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AA carry on / carryon baggage rules & enforcement (master thd)

Old Nov 21, 16, 9:48 pm
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Last edit by: JDiver
American Airlines Carry-On Baggage Limits
Strict enforcement directive issued 28 August 2015)
American Airlines Carry-on baggage (link)

Q. Why is AA suddenly becoming so picky about sizing bags?

A. AA formulates carry on baggage policy that meets FAA criteria as well as airline established criteria; these are submitted to the FAA and if approved become the airline's policy. If the airline repeatedly violated their FAA-approved policy, they can be held accountable by the FAA. Recently, during an FAA audit, AA was found to be violating its FAA-approved carry on policy.

What can I carry on?

You can bring 1 carry-on bag and 1 personal item per person (exception: infants. Exception: some regional aircraft have insufficient bin space for otherwise "legal" bags, so carry-on bags might be limited, or even prohibited. If the latter, they will usually be "valet checked" airside and delivered at the jetway before you enter the gate area.

Carry-on bag

Your carry-on bag should be:
  • Up to 45 inches (22 x 14 x 9 in or 115 centimeters (23 x 36 x 56 cm) including handles and wheels
  • Able to fit comfortably into the sizer weve provided at the airport
  • Please note, youll also need to be able to lift your bag into the overhead bin
You can travel with horizontal rolling and/or hanging garment bags as your carry-on bag if:
  • They fit comfortably in the bag sizer
  • They measure up to 22" length x 14" width x 9" height or 115cm (56 x 36 x 23 cm)
You can also carry on a soft-sided garment bag of up to 51in or 130cm (length + width + height)

Personal item

Your personal item must be smaller than your carry-on, able to fit under the seat in front of you and can include:
  • A purse
  • A briefcase
  • A laptop bag
  • Similar items such as a tote
Additional allowed items

You can also bring:
  • Outerwear such as coats, wraps and hats
  • A book or newspaper
  • A small bag of food to eat on the flight
  • An approved safety seat for a lap or ticketed child
  • A pillow or blanket
  • An umbrella stroller for a lap or ticketed child
  • A diaper bag for a lap or ticketed child
  • Duty free items
  • Assistive devices (e.g. wheelchairs, walkers, portable oxygen concentrators, CPAP machines etc.)
  • Breast pump
Liquids and restricted items

TSA allows certain duty-free liquids through security in your carry-on bag if theyre properly packaged in a security tamper-evident bag (STEB). If youre traveling with liquids or are unsure about any item, please contact the TSA.

For more, e.g. special items, etc. please use link
Originally Posted by alien View Post
22 x 14 x 10

So today I took measurements of the sizer at my airport... There is obviously some slippage and subjectivity in the eye of (s)he who must be obeyed due to the open ended 1/4" lines outlining the baggage dimensions placed either horizontally or vertically. But, strictly speaking, the outside edge of the lines are 22' and 14". The depth is a definitive full 10 inches from the back board to the inner side of the metal tube running low laterally across the front of the sizer. This is the current sizer that I measured:


22 x 14 x 10

...We are given a 22 x 14 x 9 but there is some room to maneuver. We have 22" and 14" with a very subjective but limited amount of slippage. And there is definitely 10" of depth.

The subjectivity would be greatly reduced if the sizers were constructed, as Delta's, to form a full sided box.

Those on the margin should really test their bags in advance in all of the different positions to see which allows the most favorable view of its size if required to use the sizer at the gate.
See


AA e-mail to customer re: carry on baggage

and


Comparison of USA airlines carry-on limits Apr '25 by Outdoor Gear Lab

and


Airline carry on variances and the new IATA recommended standard

and


New IATA recommended standard vs. current common


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AA carry on / carryon baggage rules & enforcement (master thd)

Old Jul 26, 22, 1:45 pm
  #1231  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 8,550
Nice DYKWIA. Glad to see the agents stand their ground and enforce the rules.

