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Buying new luggage: size limit enforcement checked/carry-on

Buying new luggage: size limit enforcement checked/carry-on

Old Apr 11, 22, 10:14 am
  #1  
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Buying new luggage: size limit enforcement checked/carry-on

I am returning to frequent air travel after several years hiatus. It is time for new luggage. I fly Delta primarily but not exclusively because I live near MSP.

Carry on
It is my observation on recent trips that the gate agents no longer have the fixation they once did on the 22"x14"x9" limit, perhaps because so many aircraft have been refitted with larger overhead bins. I also see that luggage makers are no longer strictly adhering to the limit with many of the better roller bags intended for carry-on use having actual sizes that push the limit by a 1/2 an inch to 1 inch in each direction. I do not want to push the rules for the sake of getting another pair of socks in my bag but on the other hand I don't want to artificially limit my luggage choices for the sake of a rule that is rarely applied in current practice. I would welcome some advice based on recent experience. I realize that there will always be some chance of having to check a larger carry on, occasionally, and don't care; I'm asking about what is common and reasonable.

Checked bags
While my preferred practice is to travel with only a carry on, I find myself on an increasing number of trips where checking bags is inevitable (travel companion who is not good at packing light + longer trips + scuba and other activity-specific gear + TSA prohibited items).

I have never seen a ticket agent pull out a tape measure (they're more focused on weight) but I understand that some automated baggage checking kiosks are measuring luggage and, in at least some cases, enforcing size limits strictly. Again, and even to a greater degree than with carry-ons, the luggage industry is making otherwise fine bags that are slightly over the official 62" size limit, in many cases offering only these and much smaller bags. The fact that airlines charge per piece for checked bags for some years makes the old-school practice of checking several smaller bags uneconomic so I'm trying to find bags right at the limit. Again, I do not want a bag that pushes the limits to give me space for another pair of socks or whatever, but rather do not want to pointlessly limit my shopping. If I get dinged for a $100 oversize fee once in a while I'll chalk it up as part of the cost of travel but don't want to end up in a situation where it's a constant problem.

Again, advice welcome, particularly on how the automated check-in kiosks are evolving and any anticipated trends in enforcement.
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Old Apr 11, 22, 5:30 pm
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Which bags specifically are you looking into getting? I push the limits regularly regarding the carryon/personal item but nobody ever checks. I have the Away bigger carryon and would recommend that one if you're looking.
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Old Apr 11, 22, 9:42 pm
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I have not seen a gate agent check a carry-on either for size or weight in the 21st century. Are there really automated kiosks that do this? I personally haven't seen those. Either the bag fits in the overhead compartment or you gate check it for free; I've never heard of anyone get charged due to having an oversized carry-on.
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Old Apr 12, 22, 5:35 am
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Originally Posted by calmasahinducow View Post
I have not seen a gate agent check a carry-on either for size or weight in the 21st century. Are there really automated kiosks that do this? I personally haven't seen those. Either the bag fits in the overhead compartment or you gate check it for free; I've never heard of anyone get charged due to having an oversized carry-on.
yes there are kiosks which do this. In use mostly INTL the past 8-10 years.
re original thread, it’s gotten so bad that our AmazonBasics hard shell - which fit perfectly flipped on side like the picture on new overheads with room to spare - were almost not believable to the FA’s - that is, so many carry on are so big that they advise customers to insert sideways, clogging the overheads.
If everyone used compliant bags, they could have fit many more bags…
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Old Apr 12, 22, 6:18 am
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Just get a compliant bag. Travel lighter, go worry free.
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Old Apr 12, 22, 7:32 am
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I regularly travel with a carryon that is an inch over the max height and never had a problem on mainline planes. My primary checked bag checks in at 64 inches and size has never been an issue, only weight.
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Old Apr 12, 22, 7:37 am
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For me, I've never obsessed over trying to squeeze an extra inch of space into a bag. I'm much more focused on how well the damn thing rolls through the airport, how it's balanced, etc. I decided on Travelpro with the MagnaTrac wheels a couple of years ago and haven't looked back.
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Old Apr 12, 22, 7:52 am
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I have two Briggs-Riley bags that I use for your purposes and a third for a briefcase. I'll discuss the carry-on and the checked luggage since that's what you're after:

1) Carry - On... I have the rolling cabin bag that's 1/2 garment bag and 1/2 "regular" bag that measures 22-14-9. I've never been questioned about it, and that bag's flown with me ~500,000 miles without issue. I've even checked it fairly regularly when transporting other boxes, etc, for convenience. A great bag that gets onboard without issue.

