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Question regarding the new carry on sizes with “budget” airlines

Since travelling to Ireland, Scotland, and England in 2019 and flying with Ryan Air as well as Aer Lingus it appears now that both have changed the carry on sizes, also seemingly adding different “levels” of carry on items, “personal item” “carry on” etc.

So my question is regarding bringing a “carry on” item in a backpack. This backpack is one we’ve travelled with forever but now is at the limit for Ryan air carry on bag size. It’s nothing special it’s essentially a normal “school” backpack etc. maybe a little bit bigger. With a backpack that does have some ability to “squeeze” smaller than the enforced size, should it be a concern if the physical dimensions are right at the upper limit however, being made of fabric etc. it can definitely scrunch up smaller?

Posted by
2037 posts

They usually have boxes that your bag must fit into completely. Meaning if you squish it out in length, but that squishes the bag out in height or width, it doesn’t fit in the box. It’s easy enough to make your own test box out of cardboard to be the exact measurement of the airline. Pack your bag and see if it truly “fits”.

Posted by
324 posts

Based on observations from my trip earlier this month, I would advise that you not risk any questionable bag size. I was on Delta, but they were also being pickier and gate checking many bags. I am guessing that more people are trying to fit everything in their carryon now due to the luggage handling chaos. There's just not enough overhead space.

Also, at CDG I saw big signs at the Aer Lingus line asking if people had already made a reservation for their carryon bag. I don't know the exact requirements since I wasn't traveling with them, but it was apparent from the signage that there would be some consequence such as a high extra fee.

Posted by
6113 posts

There is no problem that your bag is at the upper limit so long as you don’t overpack it, thereby making it larger.

Many airlines, including EasyJet have reduced their cabin baggage size since the pandemic, partly because there were too many bags for the overhead lockers and partly to charge more for checked bags.