Maximum luggage size

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May 12, 2018
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#1
We decided to look for new luggage to replace our American Tourister 25" & 29" iLite rolling bags from 2005. It seems like most bags today are 4-wheel spinners, which is fine for our backs. But all of the 29" bags I check online (Travelpro & Samsonite) exceed the official 62 linear inch maximum listed by the airlines, when you include the extra length counting the wheels. Comments on various sites selling luggage mentioned this and said that most airline staff check only the weight and not the size. But others said they were stopped and had to rip off the wheels or pay an exorbitant oversize charge.

So what's the story here? Why are luggage companies making bags that don't fit? I like the capacity of the 29" bag for long trips instead of taking two 25" bags, which is overkill and a hassle when wheeling them through the airport. Can't they make a bag that meets the requirements? Or are the airline staff not interpreting the rules properly - like wheels don't count in the linear inches?

Can someone from the airline and/or luggage industry shed some light on this question?

Thank you
 
Sep 19, 2015
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I think the I problem is that the airlines are not standardized — Virgin Atlantic check in size can be up to 35.5 by 29.5 by 16 inches —
I am not sure if there are other generous airlines but I mostly fly on the other airlines that have the smaller size you mention.

Yes technically the wheels should be included.

I would not chance it.

I do like the spinners with 4 wheels. I now use very soft sided lightweight ones.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#6
I'm with Neil ... your question cannot be answered, so a soft-sided wheeled duffle is a guaranteed win. Or, do what I did when my shoulder gave out ... downsize! I thought I would be totally unable to pack less but am pleasantly surprised ... it's kinda like a game to see how few clothes you can take and still avoid looking like a dirtbag. "The stuff", however is difficult to downsize ... how can I travel without my little tool kit, a 3-way outlet plug, a heater coil for coffee? But I'm taking less weight every trip.
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
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Jan 7, 2015
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#9
They are looking for full sized bags.
I understand, I am making the point that if you want to be 100% sure of being allowed to take the bag onboard, you need to select a bag that is within the guidelines. I had it happen once, that was once too often, that a European airline refused to let me carry on my carry on after making a connection in Europe because it was too big, even though it fitted in the same airline's same plane out of the USA. When it comes to carry-on baggage, while some airlines are flexible in this area, particularly in the USA, whereas some airlines go by rules and sizers rather than what actually fits in the overhead and if you want to be 100% sure then my advice is not to question the rule at the gate on the day you are traveling. Questioning it here is fine.
 
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Likes: Dwayne Coward
Oct 10, 2016
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#10
I understand, I am making the point that if you want to be 100% sure of being allowed to take the bag onboard, you need to select a bag that is within the guidelines. I had it happen once, that was once too often, that a European airline refused to let me carry on my carry on after making a connection in Europe because it was too big, even though it fitted in the same airline's same plane out of the USA. When it comes to carry-on baggage, while some airlines are flexible in this area, particularly in the USA, whereas some airlines go by rules and sizers rather than what actually fits in the overhead and if you want to be 100% sure then my advice is not to question the rule at the gate on the day you are traveling. Questioning it here is fine.
 
Oct 10, 2016
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#11
Elliott.org has the allowable sizes of carry-on luggage, and they vary from airline to airline. In addition, not all of those frames into which you can be asked to insert your carry-on are the same. They vary from airport/airline, and are not all the same configuration. Some are just a 4-sided metal frame with open sides, and some are solid on all sides. Better safe than sorry.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Dec 26, 2014
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#12
Even if your bag has been ok on previous flights, it is important to check with your airline because they may have changed the size requirements. Alaska Airlines is reducing the size of the permitted carry on bags starting in June. I get this notice each time I check in on my phone or online:
"Starting June 4, 2018, the carry-on bag size limit for Alaska Airlines, Horizon, and SkyWest flights will change to 22'' x 14'' x 9''
We’re giving you advance notice of this change so that you’ll have time to make adjustments to your packing plans now.
Don’t worry - you’ll still be allowed one carry-on bag and one personal item such as a purse, briefcase, or laptop bag."

I find myself looking at the carry on bags that most passengers have carried on lately and think they will be in a world of hurt if Alaska gate agents actually start enforcing this come June 4th.
 
Aug 9, 2017
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#14
22x14x9 is the most standard size. Chris’ website has the allowable size for every airline. The wheels should not be included, but they are. You can’t pack in the wheels!
From the standpoint of the airlines, wheels should be included. They are concerned with the external dimensions and how the suitcase fits in an allotted space. Wheels vary, years ago they extended well beyond the case. Today they are recessed.

Related, I rarely carry-on and have never lost a piece of luggage despite an employment history almost 50 years long. I have had a suitcases delayed, perhaps about a dozen times. I personally would love to see airlines start charging for carry-on luggage and allow checked bags free. I wonder how things would change?
 
#15
From the standpoint of the airlines, wheels should be included. They are concerned with the external dimensions and how the suitcase fits in an allotted space. Wheels vary, years ago they extended well beyond the case. Today they are recessed.

Related, I rarely carry-on and have never lost a piece of luggage despite an employment history almost 50 years long. I have had a suitcases delayed, perhaps about a dozen times. I personally would love to see airlines start charging for carry-on luggage and allow checked bags free. I wonder how things would change?
John, not all are recessed, and you can't pack anything in the wheels, unfortunately. Your idea of charging for carry-ons and allow free checked bags is interesting. I think, however, that more people would check more bags, causing a weight problem.
 
#16
John, not all are recessed, and you can't pack anything in the wheels, unfortunately.
But that is the exact root of the problem and why airlines can only address the situation by looking at exterior dimensions. I have seen people with huge backpacks, camera bags, snowboards, even cases of wine. You've got to have exterior size limits that accommodate different things other than luggage.