Do Neck Pillows Count As Carry On? Rules By 19 Airlines

Written by Simon in Traveling
Image Credits:

If you’ve traveled by air lately, then you know that there seem to be increasingly smaller seats on planes so that more people can pack onto the flight. That means comfort isn’t always top-notch anymore when you’re traveling by air. As a result, people search for ways to make air travel more comfortable, including the use of a neck pillow.

Is a neck pillow a carry-on? Yes, on most airlines, a neck pillow can be considered a carry-on. If you purchase a smaller neck pillow, you can also make room for it in your carry-on bag, and have both the bag and neck pillow together during your flight.

It’s not uncommon to see people with neck pillows on long flights. Many people bring along a neck pillow to help them with extra comfort as they travel. Since several individuals like sleeping during their trips, you can see why a pillow might feel like it’s a necessity to the weary traveler.

Are Neck Pillows Allowed on Airlines?

A neck pillow, or almost any other type of travel pillow, is typically allowed on most airlines. As long as you opt to bring along a smaller, more compact pillow on your flight, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Several airlines even allow passengers to take standard-sized bed pillows, too. While this practice isn’t as common as allowing neck or travel pillows because of the size of standard pillows, some airlines still permit it. However, it can be cumbersome to travel with a regular-sized pillow, and better to bring along something smaller.

Depending on what airline you use, you might wind up with different circumstances surrounding your in-flight item allowance. Different airlines allow different types of things during their flights, and pillows are generally allowable. Many airlines allow a carry-on bag and a few personal items like a purse and a backpack.

Most travelers purchase a pillow that will fit easily into their carry-on bag so that they still have other essential items with them during their flight. There are several different items that qualify as carry-ons for a variety of airlines.

Jackets, neck and travel pillows, books, etc., are also items that count as your attire when you are on a plane. You are allowed to travel with the clothes you have on your back.

However, when thinking about bringing a pillow along with you, consider size issues. You want a pillow that can fit in your carry-on bag or personal backpack so that you can still bring along other vital items. So, in that case, you’ll need to think about some carry-on and personal items rules.

19 Airlines And Their Travel Pillow Rules

Below I have created a chart that outlines the carry on size and neck pillow rules for 19 popular airlines, just to make things simple!

AirlineStandard Carry on Size in InchesStandard Carry on Size in CentimetersWeightNeck Pillow
AeroMexico22 x 14 x 955 x 35 x 2222 lbs.Yes, in addition to a carry-on - Up to 21.5x15.7x10 inches
Air Canada21.5 x 15.5 x 954 x 39 x 2222 lbs.Yes, in carry-on bag
Air France21.7 x 13.8 x 9.955 x 35 x 2522 lbs.Yes, in addition to a carry-on - Up to 21.5x15.7x10 inches
Air New Zealand46.5 total linear118 total linear15 lbs.Yes, in carry-on bag
AirTran Airways24 x 16 x 1060 x 40 x 25-Yes, in addition to a carry-on - Up to 24x16x10 inches
Alaska Airlines22 x 14 x 955 x 35 x 22-Yes, in addition to a carry-on - Up to 22x14x9 inches
Alitalia21.7 x 13.8 x 9.955 x 35 x 2517.6 lbs.Yes, in addition to a carry-on - Up to 21.7x13.8x9.9 inches
Allegiant Air16 x 15 x 740 x 38 x 18-Yes, in carry-on bag
All Nippon Airways22 x 16 x 1055 x 40 x 2522 lbs.Yes, in addition to a carry-on - Up to 22x16x10 inches
American Airlines22 x 14 x 955 x 35 x 22-Yes, in addition to a carry-on - Up to 22x14x9 inches
Delta Airlines22 x 14 x 955 x 35 x 22-Yes, in addition to a carry-on - Up to 22x14x9 inches
El Al21.2 x 17.7 x 9.853 x 44 x 2415.4 lbs.Yes, in addition to a carry-on - Up to 21.2x17.7x9.8 inches
Frontier Airlines24 x 16 x 1060 x 40 x 2535 lbs.Yes, in addition to a carry-on - Up to 24x16x10 inches
Hawaiian Airlines22 x 14 x 955 x 35 x 2225 lbs.Yes, in addition to a carry-on - Up to 22x14x9 inches
IATA21.5 x 13.5 x 7.554 x 34 x 19-Yes, in carry-on bag
Icelandair21.6 x 15.7 x 7.854 x 39 x 19-Yes, in carry-on bag
Japan Airlines22 x 16 x 1055 x 40 x 2522 lbs.Yes, in addition to a carry-on - Up to 22x16x10 inches
JetBlue Airways22 x 14 x 955 x 35 x 22-Yes, in addition to a carry-on - Up to 22x14x9 inches
KLM21.5 x 13.5 x 1054 x 34 x 2526 lbs.Yes, in addition to a carry-on - Up to 21.5x13.5x10 inches

Carry-On And Personal Item Rules

Most airlines offer a standard measurement for carry-on bags and define what they feel is a carry-on item. However, these rules vary vastly from airline to airline. For example, some airlines force you to put your bag in a premeasured container to ensure that it is sized correctly. Other airlines will eyeball your bags for size. And, there are other airlines that might ignore the size requirements altogether.

