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carry-on bags, what sizes have you used in the past year?

I've looked at the baggage policies for carry-on bags, I've seen quite a range of shapes/sizes when I have flown, read stories that what gets on can depend on who's manning the check-in desk, seen opinions that so long as the LWH add up to less than 45" or so that it'll be fine, and also read a page that said even if the dimensions add up to the correct amount, that an odd bag (ex: 10x10x24) might not be acceptable.

Would you mind measuring your latest bag, giving its dimensions, and saying if it was acceptable or not?

This is all based on you only taking a carry-on (absolutely no checked; please forgive me if you see no need in avoiding checking bags) and meet the airline's weight limit(s).

Thank you in advance for your insight and examples of successful/acceptable sizes.

Posted by
91 posts

Juli,

Good point. In addition to a size restriction each airline also has a weight restriction. While the size restriction is pretty much universal, the weight restriction for carry-on can very greatly from airline to airline. For example, I believe Brussels Air has a 12 or 15 lb. limit, while British Air is closer to 50 lbs. (and you must be able to hoist your own bag in the overhead). These restrictions should be disclosed on your e-ticket or on the airlines website. Finally, some airlines have a limit on checked baggage weight too. Again, check your ticket/website. Overages can be costly. Happy Travels.

Posted by
312 posts

Shoot, I forgot to mention that I'm specifically interested in the international experience. Thanks, again!

Posted by
91 posts

Most airlines follow the same measurements -- 9 x 21 x 14. You can have a little varience (an inch) due to converting from centimeters to inches and vise versa. The bag must fit thru the x-ray machine and then into the overhead compartment. I would recommending sticking as close to this measurement as possible.

Posted by
423 posts

Hi Betsey, I measured the sizer frame at the airport once - its 14 x 9 x 22. I've take a bag that was a bit more than 9 inches tall and it was excepted but it was a big squeeze (thank goodness it was soft sided) to get it in the overhead bin of smaller airplanes (737/MD80).

Posted by
21733 posts

British Air carry on is NOT 50 lbs. It is closer to 20. Two years stood in a checkin and watch Luthusa reject every carryon bag with wheels because they would totally fit inside the measuring box. I think you need to have smallish looking bag less than 20 lbs to be safe.

Posted by
131 posts

The trip I just took to France I switched from my lightweight rolling bag (14X9X22 inches) to a bag that is that size but can convert to a backpack. Whereas Rick's looks like a suitcase with shoulderstraps, this didn't look quite so obvious. It's called the "MLC" from Patagonia, and black. It has the same dimensions, but I wore it on my back when checking in and the agent didn't even look at it. (I think with the stuff I had zipped in the outer compartment it wouldn't have fit in the metal test thingee.) At the gate, when it was time to board, I put it on again and wore it onto the plane- that agent didn't look at it, either. I had the same experience on the return flights. This was with KLM and Air France. Maybe I just got lucky! There were times I missed the convenience of the wheels when walking to hotels, but it might be something to consider if you don't have back or shoulder problems.

Posted by
312 posts

Hi, thanks for the comments and insights.

I've found that I'm more comfortable with a duffel than a suitcase-shaped bag, but duffels tend to have the other-than-9x14x22 shapes.

Looking some more, I've found the Sports-D-Duffel from Tough Traveler is 9x14x20, so I am going to give that a try. Again, many thanks for the replies!

Posted by
91 posts

Not to be in disagreement with Frank, but I did fly British Air in July. Like I said, I am unsure of the weight restriction, but it is more than 20 lbs. I was carrying 27 and had no problems. I visited with a BA employee. He informed me that their current policy is that carry-on must meet 3 requirements: 1) SIZE (must fit in the overhead), 2) NUMBER (one carry-on bag only) and 3) MOBILITY (you must be strong enough to place your bag in the overhead bin).

Posted by
10 posts

Greetings,

I am flying Open Jaw from Portland to Amsterdam on United and then from Milan to Portland on Lufthansa...
My bag, which I am almost too excited about, is from REI-Swiss Army Victorinox and the dimensions are 22x14x9.

United's restrictions are:
A carry-on bag must fit under your seat or in the overhead bin.
Carry-on bag dimensions should not be more than 9" x 14" x 22" (length + width + height) or 45 linear inches (the length, height and width added together).
However, the restrictions vary w/ the country you are flying out of: eg London allows only 1 carry on item, while US flights are allowed 2.
Lufthansa's restrictions are 22x16x8:One inch off my bag. I asked Lufthansa what my chances were in terms of being asked to check the bag and they said it's possible, but depends. I asked them if they would actually measure physically, and they said no. "well, how would they be able to discern just one inch?" They agreed it was unlikely. Bottom line? Call the airline

Posted by
805 posts

Since the flight from PDX-FRA is operated by Lufthansa, you follow their rules.

General advice: look at your ticket and if the flight number is anything but xxx, 1xxx or 2xxx, a lot of the time that means it's operated by a "codeshare carrier." Your ticket should tell you which one by saying something like "UA flight 4123 operated by Lufthansa."