Does a Diaper Bag Count as a Carry On? Navigate Airlines with this handy guide

Diaper bags as carry-ons in airlines with baby

Ever tried jet-setting with your tiny companions?

It's like preparing for a cross-country move just to survive a quick flight with the kiddos. You feel like a mobile version of their room and your kitchen pantry, attempting to squeeze it all into one bag.

Diapers, wipes, milk, snacks, toys, "loveys", spare clothes—it's like you're packing for a world tour instead of a plane ride. And don't even get started on your personal items, because apparently, your phone, wallet, and keys are essential for in-flight survival too.

But guess what? In the midst of this packing circus, did you know that some airlines cut parents some slack? Yes, you heard it right—they actually let you bring a diaper bag for free, on top of your regular luggage allowance. The catch? Well, each airline seems to have its own set of rules, making it sound like a quirky game show.


Let me break it down for you:

First off, there are some universal rules, like each passenger getting a free stroller check (because who wants to carry a toddler through the entire airport?) and a complimentary car seat check. According to TSA -  breast pumps get VIP treatment,  are considered medical devices and are therefore allowed as carry-ons. They're like the rockstars of carry-ons, no extra fees required.

Now, onto the diaper bag drama:

Airline Diaper Bag Policies that we found:

Airlines with a Sense of Adventure—Allowing Diaper Bags for Free:

  1. United Airlines: They're so cool, they let you pack a diaper bag for the ultimate parenting runway show. Check out their Traveling with Children FAQs for more details.

    United airlines diaper bag policy
  2. American Airlines: One diaper bag per child? They're practically encouraging diaper bag fashion trends.

    American airlines diaper backpack policy
  3. JetBlue: Allows one free diaper bag per lap child under the age of 2. Peep  their Traveling with Kids page for more details. 

    Jet Blue Diaper bag policy
  4. Spirit Airlines: Not only do they have spirit, but they're also in high spirits about letting you bring a diaper bag for free, alongside your standard luggage allowance.

    Spirit Airlines Diaper Bag Policy
  5. Frontier Airlines: Diaper bags are the new must-have accessory, and Frontier agrees. Parents traveling with an infant in lap may carry a second personal item, such as a diaper bag, free of charge. Pack it up, and let's soar!Frontier airlines diaper bag policy

  6. Allegiant Airlines: Diaper bags on board, free of charge! It's almost like they're saying, "Buckle up, little one, we're in for a stylish ride."Allegiant Airlines Diaper Bag Policy

Airlines with a Straight Face—No Free Diaper Bags:

  1. Southwest Airlines: No diaper bag privileges here. Their carry-on policy is about as mysterious as a magician's disappearing act. You can get more specifics here.

  2. Hawaiian Airlines: Hawaiian vibes, but no love for free diaper bags. It's like they missed the memo on parenting swag.

  3. Alaska Airlines: Diaper bags count as your regular carry-on, but hey, at least they're straightforward about it. No frills, just bags.

  4. Delta Airlines: If you have a lap child with unpaid, then diaper bags do not count as an additional carry one, and breast pumps are welcome. It's like they have a soft spot for lactation gear?

Remember, airline diaper bag policies are like the plot twists in a soap opera—they might change, and different ticket classes might have their own quirks. For a stress-free journey, give the airline a ring ahead of time. Who said parenting can't be an adventure with a dash of airline mischief? 

While you are at it - check out our Adventure Proof Diaper Bag Backpack and learn why we built the most extreme travel backpack on the market. 

a durable diaper bag backpack for outdoors all the features



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