However, where pillows are concerned, most problems arise when travelers bring along a standard-sized pillow. Standard sized pillows are much bigger than a travel pillow, and they also take up more room.

While you might be able to roll easily and compress them, especially standard-sized feather pillows, if the pillow doesn’t fit inside your carry-on bag, and most standard-sized pillows will be too large to fit in a carry-on bag, then you’re out of luck. You might have to pay an extra baggage fee to bring your pillow if you can’t fit it in your carry-on bag.

The best way to handle any carry-on questions you might have about pillows and other items is to call the airline in advance. That way, you can try to avoid having to pay an extra baggage fee by planning.

Problems You May Experience

Your biggest potential issue might come from the airline itself. If your pillow is standard-sized and too large to fit in your carry-on bag, then you’ll wind up having to check-in an extra item. That also means paying for that additional item. That can make your flight experience unpleasant right off the bat if you aren’t ready for the possibility of that occurrence.

Pillow Types

Remember to factor in size as you pick out your pillow. A standard sized pillow might be too large and awkward to take along with you when you travel. Plus, a standard-sized pillow will also take up a lot of room in your seat.

Plus, if you don’t have a window seat, you’ll need to worry about your standard-sized pillow getting in the way of things. Also, when you’re not using it, the only place you might be able to fit it is in your lap since it’ll be too large to put anywhere else.

Instead of bringing along a standard-sized pillow, take some time out to find a neck pillow or a travel pillow, since both are small options that fit into carry-on bags. We’ll cover some of the types of pillows you may want to purchase for your travels below.

Travel Pillows

The word “travel” or “neck” pillow makes people think about the horseshoe-shaped pillow that wraps around the neck. However, there are several other types of styles of pillows that are fantastic for traveling and designed to be easy to pack and carry.

For example, there’s the J-Pillow, which can be manipulated in a few different ways to keep you comfortable. There’s also the Ostrich Pillow which works well to cushion on many kinds of surfaces while you travel.

Feather Pillows

Feather pillows provide another option, as long as they can be tightly compressed and are great for traveling. Most smaller feather pillows are exceptional items to pack in your carry-on luggage and should fit comfortably. You’ll get plenty of long-lasting comfort with this type of pillow.

Compressible Camping Pillows

Another excellent option for traveling is a compressible camping pillow. These pillows are made much like your standard pillow, but they’re much lighter and made to be easy to pack. These types of pillows include both inflatable pillows and compressible pillows and are made to be both comfortable and relaxed to pack

Hello, my name is Simon. I love traveling, and so does my girlfriend. I am an internet entrepreneur and I run my own company, but I have also been working as a tourist guide for a short time - years ago.

We have two kids now, and we want to take them out, to see the world.

As there are a few more obstacles traveling with kids. Follow our travels, reviews, and path to knowledge

Some of my Favorite Content
My family and I, have been going to Germany 3 times now. Mostly because we don't have to travel far, and it is so CHEAP to visit Germany if you stay in smaller cities or campsites. I have done some research on, what Germany is famous for, and what is w
Whether you commute frequently for work or are able to trod the globe, travelling can be exhausting. Anything you can do to make the trip more comfortably and (hopefully) get a little rest while you’re in transit can greatly improve your quality of life d
When you’re traveling to a new state or country, you want to make sure all of your important documents and ID’s are in one place. With all of your essential things in one place, you won’t have to worry about losing anything when you needed it the most. Fa
When planning a family vacation for five, it is sometimes hard to get good ideas on unique places to visit. It can be hard trying to please everyone, especially when you are bringing people of different ages and preferences along on the same ride. But
When planning a European family vacation for five, it is sometimes hard to get good ideas on unique places to visit instead of the same old tourist traps. It can also be difficult trying to please everyone, especially when you are bringing people of d
Planning a vacation to another country is especially daunting because of the weather. I’m considering traveling to Spain in the winter, and I thought I would share my findings. Hopefully, it will help others better understand the weather in this beautiful
When a friend of mine mentioned his travels, one place that sounded really interesting was Denmark. It’s a Nordic country with temperate weather and lots of interesting things to do and visit. I plan to visit as well, and I hope this packing list I made w
Greece is known as a gorgeous place that attracts many tourists every year. What makes Greece such a tourism magnet? Greece offers a one of a kind experience for everyone that loves to travel with attractions and cuisines that are unique to Greece. Some