economy38533-34″17″

Emirates Customer Satisfaction

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Emirates carry-on allowance?

Economy passengers may bring 1 piece of carry-on that must not exceed 22 x 15 x 8 inches (55 x 38 x 20 cm) or 15 pounds (7 kg).

Business or first class passengers are allowed to bring 2 pieces of carry-on — 1 briefcase and either 1 handbag or 1 garment bag.

Size and weight restrictions:

  • Briefcase: 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm)
  • Handbag: 22 x 15 x 8 inches (55 x 38 x 20 cm)
  • Garment bag: 8 inches (20 cm) thick when folded
  • Each piece must not exceed 15 pounds (7 kg)
Erin Miller's image

About Erin Miller

An experienced points hacker, Erin is Alex’s partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points with in-depth guides and relationship management. Erin’s work has been cited in multiple major publications.

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