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Does a small purse count as carry on?

Explorer C



I haven't flown for over 23 years.  So I am super lost.  I have a small purse, does that count as a carry on?  I'm asking because I would like to bring my small suitcase and my smaller makeup bag and my purse.


Re: Does a small purse count as carry on?

Frequent Flyer C



Wow! I am so lost that you haven't flown like what!?!?  23 years?

 That is a long time, but let's get back to your point you were asking. Yes, a small purse do count as carry on. The last time I checked was the purse does count as carry-on. I found this articles as someone were asking a question about quality of counts of bags that can be carried for free: Two bags.


Here is the quote from Mister Guru:


Southwest Airlines (WN) allows 1 carry-on bag and 1 personal item (purse, briefcase, laptop bag) per passenger fee free. Carry-on should not exceed the following size and weight restrictions: 50 linear inches (24 x 16 x 10 in) or 127 centimeters (61 x 41 x 28 cm) including handles and wheels.


Excerpt from seatguru's website.


Hopefully this helps you, have a wonderful Sunday!

Re: Does a small purse count as carry on?

Aviator C

@desnda93 your purse is considered a personal item and not a carry on. 


Hope you have have a great trip! 

SWA Passenger, Community Champion

Re: Does a small purse count as carry on?

Aviator A

Here is the official Southwest link - note the requirements are TSA’s, but enforced by Southwest:


So so in a nutshell, you’d need to consolidate your three items into only two. But it would be as simple as having your purse and makeup bag both inside of another bag.



Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Does a small purse count as carry on?

Frequent Flyer A


@DancingDavidE has the best advice.  Consolidate two things into one, and then you will have the one carry item and the one personal item.  Once on the plane, you can quickly remove your purse from your bag before you put it in the overhead bin.  


Ironically, you have to get on with two but can exit with three, so as long as you can combine down to two before getting on, you should not have a problem.  It might be good to check the measurements of your makeup bag to ensure that it will count as a personal item.  


I hope that is helpful.  Keep in mind that if you have a connection, you will have to “re-consolidate” before boarding the second plane.  Fortunately, it is unlikely that you will have to go through security screening again, but not a guarantee because it depends upon the airport and flights.  


Good travels!