Being able to bring oversized bags on as carryons is not one of the benefits of EXP. It's also not a benefit of any other FF program that I'm aware of.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 2:05 pm
  #1232  
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
Nice DYKWIA. Glad to see the agents stand their ground and enforce the rules.

Being able to bring oversized bags on as carryons is not one of the benefits of EXP. It's also not a benefit of any other FF program that I'm aware of.


Come on, 99% of the carry ons that people take on board probably wouldn't fit in the sizer, but they fit in the overhead. It's not like he was trying to take a clearly oversized checked bag through. It is still a carry on. For F pax and group 1, there is no reason for them to be checking if it fits in the sizer. GA was on a power trip.
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Last edited by S.R; Jul 26, 22 at 2:16 pm
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Old Jul 26, 22, 2:12 pm
  #1233  
 
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I recently saw a guy get kicked off a flight over this in DFW. He was at the very end of group 1 and when the gate agent called him out, he made a remark back that didn't sit well with the gate agent. Gate agent then told him to move aside and went and made a call. Never saw him board the plane after that.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 2:13 pm
  #1234  
 
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Originally Posted by S.R View Post


Come on, 99% of the carry ons that people take on board probably wouldn't fit in the sizer, but they fit in the overhead. It's not like he was trying to take a clearly oversized checked bag through. It is still a carry on. GA was on a power trip.
I'm assuming that the bag didn't actually fit in the sizer? Enforcing the rules is not a "power trip". The GA was doing their job. It's not like they were making up their own version of the rules.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 2:19 pm
  #1235  
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Originally Posted by S.R View Post


Come on, 99% of the carry ons that people take on board probably wouldn't fit in the sizer, but they fit in the overhead. It's not like he was trying to take a clearly oversized checked bag through. It is still a carry on. For F pax and group 1, there is no reason for them to be making issues over the size. GA was on a power trip.
And those that decide to take bags that are outside the permitted dimenstions should be prepared to accept that they may be refused boarding with that bag and accept with good grace when the agent does check.

That it was a Tumi or that the person had 100k loyalty points is completely irrelevant EP status does not confer any rights to take larger hand luggage
A GA enforcing the published rules is correctly doung their jo b - not at all reasonable to call it a power trip.

If the bag did fit in the sizer then the OP would have reason to be upset, but that doesn't read to be the case
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Old Jul 26, 22, 2:26 pm
  #1236  
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I'm assuming that the bag didn't actually fit in the sizer? Enforcing the rules is not a "power trip". The GA was doing their job. It's not like they were making up their own version of the rules.
70% of the bags in the overheads would not fit in the sizer..She was on a power trip about something.

My bag will siton its side as per the new instructions on the bins while many, on this flight must lay flat.

In my opinion she singled me out.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 2:27 pm
  #1237  
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I'm assuming that the bag didn't actually fit in the sizer? Enforcing the rules is not a "power trip". The GA was doing their job. It's not like they were making up their own version of the rules.

So as an example, if you are passing a car doing 54 and you are doing 56 you should get a ticket?

Must be nice to be so freakin up on that high horse.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 2:30 pm
  #1238  
 
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Originally Posted by wrdouglas View Post
70% of the bags in the overheads would not fit in the sizer..She was on a power trip about something.

My bag will siton its side as per the new instructions on the bins while many, on this flight must lay flat.

In my opinion she singled me out.
So basically, your argument is that others are breaking the rules, so it's ok if you do too?

It doesn't work like that. Your bag didn't fit in the sizer so it has to be checked. That's it. Demanding an exception because of your status is 100% DYKWIA behavior.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 2:31 pm
  #1239  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
And those that decide to take bags that are outside the permitted dimenstions should be prepared to accept that they may be refused boarding with that bag and accept with good grace when the agent does check.

That it was a Tumi or that the person had 100k loyalty points is completely irrelevant EP status does not confer any rights to take larger hand luggage
A GA enforcing the published rules is correctly doung their jo b - not at all reasonable to call it a power trip.

