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British airways personal bag

We are going on a trip and I normally take a Patagonia 55L blackhole duffle as my “personal” bag. It is 26x15x8 but a soft sided completely collapsable duffle. When I fly domestic in the US i maybe fill it half way, so the one time I was actually questioned I was able to squish it into the size check box that they had. Saying I appropriately under fill this bag,, in your experience With British airways, do you think this would be a problem? - British airways bag size limit is 16x12x6

Posted by
5696 posts

Never had any issues with my carry ons on British Airways, international or domestic.

Posted by
20624 posts

Again, there is no definite answer other than, "It depends on the gate attendant." What happens if it is reject? You are carrying on a bag that is nearly 3 times large than the stated acceptable bag. It should be pretty obvious that your bag, even filled appropriately is substantially larger than their standard. That is a huge bag and even exceeds some limits for carryon. I have not flown BA within the past three years so I don't have current experience. But in the past they have looked at some bags fairly closely. I find the European airlines are more strict than the US airlines. If you were asking about inch or so in each direction I would be OK with it but you are nearly a foot longer. It is obvious. How lucky do you feel?

Posted by
11681 posts

This is in addition to a 22” carry-on bag?

I have been on BA flights where staff in the boarding area scrutinized the “personal items” and tagged the ones that metro the size limit with yellow ( or green?) tags to indicate they went under the seat, not overhead. Bags that were too large were not allowed if the person also had a carry-on bag; one of them had to be gate-checked.

Posted by
3 posts

Yes it would be in addition to my carry on. It’s a collapsable duffle. It will basically be an empty bag. I will just call the airline, but I was curious if anyone had experience with this. I have flown domestically dozens of times with this same bag. It is over sized for sure but when it is nearly empty, it fits where ever. Really I am asking if British airways policy is it has to be able to fit into a hole of given dimensions, or it can’t be physically larger that certain dimensions. The reason I bring it is IF we purchase items to bring home I can fill the bag and check it.

Posted by
1845 posts

It could be a problem and Frank is correct; it depends on who is checking. I have learned not to say that's never happened to me before because sure enough, that's exactly when it will happen. But if it does, and you have a backup plan, you'll be ok.

Posted by
11681 posts

The BA rule is that the personal item has to be placed underneath the seat in front of you; it cannot go in the overhead compartment.

You could try packing what you plan to take in one end of it, and folding the empty half over, Secure it in that configuration with a strap and measure it. If you can get the finished package down to 16 x 12 x 6, it will comply with the rule and should be OK.

Posted by
3 posts

Lola that is exactly was I was thinking, and what I have done. I don’t roll it up and tape it or anything but it’s so compressed and flimsy it kind of looks smaller that it is and certainly fits under even the smallest Alaska airlines seat:)

Posted by
2427 posts

BA is the airline that I fly to Europe and in Europe. If when doing what Lola suggested, does it fold down to the indicated measurements? If so, you are unlikely to have an issue especially if you compress the bag to those measurements during your flight. My BA personal item sticks to the listed measurement, they do check them and mark them as acceptable often.

However, as Frank says, it depends on whom is tagging your bag as being OK for the underseat personal item. It depends on how lucky you are. Why not pack your duffel in your carryon bag and use a properly sized bag for your PI?

Posted by
5497 posts

I used Wray's "Why not pack your duffel in your carryon bag" strategy on my last trip to Hawaii. I packed the REI Roadtripper Duffel 40L in my RS Classic Backpack carry-on to Hawaii. I brought back the filled Duffle as checked baggage on the return.