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Carry on dilemna

I ordered a maxlite international spinner carry on for out trip to Italy in Sept. I received a domestic sized carry on...I called the supplier, and they actually don't carry the international size, which is listed as 20x14x9. The bag they sent is more like 22-23 including wheels. We are flying Delta, with no plans for flights within Europe. Delta's website states "Baggage must fit easily in the Carry-on Baggage Check (approximately 22" x 14" x 9" or 56 x 35 x 23 cm), which is located near the check-in counters". Any thoughts on this bag making it onto the plane with me?

Posted by
1194 posts

I have problems with something labeled "international" carry on when it doesn't even meet the larger domestic size. I would ask for a refund based on false advertising and also ask that the supplier pay/refund the shipping.
You may or may not get caught with Delta. The big risk is a forced gate check. Forced gate checks really increase the risk of lost luggage as the handling goes outside the normal paradigm for luggage handling.
Airlines are cracking down on oversized luggage. Why would you pay good money for new luggage that doesn't comply? You are flying Delta this time but what about next time? What if you end up on a code-share with KLM? What if it is OK going from the States to Europe but not OK going from Europe to the States?

Posted by
5837 posts

Depends on whether Delta of the airline operating your flight(s) have you test it's size in their sizing frame and if it is more like 22 or more like 23 inches. The sizing frames are go-no go and if your what sounds like a roller bag is rigid, it may now fit. If it fits, it flies, if it doesn't fit, it must be checked.

Note that Delta code-shares with KLM (and Air France). If KLM is operating your flight:

A piece of hand baggage may measure max. 55 x 25 x 35 cm / 21.5 x 10 x
13.5 in (l x b x h).

If it's a KLM operated flight, your more like 22-23 (inches) is too long for KLM's 55 cm/21.5 inch limit. But fear not in that Economy class allows for one checked bag without charge. Just hope that the roller wheels survive the baggage handling.

Posted by
2768 posts

Is your flight on Delta itself or a codeshare with a European airline like KLM? If a codeshare, then the codeshare airline rules apply. Which would likely be smaller, so I'd think you'd prob. need to check your bag

If, on the other hand, your flight is from the U.S. to your European destination (ie you don't change planes somewhere in Europe), on DELTA itself, I'd say you have a very good chance of being able to carry it on. Flighrs in the US are less likely to check size on bags that are broadly in the right range. And Delta's rules apply. Of course, nothing is 100% so have your essentials ready to grab in case you need to check it at the gate.

Posted by
23471 posts

How can you tell jillmc will have no problems at JFK? Security never checks bag size. The issue has always been that the bag manufacturers almost never include the wheels and handles in their measurements. The recent Consumer Report found only one bag to have true measurements. The probability of being checked at JFK may be low but still a possibility. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit. And there is no such things as an international size standard - that is all marketing.

Posted by
8643 posts

Always a gamble. Even if it fits the sizer that doesn't mean there will actually be space in the bins, since everyone else with extra and oversize bags will fill them up first.

Posted by
5697 posts

Worst case scenario -- you check the bag (at the counter or at the gate) and have your essential items (meds, one change of clothes) in your personal item for carrying on and your passport, ID, tickets, credit and debit cards, cash all in your money belt attached to your body. International flights usually include one checked bag for free.

But I agree, if the seller represented the bag as an "international" carry-on, you should get a full refund including shipping and handling. Good thing you have time to replace it with something the right size.

Posted by
2651 posts

I used to not care about making my luggage just the right size. But now I've been stopped for a luggage check enough times that I follow the rules to the inch. I've had my luggage sized by Alaska, Condor, Turkish and American. I almost never fly Delta so I can't say anything about my experience with them.

I don't ever check a bag. If you are willing to risk it and check the bag, then you've got a plan. However, that's a BIG bag and misses many airline size limits. I would consider returning it. When you go shopping for a new bag, I would do it in person, with a tape measure in hand. A lot of the size dimensions listed right on the bags themselves are wrong!

Posted by
5837 posts

My limited experience observation is that airline gate personnel are more likely to do size/weight checks on full flights. They don't want to delay roll back because of excess carry-ons not fitting the overheads and needing to shift the excess to the cargo holds. Even if it fits the sizing frame, you still need to find cabin storage space and soft sided bags are easier to squeeze into tight overhead spaces than rigid wheelies.

Posted by
518 posts

And then there's the whole dilemma with "backpacking" style backpacks. I've seen people try board a plane with those things and they are way, way bigger than any roller luggage, and airline gate staff doesn't do anything about it. It's the complete inconsistency of enforcement that has made the whole luggage issue such a problem for us.

Posted by
142 posts

Thanks, all. I purchased through Amazon, although the bag came from a different supplier. I called the company, and I was told they don't even have the international sized carry on in their warehouse.....huh? So why they can "sell" them on Amazon is beyond me. I will return the bag and start over. Thanks for the input. I really don't want to check a bag.

Posted by
19170 posts

The real solution is to get a soft-sided, convertible (ie, wheel-less) carry-on bag, and then don't pack so the sides are bulging. Underpacked, a regulation sized, soft bags will fit in any sizer.

Posted by
127 posts

One of my big peeves with air travel is that the airlines don't actually enforce that "must fit in the box" thing they advertise as the rules. People with luggage as big as a small coffin are allowed on the plane with their carry on. The only airline I've flown that is serious about the weight and size restrictions is Lufthansa. I think you are probably safe in having your bag make it onto the plane without checking it- especially if it is really a Delta flight.

Posted by
11507 posts

sean. I take it you haven't flown on any of the Inter Europeon airlines.. trust me.. they take size and weight restrictions super seriously.

So while you may get over on your international carrier with a slightly over size bag as carry on.. good luck on Easyjet, Tuifly, Ryanair, Berlinair, Vueling, etc etc etc..

Posted by
8239 posts

I have found the European budget carriers to be concerned with weight as much as the size. I was at 24 lbs. earlier this year, and they were trying to charge $50 to check my bag. I had to repack 2 lbs. into my wife's check on bag in order to get to 22 lbs. carry on limit. A gate agent singled me out in a long line of travelers for weighing.

Posted by
2765 posts

I fly Delta almost weekly. Small steamer trunks are allowed.

Seriously Delta does nothing while people board with oversize luggage and 3 or 4 pieces.

Of course this means that if you are in a late boarding group you may be stuck doing a gate check.

Drives me crazy

Posted by
24 posts

Just flew Delta from US to London, and returned from Paris on Delta partner Airfrance. We had only carry-on luggage and, based on many reviews about how tough regulations over seas flights were about carry on was completely paranoid that our luggage was pushing the very upper limit of the 22X14X9. This turned out to be no problem as Delta did not even check our bag sizes and there was at least on person on our London flight with a bag expanded to it's max and looking very much like a tick about to pop. The flight attendant walked up and down the aisle attempted to find some place to stow it. Once I saw that I stopped worrying. Our bags (and there were 4 of us) fit just fine (I bought my kids the Maxlite spinner carry-on 22X14X9, super nice bags-very light and easy to maneuver), we could stuff our coats on top of them so we didn't have to deal with all that, and our flight to London wasn't completely full so even the bag I planned to put under our seat front could be put in overhead. I would say you're good to go.

Posted by
327 posts

You said you bought through Amazon but from another supplier. If that supplier is not responsive and you want to return, contact Amazon. They resolved a return for me asap when I pointed out the product was not as advertised on the Amazon website, and the supplier would not issue an RA (return authorization).