If the bag did fit in the sizer then the OP would have reason to be upset, but that doesn't read to be the case

Sure, lets go with your concept. Then why were the other bags not held to the same standard? Or are you of the opinion that rules should not be applied to everyone?
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Old Jul 26, 22, 2:33 pm
  #1240  
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
So basically, your argument is that others are breaking the rules, so it's ok if you do too?

It doesn't work like that. Your bag didn't fit in the sizer so it has to be checked. That's it. Demanding an exception because of your status is 100% DYKWIA behavior.

That is what I am saying 100% enforcement or 0% enforcement, nothing in between.

BTW since so many seem hung up on my travel and status, it is used as a example of all of a sudden it is a problem when for years it has not been.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 2:40 pm
  #1241  
 
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Enforcement is incredibly sporadic. I used to have a bag that didn't fit, and there were probably 3 flights a year out of 120+ where the GA would decide to enforce the rule. Was I in the wrong? I suppose I was, but the bag easily fit in to every overhead, including the E75, so from a practical matter, it wasn't a problem. If the ratio was reversed, and I was asked to measure/check the bag 117/120 flights, I would have stopped trying to carry it on years ago.

Nobody on Flyertalk who understands what HUCA means hasn't ever tried to bend an airline rule in their favor. I understand the OP's frustration and might recommend carrying along a smaller bag for the rest of this summer. There's no way I'd chance having to check a bag these days.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 2:49 pm
  #1242  
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A few years ago I would regularly travel with a similar Tumi 2 wheeled international carry on, plus a duffle bag as my personal item (99% of the time in F) Neither of these would actually fit in the sizers, but I was rarely ever hassled about them. Who cares if my personal item was too big? I always put it under the seat in front of me and it always fit without sticking out. My tumi always fit in the overhead as well.
I can only remember one instance when someone had an issue, and it was the contract worker checking boarding passes before security at the old LGA D gates, who said my duffle was too big to be a personal item. They were not an AA employee, just a contract worker with nothing better to do. Argued with them and told them to call over an AA employee if it was really an issue. They let me go.

Point is these requirements are so rarely enforced that it usually is a GA on a power trip that tries to enforce it, when 99% of the time it's a non issue. It's not like the bag that's an inch or 2 bigger than allowed is taking away overhead space from others.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 2:59 pm
  #1243  
 
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It's also possible that station or maybe even that employee was involved in a recent FAA audit of compliance with published rules. That seems to be when certain stations, etc. get more prickly about this and then it tapers off again after a few months.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 7:24 pm
  #1244  
 
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The problem is that AA has an open sizer. If they had a closed one, all of the 22" x 14" x 9" marketed bags would fit without issue. Bags can get a little "fluffy" when being packed and are easily slipped into a bin with closed sides. With open sides, they'll go over.

Additionally, I guarantee these "oversize" bags are all marketed as 22" x 14" x 9".

This isn't a flight safety issue. It's a classic "follow the rules, or else" vs the "let's be reasonable" folks facing off here. Unfortunately...
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Old Jul 26, 22, 8:58 pm
  #1245  
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Originally Posted by wrdouglas View Post
Sure, let’s go with your concept. Then why were the other bags not held to the same standard? Or are you of the opinion that rules should not be applied to everyone?
It is irrelevant to your issue if others managed to get by without an issue.
Either YOUR bage was compliant or it was not - if YOUR bag was not compliant and you got caught out, then that's life.

I think that the rules should be enforced on all, but whether they do or not, it makes no difference - you are the one that got stopped


Originally Posted by Spanish View Post
This isn't a flight safety issue. It's a classic "follow the rules, or else" vs the "let's be reasonable" folks facing off here. Unfortunately...
Seems reasonable to expect people to follow the rules. The poster used being a frequent traveller as if that was some excuse to be allowed to take it - conversely a frequent traveller should be more likely to understand the rules
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