Roller bag vs duffles carry-ons

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May 6, 2018
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#1
On a recent trip using Lufthansa, my 21-inch roller carry-on was accepted without question for 3 of 4 flight segments. Leaving Barcelona, Spain, however, I was stopped and instructed to try my carry-on in the size frame. My bag did not fit that frame. OK, "boarding pass and passport!" I complied and the offending carry-on became a checked bag. In the meantime, many other "carry-ons" MUCH LARGER than mine were allowed in the airplane cabin! Why this discrepany/discrimination between types of luggage?? If one type is "too large" for carry-on status, then why not all types, i.e. specifically duffles? There is NO way many duffles would fit in the size frames the airlines use for carry-on sizing. On a trip with Lufthansa last year my same carry-on was not questioned anywhere. What's Barcelona trying to prove with their obvious discrimination?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#2
I am not sure this is discrimination. One thing I can think of is that roller bags are rigid with the handle and wheels and duffles are not. It may be harder to eyeball the size of a duffle.

Was there a difference in plane size like a regional jet?

Some airports are more restrictive in terms of size or number — FCO (Rome) comes to mind.

Having every bag put in the sizer would make boarding a lengthy process.

You admit that the bag did not fit the sizer. I have had to downscale my roller because of this issues.

I think of these situations being similar to driving and keeping pace with traffic that is speeding and being the only one caught. The why didn’t the others get caught has to do with enforcement, there is not enough people to enforce the rules
 
Likes: Neil Maley

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#3
It's just the way it is, unfortunately. Different gate agents, different airports, the passenger is at the mercy of every one of their whims. I guess you should consider yourself lucky that you only had to gatecheck one leg of your trip. I hope, like some of OPs, that you didn't leave valuables of any kind before you checked it. Savvy travellers carry a folded up nylon/plastic bag in an outside pocket just for these kinds of surprises.
 
Oct 10, 2016
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#4
On a recent trip using Lufthansa, my 21-inch roller carry-on was accepted without question for 3 of 4 flight segments. Leaving Barcelona, Spain, however, I was stopped and instructed to try my carry-on in the size frame. My bag did not fit that frame. OK, "boarding pass and passport!" I complied and the offending carry-on became a checked bag. In the meantime, many other "carry-ons" MUCH LARGER than mine were allowed in the airplane cabin! Why this discrepany/discrimination between types of luggage?? If one type is "too large" for carry-on status, then why not all types, i.e. specifically duffles? There is NO way many duffles would fit in the size frames the airlines use for carry-on sizing. On a trip with Lufthansa last year my same carry-on was not questioned anywhere. What's Barcelona trying to prove with their obvious discrimination?

I have had the same experience with carry-on bags that I have used for years. I have discovered that all of those size-frames are not the same size. Some have 4 solid sides, and some are just open on all sides. Only once was I was told that it did not fit. That was in the Reyjkavik (sp) airport on the way home from Iceland. It was a Delta flight. I insisted that it did, put it in the frame and sat on it until it filled the frame. Although the attendant at the counter was terribly annoyed, she let it on the plane.
 
Likes: divinemsmstl

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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6,644
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San Francisco
#5
I have had the same experience with carry-on bags that I have used for years. I have discovered that all of those size-frames are not the same size. Some have 4 solid sides, and some are just open on all sides. Only once was I was told that it did not fit. That was in the Reyjkavik (sp) airport on the way home from Iceland. It was a Delta flight. I insisted that it did, put it in the frame and sat on it until it filled the frame. Although the attendant at the counter was terribly annoyed, she let it on the plane.
Well you've given me a huge laugh at the end of a tough day. Who would think of sitting on it until it fits? Well done.
 

technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
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#7
I personally prefer a backpack vs a roller for multiple reasons. One of them is the wheels tend to stick out and take up space on a roller that could be used for storage. I have an Amazon Basics one that was under $50. It has a laptop sleeve and measures 5.5 by 13 to 14 by 21.5 inches (LxWxH), which fits in most domestic and international flights. You can put the straps inside the back too, if you need to check it. I've taken it on several vacations and business trips and love it.