Is a Backpack Considered a Personal Item on Frontier Airlines? 

 July 29, 2023

By  Chloe Farro

Frontier airlines is an ultra low cost American carrier located at Denver, Colorado. Passengers are allowed to bring one personal item for free but with one condition - the item must fit under the seat upfront. There’s a certain size limit that needs to be taken note of for an item to be considered as a “personal item”.

Frontier instigated a policy with regards to personal items. It must not exceed the 18 x 14 x 8 inches size requirement for it to be considered as such. Backpacks come in different measurements. If it has the same exact size or smaller, thus it will fit the criteria for the personal item category.

Numerous people have a hard time dealing with airline baggage requirements as policies differ for each company. It’s such a big confusion almost always for everyone who travels rarely and even for those who fly frequently. Here, you’ll be able to spot interesting information about the Frontier’s baggage requirements.

Can My Backpack Be a Personal Item on Frontier?

Frontier is an airline that offers an ultra low cost plane ticket with a slogan - “Low Fares Done Right” They do this to attract more customers and engage them to book a flight with them. Because of this agenda, they are recognized as one of the few airlines that charges a fee for standard carry-on bags. However, they allow one personal item free of charge.

For the personal item luggage category, it must fit the airlines’ strict size dimensions. It cannot be larger than 18” width x 14” height and 8” depth with no weight limit. Frontier stated that the types of luggage that commonly pass the criteria are purses, totes, computer bags, briefcases, small backpacks and diaper bags.

Take in mind that for the given dimensions, any part sticking out from your item such as the handles, straps, and wheels, if applicable, will be included whenever a Frontier personnel measures a personal item.

Given that, any backpack that is perceived as one of the items previously listed or has exactly the same or smaller than the given dimension will be considered as a personal item. 

Frontier airlines does not care how your luggage is called or designed, as long as it fits the criteria or under the seat in front of you then you’re good to go. If having any doubts with regards to luggage policies and restrictions, better call the airline in advance and ask about everything you’re having confusions of. 

Don’t risk having unexpected surprises such as monitoring and checking on the day of the flight as it could be so burdensome on your part. Everyone wants a safe and stress free flight and that’s the main purpose why you travel, assumingly for the majority.

Is a Backpack Considered a Carry on Frontier?

A carry-on bag can be no longer than 24” height x 16” width x 10” depth including the handles, straps and wheels. For a personal item, there are no weight limitations. However, for a carry on bag, it must not be heavier than 35 pounds or 16 kilograms.

The carry-on bag must fit the overhead compartment or under the seat. If for any reason, the carry-on bag exceeds the required dimensions and weight, an additional charge will be applied. 

Thick and large backpacks, small duffel bags and suitcases, wheeled bags, coats, diaper bags, canes, crutches, portable oxygen concentrators, respiratory devices and any other assistive devices are all considered as a “carry-on”.

Again, as long as the item fits the criteria for the carry-on requirements, may it be exactly the same dimensions and weight or smaller and lighter, then you can cross the gate without a hassle.

Frontier Airlines Checked Baggage Size, Fees & Restrictions

Checked bags must be within the 62 linear inches dimension requirements and not heavier than 50 pounds. But, as per policy, if you’re a passenger who’s bound to Canada, checked baggage has a higher weight limit compared to other destinations which is 70 pounds.

According to the 3-1-1 Liquid Rule, any liquid products such as the ones mentioned under the carry-on baggage sections must also be placed in containers however, it can be larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters irregardless of the amount inside.

A luggage that exceeds these limits will be charged an additional $75 for each exceeding linear dimensions and weight.

Frontier airlines will not accept any luggage that exceeds 100 pounds and over 110 linear inches. 

Checked bag charges vary based on when you purchased your ticket. However, fees are non-refundable for any type of ticket.

Prohibited Items When You're Flying Frontier

Any weapon that could inflict bodily harm such as knives, guns, explosives or incendiaries must not be included inside a carry-on bag. According to the Transportation Security Administration, a passenger is allowed to bring a quart sized bag that’s full of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in a carry-on bag.

These liquids must be placed inside travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters or less in size per item. Whenever these items are placed in a separate bag other than the carry-on baggage, it will be subjected to a screening process.

If and only if it went through the baggage checker machine and the alarm rang unexpectedly, additional screening will take place.

Personal belongings such as cash, electronic gadgets, jewelries, medications and other important documents must not be placed inside a checked bag. If by any chance, you placed any item such as the ones mentioned above and it gets damaged, the airline will not be held liable for it.

Aside from that, Frontier does not allow their passengers to pack lithium ion batteries and electronic cigarettes.

