How Strict is Lufthansa With Personal Item Size?

Carry-on bag rules can vary, depending on the airline that operates your flight.

Some airlines are also more strict when it comes to size requirements or what items are allowed inside of your carry-on bags. 

So how strict is Lufthansa when it comes to personal item size?

Lufthansa allows passengers to bring one carry-on bag and an additional personal item or small bag. Both have strict size requirements to be allowed on the plane. If your bags are found to not meet requirements, you’ll have to pay to check them as checked luggage and may be charged additional fees. 

Lufthansa Baggage Rules

Lufthansa allows passengers to bring one piece of hand luggage and an additional personal item. 

This personal item can be anything from a handbag to a small duffel or a purchase at the airport. 

Carry-on bags must meet maximum size requirements, meaning your bag must be smaller than the dimensions 55 x 40 x 23 cm. 

It must also be easily stowed in overhead bins on your flight, weigh no more than 8 kg, and may be checked by staff at the gate. 

Personal items must also meet maximum size requirements, meaning they must have smaller dimensions than 40 x 30 x 10 cm. These items must be able to fit under the seat in front of you. 

Size and weight requirements are usually strictly enforced. 

If your bag is too large or too heavy, you’ll be forced to check it at the gate, pay for additional checked luggage, and may be charged fees. 

There will be a rectangular sizer at the gate, usually just a framed box. It’s used by passengers and staff to check whether your bag meets size requirements. 

Noticeably large or heavy bags will be checked against regulations by staff at the gate. 

If your bag is slightly oversized (by an amount that isn’t noticeable) you may not be asked to check it with the sizer. 

Soft-sided bags that can be squished a bit get more leeway than hard-sided bags because the soft ones can fit in the sizer if needed. 

Bringing a slightly oversized bag is a risk. You may end up getting caught and having to pay to check your bag.

Knowing the size limits in advance can save you the hassle and make it less risky to try to sneak a bag past the gate staff. 

Make sure to bring a bag that meets requirements by measuring it at home and weighing it once you’ve gotten packed up. 

You should also leave a little extra room in any soft-sided bag that may be questionably sized. That will make it easier to squeeze into a sizer if you do end up needing to verify at the gate. 

That little bit of diligence will help you avoid problems and unnecessary stress during boarding. 

Lufthansa also has rules for liquids in carry-on bags.  

All liquids in hand luggage must be in clear plastic bags and must be in containers with a volume of 100 ml or less. 

Do airlines check personal item size?

Like carry-on bags, you’re more likely to end up having airline staff check your personal item’s size if it’s noticeably oversized or heavy. 

For the most part, purses and handbags will be the right size and won’t cause any issues. 

If you want to bring a laptop bag or backpack, make sure to check its dimensions before your flight. 

It’s always the best practice to make sure your personal item and carry-on bag meet maximum size requirements. 

What happens if your personal item is too big?

If your personal item is of questionable size, you’ll likely be asked to place it in a sizer at the gate. 

This allows staff to verify if your item complies with the size limitations set in place by the airline.

If you can’t fit your item inside of the sizer, it will be deemed too large to bring on board with you. 

With any airline, if your personal item isn’t allowed on the flight you’ll have to either check it as checked luggage or get rid of it. 

You will be charged an additional baggage fee for checking luggage at the gate and may be required to pay fees to get your bag or item onto the plane. 

What qualifies as a personal item on a plane?

Personal items differ from carry-on bags because they aren’t limited to just bags or suitcases. 

They can be anything from a laptop case to a camera bag or a purse to a backpack. Personal items can also include heavy jackets, umbrellas, or a bag for an infant.

There usually aren’t additional limits on what can be inside the bags, aside from normal rules regarding what you can bring on a plane. 

Carry-on bags differ from personal items because they are defined as luggage you bring onto the plane with you. 

This usually includes larger baggage like suitcases, duffel bags, or traveling backpacks. 

Both have strict limitations when it comes to their size.

Can you put a personal item in overhead bins?

According to airline policies, personal items must be stowed underneath the seat in front of you. The overhead bins are strictly for carry-on luggage and personal items are not allowed in them. 

This means that if you don’t have a carry-on bag, you shouldn’t be putting anything in the overhead bins. 

That being said, flight staff will usually not make you remove personal items from overhead bins if there is plenty of room inside of them. 

On crowded flights, you may be asked to remove your personal item from the overhead bins and place it underneath the seat in front of you. 

On mostly empty flights, there usually won’t be a problem with stowing your personal items in the overhead compartments. 

Can I bring two personal items on a plane?

The general rule across almost every airline is that passengers may bring one piece of carry-on luggage and one personal item. 

This applies generally to regular tickets, not business or first-class.

If your personal items are backpacks or small duffels that may usually count as personal items, you will likely be allowed to bring two. 

This is mostly because one can be considered your carry-on and the other a personal item, but both must fall within size restrictions for your flight. 

You usually won’t be allowed two laptop bags or two objects as your items, regardless of whether you bring a carry-on bag or not. 

You may be able to bring extra personal items, but the gate attendant may ask you to check them and charge you for them. 

Unless specified by your airline, you also will not be allowed two personal items if you bring a carry-on bag. 

Exceptions are made in some cases, such as medically necessary objects or additional bags for infants. 


Lufthansa enforces strict size limits for both carry-on luggage and personal items on their flights. 

If your bags don’t meet their regulations, you will be asked to check them and be charged additional fees for your baggage.

If your bag is questionable, expect to be asked to put it inside of a sizer at the gate. 

Soft-sided bags can be squeezed in, but you’ll run into trouble trying to sneak past suitcases that are too large. Always try to comply with the limitations to avoid issues.