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Posted by
16878 posts

Thanks for sharing this article and reminding us that rules can change at any time, so it's always best to read the carrier's instructions. Luckily, I believe, you pretty much always get to check one bag for "free" on a flight from N. America to Europe. (To check or not to check? There are good reasons on both sides.) Rick's two newest wheeled bags are made to fit within the dimensions the article describes.

Posted by
950 posts

Long discussion over at FlyerTalk about United's new sizers used to enforce this policy. The sizer is 15" wide (as well as being 10" deep and 23" tall) so, at least for United, there is some wiggle room, so long as your bag isn't over-stuffed.

Posted by
5664 posts

I've seen a number of articles on the same subject over the last couple of weeks.

I suspect that one of the problems facing airlines is the combination of increased carry-on baggage to avoid the checked baggage charges, and the increased number off rollers. The rollers don't compress resulting in inefficiency overhead packing capacity.

My wife's RS roller, the smaller one, could fit Hawaiian Airlines OAK to HNL aircraft's overhead in a wheels in position. I had to load it the long way using up note space. My RS classic being a soft bag fit long way in perfectly.

Posted by
7205 posts

Any and all problems caused by overpacking carry ons and jamming into overhead storage is totally and completely the fault of greedy airlines. It was their greed that caused them to charge for checked bags in the first place and to keep raising the charges up and up and up. They're the ones that forced passengers to stuff their luggage into the overheads. I have no sympathy for them.

Posted by
18056 posts

This is nothing new, unless 10 (maybe 15 or more) years is new to you. In 2007 I did a comparison of bag size limits for US flag and European airlines. Back then the standard for most US airlines was 22 in x 14 in x 9 in. For European airlines it was 21.65 in x 15.75 in x 7.87 in (55 x 40 x 20 cm). It's just that they are now starting to enforce the size limits that have been there all along.

But the girth (2 times width plus thickness) is almost the same for both systems, so it you have a flexible bag that fits one sizer, it will probably fit both, particularly if not stuffed full. But of course, rolling bags need to be rigid (?), so you can't get a 15 in wide bag into a 14 in sizer (or a 9 in thick bag into a 8 in sizer).

At the maximum dimensions, 22 x 14 x 9, the volume is 2772 ci. Spirits free "personal item" dimensions are 16 x 14 x 12, or 2688 ci, only 3% less than the industry standard and almost twice the volume of stuff I take to Europe for 2-3 weeks. What they have done is to make it a shape that no luggage company yet makes.

As for the charge for carryon bags, this is all a ploy to collect more revenue while making the fares appear to be lower than what you will really pay. If the airlines really want people to check bags, they can speed up the time to the carousel and stop losing, delaying, and destroying bags.

Our government should make them include the cost of one bag in the fare, since that is probably what most tickets include. Then the airlines can give a discount for those people who don't have bags and charge for those with two. Do you think the discount they would give for not having a bag would be anything close to what they now charge for a bag?

Posted by
5664 posts

"Our government should make them include the cost of one bag in the fare, since that is probably what most tickets include."

So far, my overseas air travel have included one "free", meaning no extra charge, checked bag 50 pounds max, one carry-on and one personal flying the cheap seats. Air China allowed two free checked bags, handy for bringing back stuff.

But that said, America is a capitalistic mostly free market economy. The reasonable regulation is full disclosure.

Given airlines going into bankruptcy proceedings, especially the legacy carriers, some extra charges are preferable to airlines closing down reducing competition.

Posted by
18056 posts

I am only suggesting that airlines should represent the true cost of flying, i.e., really compete. If competition causes them to go bankrupt, so be it. Isn't that the true principle of free enterprise.

It's a really sad commentary on free enterprise that businesses can only succeed by misrepresenting the true price of their product.

Posted by
5697 posts

Got to agree with George -- as a consumer I can CHOOSE to bring a big bag or a small bag or no bag. And each choice has its own price. Or I can choose not to fly. Airlines also choose whether/how much to charge, and gain/ lose passengers based on that.
As long as the fees are clearly stated (and rules not changed after purchasing) it's up to the buyer to select the best choice for his situation.

Posted by
18056 posts

"Airline travel is not a basic right in society."

Neither is running an airline. If the people want to say that, if you want to run an airline in this country, you have to show a ticket price that is representative of what people will actually pay, WE can do that. If an airline doesn't like that, they need more airlines in Iran.

Posted by
1976 posts

The airlines have jumped on the bandwagon with lots of other companies, nickle-and-diming consumers to death.

A couple of posters mentioned the fact that passengers are carrying on more luggage because of the check fees. I've seen people put more than one bag into the overhead bin. THIS is the problem, in my opinion. There seems to be enough room in the bins for ONE item per person - 3 or 4 carryon-size suitcases per row of seats. The bigger item goes in the bin, the smaller under the seat. But some people don't want to put their second item under the seat because they want the leg room. They put both items in the bin, therefore taking space away from other passengers. If this were stopped, I think there would be enough room in the bins for everyone's luggage.