Reasons “Why” Frontier Is Strict When It Comes or Luggage Restrictions

Frontier airlines follows a strict policy when it comes to luggage restrictions. The promise of low cost plane flight comes with a drawback. As they offer cheaper plane ticket prices, they are much more strict when it comes to implementing such restrictions. With this promising and irresistible offer, they make up for the lost revenue by charging extra fees.

If they wouldn’t be strict about this, then the possibility of “going out of business” can come into light. Or, to gain back the revenue, they could simply raise the price of the plane tickets. But, they wouldn’t risk millions of customers who fly with them throughout the years just to compensate for that “lost” revenue.

Backpack Recommendations for Frontier Flights

If you’re having second thoughts and doubts with regards to your currently available backpack, then you can find backpacks that fit exactly the same or even smaller as per Frontiers’ personal item dimension restrictions.

Here's some examples you can find on our website:

The American Tourister Underseater
Tzowla Backpack Purse For Women

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Bring a Carry-on Luggage and a Personal Item?

Yes, any passenger can bring both luggages whenever they decide to fly with Frontier. As long as it fits the dimension and weight restrictions set by the airline then they could pass through the gate without a burden.

Personal items are free of charge however, for carry-on luggage, reasonable charges are implemented. Prices may vary depending on the date and time of ticket purchase and are non-refundable.

What Is the Difference Between a Carry-on and Personal Item?

A carry-on baggage must have dimensions not larger than 16”W x 24”H x 10”D and not heavier than 35 pounds. This can be stored on the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

A personal item must not be more than 18”W x 14”H x 8”D with no weight limitations. It can also be stored under the seats in front of you. However, some Frontier airplanes are equipped with bulkhead seats. This particular type of airplane chair is not designed with an under seat storage. Therefore, any personal or carry-on baggage must be placed at the overhead bin during take-off and landing.

What Other Items Fits Frontier’s Personal Item Criteria?

Frontier allows you to carry one extra personal item for free. It can be an umbrella, coat, jackets, canes, crutches, duty free bags and any other assistive devices such as portable oxygen concentrators, respiratory devices, wheelchairs, strollers, walkers and child restraint seats.

Some of the items mentioned above fit the carry-on baggage criteria however, the airline considers these items as “personal” as it is free from the usual carry-on additional charges.

How Strict Is Frontier When It Comes to Baggage Policies?

Frontier is one of the few airlines that offer low cost plane tickets, thus a lot of passengers choose to fly with them as it fulfills its promise of “Low fares done right”. Due to this fact, they don’t want to risk their customers by increasing the price of their destination flights. They may go out of business if they do this trick.

To combat this and eventually gain their lost revenue, they came up with an idea of implementing additional baggage charges according to their own policies and restrictions. Therefore, they are strict when it comes to the screening and checking process of their passengers’ luggage.

So, if you’re the type of person whose only goal is to enter the gates peacefully, then you must strictly follow their baggage dimension requirements.

Do Frontier Offer a Plane Ticket With Free Carry-on Bag?

It is stated above that Frontier does not charge one personal item and applies a fee for a carry-on bag. However, if you are part of the so-called “Frontier Miles” membership group then you will automatically be considered as an elite member.

Whenever an elite member purchases The Works℠, they will always receive a free carry-on bag in addition to their personal item. This is an exclusive offer as only those who are part of the group can avail this special offer.

If you are a regular Frontier customer and you suddenly opts to become part of their members only family so you can avail those exciting benefits then better call them now before it’s too late.

Do the Plane Fares Already Include Checked Baggage Fees?

Unfortunately, checked baggage fees are not included in your plane fare. Whenever you fly with Frontier and you cannot avoid bringing luggage that belongs to this group, then it means that you have to pay for it.

You may pay the additional fees on the exact date and time of booking. But, if you have already purchased your ticket in advance then, you can pay for the checked baggage fees on FlyFrontier.com or when you check in online 24 hours before the departure.


Whenever you plan to fly with Frontier airlines, before booking for a flight, make sure to take these information to mind. We all want a relaxing and hassle free flight as possible so to avoid any conflicts with any airport personnel then, you must strictly follow their rules and regulations.

They are firm and sharp when it comes to their policies as they want to implement it as equal and uniform as possible. So, it is recommended that as a passenger, you also have to do your part and just stick within the limits as they are also doing their job to provide you with the best possible service despite its low cost flights.

Enjoy your next flight. Sayonara future Frontier passengers!

About the author

Chloe is the newest writer to join the team. Her favorite bags are Herschel and Jansport. "I can’t choose between these two"

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