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Yet another IcelandAir bag size query: EWR specifically

Hi all. Have been planning a trip to Iceland for my 24 yo son and his gf for a few months now so have been looking at the luggage question carefully. I picked my son up at Seatac last week and jumped out with my tape measure to measure the dimensions of the IcelandAir bag sizer.

This is what I found: 21.5" x 9.5' (actually closer to 10" but sticking by the lower number for safety sake) x 15.5" for carryon size.

This would allow my son's rolling bag to be carried on, but alas, we are flying out of Newark (I am now replacing the ex-gf!) so I am wondering if the sizers are generally the same across airports or if SEA is an anomaly as those dimensions differ from the stated online dimensions pretty significantly.

I plan to take a backpack that is squishy and can fit wherever it is needed (not stuffed) as I do not want to pay the $100 for gate checking of the bag, but I would love to roll a bag as I have literally HOURS sitting in airports on this trip due to taking over the itinerary from EWR rather than my home of SEA. Don't want to buy a new bag with the "legal" dimensions, though, so pondering what to do.

Would love any "on the ground" intel about this issue, especially regarding Newark airport (EWR). Thank you!

For those wondering, they had a sizer for the personal item and I went ahead and measured it too (yes, yes I did). It is 15.5" x 12' x 6' for any other travel nerds out there.

Posted by
77 posts

Yes, I did check the website and it doesn't match the in-person experience at SEA where many many people have said that IcelandAir is particularly picky. Which is the genesis of my question here. I am seeking EWR experience with IA specifically.

Posted by
674 posts

While I cannot answer your question as it relates to EWR and IA it is worth nothing that when I departed Reykjavik on Icelandair just under two years ago the carryon baggage was inspected for compliance. I had a backpack which easily met the guidelines. IA’s website dimensions regarding baggage for international travel is slightly different from what you observed at your local airport.

Posted by
15709 posts

Follow Icelandair's website dimensions.

I have found people measuring things on their own may be off by a bit.

Posted by
3 posts

I feel your pain and have some "on-the-ground" Newark Icelandair experience for you!

I recently (4/3/24-4/13/24) flew round trip on Icelandair from Newark through Keflavik to Paris. The carryon sizing on the Icelandair website is extremely small, but I took a risk to buy a small Away carry-on (that Away reported as fitting Icelandair carry-on sizers) and took advantage of my TSA Precheck appointment at Newark to try out an Icelandair sizer for myself. Just as reported on the Away website, it fit just fine! A tiny carryon I found at Marshalls (and that fit the minuscule dimensions on the website) looked like a kid's suitcase in the carry-on sizer and I decided not to use it.

On the way to Paris we were made to check our carry on, but on the return home I had absolutely no problem fitting my much-bigger-than-the-guidelines Away carry on in the overhead bin. And nobody raised an eye over my carry on ever.

The personal item sizing also stressed me out a bit, as I had a backpack that was perfect when empty, but clearly exceeded the sizer limit when filled. I considered using a strap to rein it in, but felt paranoid that I might call attention to myself, so reconfigured in a way to make my bag as shallow in depth as possible. My real-life experience? There were people all around me with huge backpacks that were clearly their personal item and I didn't see one person stopped or questioned about their's. I didn't even worry about it at all on the way back home and still had no issues. My "oversized" personal item also fit underneath the seat in front of me without difficulty.

I've considered writing to Icelandair about the stress and frustration (and frankly expense!) this all caused me, but with another trip coming up, I haven't had the time. I would feel horrible if my "advice" from my experience caused you to run into trouble, but I expect and hope that your experience is much like my own.

Happy travels!

Posted by
77 posts

@carolgilmore Thank you so much for your information! This was exactly what I was needing and hoping for. Forum participants are the best😀. I’m advising my son to just buy an eBags Motherload backpack (same bag I’m taking) because it fits lots of things and is easy to carry. Happy to hear that the Away rolling bag fit the sizer in EWR. Sounds like the dimensions are the same as the sizer in SEA.

You mentioned that you had to check the bag on the way over. Was this because space was full, or something else? Curious to know. Thanks again for your timely answer to my query!