Please sign in to post.

British Airways carry on dimensions

We have two Travelpros. One that is 22" x 14" x 10"and the other 23" x 14" x 10". BA allows 22" x 18" x 10". That 23" is potentially problematic. Does anyone have experience with BA and how strict they are with the overhead carry on?

Does anyone make a bag that's 22" x 18" x 10"? Almost all bags we've seen are 22" x 14" x 10". That 4" between 18" and 14" is a lot of lost space.


Posted by
2713 posts

We have those two as well. We flew BA round trip, Oakland to Gatwick. The three of us just walked on. They didn't measure our bags. That's not to say they won't but they didn't in our case. I have a Briggs and Riley international wide bodied spinner that is 21"X15"X9" but expands in a way that lets you fill it pretty well (expanded it's probably 18" but I don't know for sure) then push it down to that size. But, prepare for sticker shock. Our problem with BA was we flew World Traveler Plus, their economy plus, in a 777. The bin space is very tight and several people in that cabin had to use bins further back, a pain when disembarking.

Posted by
5428 posts

Unfortunately BA aren't particularly strict about baggage dimensions as the chaos when boarding is evidence of this.

Although I'm either flying business class or have priority boarding with BA which affords me the opportunity to get my small personal items bag on I'm still inconvenienced by the number of people who chance their luck with oversized bags and struggle to find space for them which inevitably leads to a delayed take off. Just pay that bit extra and check it in.

Posted by
18 posts

We don't want to check bags and have to wait for them and risk them ending up elsewhere.

Posted by
9873 posts

There's usually no charge to check first bag on transatlantic flights.

Posted by
5837 posts

Checked bags on international flights don't need to go through passport/immigration control. My checked bags including special handling bags often beat me to the luggage carrousel. Just pick up the checked bags and cross the customs line after immigration.

Posted by
3260 posts

On this spring's BA flight it seemed they were paying more attention to the size of the bags, both bags. Thank goodness. I'm checking my bag again these days so I just use the underseat space on the flight. I get off before everyone struggling with their luggage so I gain time in the beginning rather than the end. I've found the bags coming out of the carousel as I arrive at baggage after border control or what ever it is called. If you have sufficient time between flights, mark your bag correctly and make it distinctive, and make sure the airline marks it correctly as well, I don't think there is too much chance of losing your bag. I've nothing in my bag that I couldn't get by without if I had to do so...but I prefer to have those extra luxuries and changes of clothes.

Posted by
2713 posts

Free or not you couldn't pay me to check a bag. Yes, lost bags are less common these days. But delayed baggage happens all the time as it did for one of our tour mates on the RS London tour a few weeks ago. So, she spent a lot of time on the phone with the airline trying to find her bag. Showed up 2 days later. She took it all pretty well, I'd be banging my head against the wall. Carry it on and you'll know where it is. And, to the OP, if that one inch difference gets tagged by a gate agent, you'll have to gate check it. But, chances are it won't. When we put our two Travel Pro's side by side the inch is apparent, but when we pulling them, not so much. And for the poster who blamed folks who carry on bags for flight delays-poppycock. I fly at least 75 times per year and I've been on plenty of delayed flights. But not for that.

Posted by
792 posts

I have had my bag put into sizers on two British airways flights, both times at Heathrow, both times at the gate as I was boarding the plane. The answer to this question is always the same: Check your luggage, purchase compliant bag if you want to carry on, or risk having to gate check your luggage.

Posted by
4174 posts

"That 4" between 18" and 14" is a lot of lost space." And a lot of extra weight if you fill it up.

I flew BA RT Seattle to Heathrow last year. The bag I took is the standard 22x14x9. No one questioned it at the gate, but I tried putting it in the sizer near the check-in counter in Seattle. I managed to stuff it in, but I could barely get it out because the sizer had the frame on the inside instead of the outside.

Sneaky. It effectively made the sizer smaller. My bag sat on the bottom framing, not on the actual bottom. Parts of my bag got caught on the upper part of the frame when I removed it. A 22x18x10 bag would not have fit at all. If the sizer has the frame on the outside and the interior is totally smooth, 22x18x10 might fit because the square frame tubing won't be taking up space inside.

