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Best Carry-On For Air France

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

We leave in March for Paris on Air France from JFK. I have read most everything you can on carry on bag dimensions and weights acceptable to Air France. I see on the Air France website they will accept a carry on that is 21.7" X 13.8" X 9.9".

We are in the process of buying luggage for this trip including carry-ons, garment bag, suit case etc. Does anyone have a recommendation on an acceptable Air France carry-on? There are literally hundreds of brand choices online and many say they may or may not be accepted on some International flights which makes the choosing of any one carry on sould like rolling the dice.

Not looking to spend a fortune for a name brand just a couple high quality "spinners" that air france will accept.

Posted by
1443 posts

I like the Rick Steves soft-sided backpack sold on this site. Because it is soft-side it can form-fit to an extent to the overhead space available.

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks for the backpack advice however we are looking for two carry on spinners.

Posted by
2768 posts

Does Air France have a weight limit, or just a size? If there is a weight limit you need to be very careful - for example Alitalia is 17kg, which is approx 8 lbs. Most spinners are 4+ so you really don't have much leeway. If there is no or high weight limits you have more options. I don't like spinners so can't recommend. I like the Rick Steves wheeled carry on. I use mine when there isn't a weight limit. When I fly Alitalia I use the E bags weekender jr backpack.

Posted by
8637 posts

I think its the other way around, 8 kg = 17.6 pounds, but the point is valid. The weight is important not just the size. If the bag itself weighs a lot, it takes away capacity.

Posted by
38 posts

yes, I am aware of size and weight restrictions. Was looking for a specific carry on "Spinner" bag recommendation for Air France. thanks again

Posted by
764 posts

Air France did not weight our carry on and accessory bags when we departed Detroit for CDG. However, everyone's bags were weighed at CDG as we returned to Detroit. Mine were almost a pound over the limit but I was allowed to board with them but "warned" not to do it again. My traveling partner's bags were over 1.2 lbs. but he was also allowed to board with them.

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks Silas. I know weight with Air France can be an issue. We are leaving out of JFK and I see in another thread that others have had their carry on bags weighed at JFK by Air France.

Posted by
3210 posts

Be careful about bag sizes, often they do not include protruding wheels or handles in listed measurements. This might wind up with buying a bag that doesn't fit into a bag sizer. I've had bags checked, sporadically, on Air France, Air Canada and Alitalia.

Posted by
107 posts

While this doesn't answer your original question in any way, I would like to add this consideration for your review.

My wife and I just recent purchased new carry on luggage. As we had made it a priority to take maximum advantage of the published size/weight limits we did a lot or research and actual measuring of the products.

One of the first things we noticed was that most of the manufacturers quote dimensions of their products storage space, not the maximum exterior dimensions used by the airlines.

The second thing was that the wheels on "spinners" extended in some cases as much as three inches below the actual storage compartment of the luggage. For our purposes, we determined that we would much rather have that extra 3 inches available to store clothing than for the wheels.

While we are getting old enough that rolling luggage is a good option for us, we found that the "two wheeled" version has MUCH less space devoted to the rolling mechanism than any of the spinners.

A third observation was that, reasonably enough, good quality expensive and stylish luggage was much heaver than cheap junk luggage from Target or some such place. One would naturally prefer that their luggage last for a sensible period, but we ended up buying a pair of ugly and cheaply made cases on closeout for $37 each. At that price we could replace the silly things every trip if they don't hold up.

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks BJ, had thought about this issue as well. Just one more thing to complicate the decision process. While there are several brands I like, all seem to exaggerate the dimensions and were not true to form. In other words they did not measure the wheel mechanisms and Air France's measurement includes the wheels.

Posted by
4174 posts

Have you looked at Lipault? Made in France. Sold by many online vendors. Their own website has details on the weight and sizes, including interior and exterior measurements with the wheels. That's why the links are to it.

This 19.6" spinnerr definitely meets the size requirements you listed.

This 21.6" spinner is slightly wider than the number you listed. I own one of these in Turquoise.

Posted by
2466 posts

I don't know if Delsey is sold in the US or just in Europe but you can order online.

I bought a set of 3 (different sizes) Montmarte Air on sale in Paris several years ago and they've held up well. Four wheels are better than two and an outside pocket is handy.
http://www.delsey.com/int/en/l/suitcase/?prefn1=dls_airlineCompany&prefn2=dls_size&prefv1=Air%20France&prefv2=Cabin

My criteria is to always obey the size regulations as stated by the airline.
Then, go shopping and literally pick up any empty suitcase you are considering.
No matter what it's made of, it should weigh virtually nothing.
I prefer soft-sided luggage with a zipper gusset that expands if you need it.
Sometimes, those "shell" cases end up getting cracked, no matter what they say.

If you don't travel very much, I don't believe in spending a lot of money on luggage.
If there are some discount luggage stores in your town, I'd go see what they have available before you blow the budget.

Posted by
38 posts

Monmarte is one of the pieces I was considering. Thanks

Posted by
4174 posts

Always curious about other luggage, I checked out the Montmartre options.

If this is the one you are talking about, it is both too big and too heavy for the Air France requirements. Go to the link and look at the specifications. The overall dimensions are too big in all directions and it weighs 7.3 pounds before you put anything in it. That's not light and it approaches a third of the total carry-on weight you are allowed.

Posted by
2916 posts

I've been researching carry-on luggage recently because my smaller bag gave out a few years ago, and the larger one is iffy for carry-ons (it got rejected by Icelandair last Spring). As others have mentioned, many, if not most, list dimensions that probably don't include wheels. But the wheeled carry-on I found on the Rick Steve's online store explicitly says the measurements include wheels, and would fit Air France's (and probably most other) requirements. I also quickly rejected a spinner after reading reviews of many of them, and also because, as others note, the wheels add several inches to the dimensions.

Posted by
8229 posts

A tip when weight is the issue. I have Scottevest.com travel garments including a trench coat with 18 pockets. When traveling in Fall/Winter/Spring, I can load the heavy things that are likely to tip the scales over in my carry ons into my coat e.g. Ipad, camera, ebook etc. Makes that 5 or 10 pound difference easily.

Posted by
12172 posts

I might have missed it here but remember, if you get a spinner or other roller bag, the wheels and handle are part of the allowed measurements. In the past I've bought a 20 inch bag just to be sure the wheels and handle also fit. Check the dimensions carefully before you pick a bag.

Weight limits are adhered to much more closely on European carriers. Even if your bag is the right size, you can stuff it beyond the weight limit and still have to check your bag. I bought a luggage scale so I know how much my bag weighs before I leave home. You can get an idea by standing on a scale with and without your bag.

I did see a very light spinner bag at Costco recently. I didn't really check it out because I've gone to an even smaller bag that fits the low fare carrier small carry on limits.