Something such as a purse, briefcase, laptop or camera bag (as well as items of similar or smaller size) will fall under the category of ‘Personal Items’.
Nowadays air carriers often allow passengers to board the plane with a personal item along with their carry-on bag. This extra item can be one of the following: a laptop computer carrying case, camera bag, purse, briefcase, backpack, etc.
Please, make sure that your personal item will fit under the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartment. (Otherwise it will have to be gate-checked and then reclaimed upon deplaning.) We strongly recommend you review the baggage policy of all the carriers in your itinerary as it will provide useful information such as:
(a) the maximum allowed size of your personal item, which may vary (compare United and American Airlines, for instance: 17 x 10 x 9 inches vs. 18 x 14 x 8 inches)
(b) a list of items that may be brought for free and do not count as a personal item (depending on the airline it could include: a jacket and/or umbrella, food or merchandise purchased at the airport, reading material, medical assistive devices, FAA-child restraint system or safety seat, etc.)
(c) fees and charges associated with extra items you may want to bring on board.