I expanded that bag to accommodate some purchases and checked it for the trip home. It's not such a big deal if I have baggage issues at home.

You might try Googling those dimensions or wide body carry on. Ever curious, I took a very quick look and it seemed like there were wheeled bags wider than 14," but not as wide as 18."

I would NOT want an 18" wide bag. Considering an overhead bin space, the bag is placed either handle side or wheels first on its side (vertical, not horizontal). The 22" dimension fits from front to back of bin. The width fills the bin space from top to bottom. An extra 4" could keep the bag from sliding into the overhead bin. The depth of the bag should be 9." If you are going to "cheat" - bag depth is where you can gain some space. The depth of the bag faces to the right/left horizontal plane of the bin. I don't encourage this because it takes space away from another traveler. Also, I encourage fellow travelers to slide their bags into the bin handle side first and wheels out while holding the handle near the wheels. Why? This gives you more control over the wheels. My husband had a wheeled bag drop on him and the wheels smacked him hard on the nose. He was "lucky" and did not get a serious injury. He could have suffered a broken nose! I encouraged my husband to help the struggling passenger in loading the bin to prevent a problem. However, he is stubborn and stand-offish with strangers.

Posted by
5837 posts

I encourage fellow travelers to slide their bags into the bin handle side first and wheels out while holding the handle near the wheels.

Others recommend wheels first loading and in either case, NOT lengthwise:

“Flight attendant pet peeve: One passenger taking up an entire bin all
to themselves.” If you’re looking for a way to aggravate a flight
attendant, put your suitcase in the overhead bin lengthwise.

Poole is helping Travel + Leisure resolve once and for all a question
that's been around since the dawn of commercial flight: what is the
correct way to put your luggage in the overhead bin on an airplane?

“Wheels first,” said Poole. “Most passengers know their large carry-on
items go in the overhead bin wheels first. Jackets and coats go on top
of the bag. Smaller bags go under the seat.” Write that down.

“If you're lucky enough to find yourself on a plane with the newer,
taller bins, you can put them in wheels first, but on their side,”
said Poole.

And if you don't have wheels....

Hey Edgar,
A picture is worth a thousand words. I tried to see the photo on the Travel & Leisure site and could not access 1/2 of it without subscribing to the T&L site which I do not want to do. Perhaps, OP could find another bin photo elsewhere to understand what we are trying to demonstrate. I know "wheels first" is the standard way. But, after what I saw happen to my husband - I think wheels-out is safer if possible - depends on bin shape. I would rather get whacked with the handle side than the wheel side any day.

I am a strong advocate of packing cubes and folders for compacting items in a suitcase. They are real space savers. Check out value set or value set. Worth the money. Wal-mart even has a set for about $10 that would work.
Search online "how to put luggage in overhead airplane bin" for photos.

Posted by
5837 posts

Here's a link to the U-tube video of the Travel+Leisure article"

The only wheelie carry-on I'm familiar with is my wife's RS carry-on roller. The bottom (wheel end) has a sort of a plastic lip that can be used to help lift the bag with one hand on the top strap and the other using the bottom "tab". But the bottom "tab" is not a handle that allow your fingers to encircle the handle. I (she's too short to reach the overhead) would be more likely to drop the bag pulling it out from the wheels side.

Good point Edgar. My two bags actually have bar type handles which afford good grip and control. I noticed various airlines have different protocols regarding wheels first in or wheels out.

Posted by
293 posts

I have purchased a tiny sub-sized carry-on spinner, very tiny, for my trip to Vienna in September. It is so tiny that I can't put a raincoat into it; I will have to wear that onboard. My "personal item" is an enormous purse - it'll go comfortably under my seat. It's an experiment for me, because the last two trips to EU, I packed "heavy" .

Posted by
15694 posts

No one makes a carry on bag that is 22 x 18 x 10.

Some European airlines allow carry ons with a width of 40 cm which is 15.7". Still less than 18"

So why the 22 x 18 x 10? Garment bags. Most airlines allow a folded garment bag with a maximum of 50 or 51 linear inches. 22 +18+10=50.

It wouldn't pay financially for a bag manufacturer to make a bag that is only good on one airline--unless the airline is selling it themselves. (Ryanair markets a bag designed for their dimensions.)