Posted by
18056 posts

How fast I drive on the highway is MY business. What I put in my body is MY business. How is interact with little boys in my neighborhood is MY business. Get it?

We're not picking on business, just asking them to interact with the public in a responsible manner. Honestly represent the price you are charging.

What if you went to fill up at Exxon tomorrow because they were advertising gas at 50¢ less than everyone else. But after 20 gal your tank was only half filled. Turns out Exxon now sells gas by the "Exxon gallon" (or ½ US gal). Shouldn't they have the right to define how they sell gas?

Regulation is a part of life and the prerogative of the citizens in a democracy. There is no Constitutional right to lie. Live with it.

Posted by
400 posts

My decision to carry-on has absolutely nothing to do with fees for checked bags..........it has everything to do with airlines losing my bags and leaving me to shop for items until said bag(s) are found and delivered.........not a way I choose to start a long awaited vacation which also involves moving from destination to destination.

I do have an issue with folks putting their smaller carry-on or coats in the OH bin taking away space from others and agree it should be one bag in OH per passenger.

The problem with most 22 inch roll-aboards is that 22 inches typically does not include the wheels and handles. We recently invested in RS' new rollers and although smaller dimensions still allows me to carry everything I possibly need for a 2-3 week stay.

Posted by
5697 posts

Flying United later this year so I plan to drop by the airport and check out the bag sizer well ahead of time. Then I can make packing plans accordingly. Measured at home the suitcase looks to be 22" from ground to top including wheels -- but one never knows!
(And paid to check one bag on an intra-European flight just to be safe...)

Posted by
18056 posts

Most sizers I've seen have been at the gates, beyond security. Maybe they have them at check-in, but I've never seen one there.

Posted by
340 posts

I just drove to Washington Dulles International Airport, put my newly purchased Samsonite Lift2 Wheeled Boarding Bag in the United Airlines luggage sizer and IT FIT!!! I was a bit concerned after reading this thread because the overall dimensions are listed as 17.5" x 14.5" x 10" I'll make sure I don't overstuff it though.

BTW, the luggage sizer at Dulles was near the start of the line queue for the ticket counter.

Posted by
1251 posts

I'll stir the pot a little. I have no problem with the airlines sizing up the bags. I see people trying to fit their oversized wheelie bags in the overhead bins and the bins won't close. All this to save $25-35 dollars on domestic flights.

Posted by
2775 posts

I'm with George, Carol and Joel on this one. It's amazing to me what some people call 'carryons'. While I travel light, I've gone back to checking my carryon. I only carryon if I can't be pinned down to a delivery location in the first couple of days, which I've never needed abroad. My only bag on the flight fits under the seat in front of me. I'm happy with this. Flights are just too crowded these days to have everyone maximize the rules. I want the 'airline police' to make my flight comfortable and restrict the bags of those people who feel entitled to impinge upon my space and the rules.

IMO, The key is to arrive at the airport with time for the crew to get the bag to the airplane.

Posted by
5664 posts

This discussion seems to have morphed from an alert that some airlines have tightened size limits for carry-on bags and enforcing those rules to complaints about fare transparency. For the most part the airlines that I patronize are pretty clear about baggage rules and the only question is enforcement.

On the other hand, the very low cost carriers seem to have a menu for everything from baggage to food to where you transact your ticket purchase. A nephew just had an exciting experience trying to pay for checking a bag on Norwegian Air. It's apparently cheaper to prepay for the checked bag online. The problem was the online check in would not accept his father's Visa nor his mother's. Plan B was the more expensive baggage check in at the gate. That failed because the check in desk wouldn't take their Visa or cash. Fortunately they accepted his sister's debit card.

Now with respect to transparency check out Norwegian's menu of extras: http://www.norwegian.com/us/customer-services/travel-information/optional-services-and-charges/#citypairchart
Can you figure it out?

Posted by
18056 posts

I flew RT this weekend from Denver to Seattle with a change both ways in San Francisco. At the airport in San Francisco, they were constantly announcing that all carry-ons would have to fit in the sizing box or be gate checked. I never saw anyone try their luggage in the sizing box. When it came time to board, I saw people getting on with bags that were obviously over 22 inches high, or wider than 14 inches, and many deeper than 9 inches. They didn't check or stop anyone. I saw people putting their roller bags in the overhead bin sideways because they were to long to fit front to back.

I'm hoping this is just a warning period, and they will soon start to actually enforce their rules.

Posted by
23 posts

It's not the cost to check for me. It's the possibility of a lost bag ruining a trip of a lifetime which cost my life savings - full of carefully shopped and altered clothes etc to last a full month in Europe - and largely unreplaceable there. I never check a bag unless it has totally replaceable contents - and then, only in the US, where I know I can buy all of that contents.
Jan