2) Checked... I have the 2-wheel garment "wardrobe" bag that measures 62 or 63 linear inches, and have packed it to the gills and never been questioned. Routinely at the 70lb limit.

Briggs-Riley.com has neither available now, but the sizes serve as data points for your question.

Happy shopping! Post pics once you buy your luggage.
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Old Apr 12, 22, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by Spanish View Post
I have two Briggs-Riley bags that I use for your purposes and a third for a briefcase. I'll discuss the carry-on and the checked luggage since that's what you're after:

1) Carry - On... I have the rolling cabin bag that's 1/2 garment bag and 1/2 "regular" bag that measures 22-14-9. I've never been questioned about it, and that bag's flown with me ~500,000 miles without issue. I've even checked it fairly regularly when transporting other boxes, etc, for convenience. A great bag that gets onboard without issue.

2) Checked... I have the 2-wheel garment "wardrobe" bag that measures 62 or 63 linear inches, and have packed it to the gills and never been questioned. Routinely at the 70lb limit.

Briggs-Riley.com has neither available now, but the sizes serve as data points for your question.

Happy shopping! Post pics once you buy your luggage.
Your bags are compliant. The OP is looking to push the rules for some reason. Good to be the King, maybe?
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Old Apr 12, 22, 8:22 am
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Old Apr 12, 22, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by apjules View Post
Which bags specifically are you looking into getting? I push the limits regularly regarding the carryon/personal item but nobody ever checks. I have the Away bigger carryon and would recommend that one if you're looking.
I am looking at the TravelPro bold set:
https://travelpro.com/products/bold%...ble-rollaboard
https://travelpro.com/collections/bo...rolling-duffle

There are a number of things I like about these but the design of the wheels is a primary one as they have two recessed wheels rather than the "spinner" four-caster arrangement that is now popular. I've used both, the "spinners" are fine inside the airport but are (in my experience) less useful outdoors on sidewalks, in parking lots, especially if these are uneven or there is even a tiny amount of snow or ice.



Originally Posted by EAJuggalo View Post
I regularly travel with a carryon that is an inch over the max height and never had a problem on mainline planes. My primary checked bag checks in at 64 inches and size has never been an issue, only weight.
Thanks, very helpful


Originally Posted by calmasahinducow View Post
I have not seen a gate agent check a carry-on either for size or weight in the 21st century.
Thanks for that insight.

Originally Posted by EAJuggalo View Post
I regularly travel with a carryon that is an inch over the max height and never had a problem on mainline planes. My primary checked bag checks in at 64 inches and size has never been an issue, only weight.
Thanks, posts like that are extraordinarily helpful!

Originally Posted by Spanish View Post
I have two Briggs-Riley bags that I use for your purposes and a third for a briefcase. I'll discuss the carry-on and the checked luggage since that's what you're after:

1) Carry - On... I have the rolling cabin bag that's 1/2 garment bag and 1/2 "regular" bag that measures 22-14-9. I've never been questioned about it, and that bag's flown with me ~500,000 miles without issue. I've even checked it fairly regularly when transporting other boxes, etc, for convenience. A great bag that gets onboard without issue.

2) Checked... I have the 2-wheel garment "wardrobe" bag that measures 62 or 63 linear inches, and have packed it to the gills and never been questioned. Routinely at the 70lb limit.

Briggs-Riley.com has neither available now, but the sizes serve as data points for your question.

Happy shopping! Post pics once you buy your luggage.
Thank you! I will do so.

Originally Posted by Goodoldflyer View Post
The OP is looking to push the rules for some reason. Good to be the King, maybe?
Read the opening post. It isn't my goal to "push the rules." It is my goal to understand the rules as they are actually implemented and refrain from artificially limiting my choices. Raise your hand if you always drive under the speed limit and have never bought back-to-back tickets, and have a nice day.
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Old Apr 12, 22, 2:28 pm
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In my experience, DL and most domestic carriers are fairly lenient. KLM GA's can be really tough. We usually travel with KL compliant carry-on's to avoid hassles. They work just fine.
As Moi le roi (that's how Louis XIV signed documents) said upthread, if you want maximum capacity for overall size, get 2 wheel - not spinners,
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Old Apr 12, 22, 2:45 pm
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we're big fans of the AmazonBasics stuff - especially hard shell. Traveled the world with it - my wife, kids (13/10) and I all have them.
Three of the four have TSA locks; one does not.

Interior room is awesome, fits all aircraft, and is well made - especially so considering its $30 price.
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Old Apr 12, 22, 3:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Louis XIV View Post

It isn't my goal to "push the rules." It is my goal to understand the rules as they are actually implemented and refrain from artificially limiting my choices.
"pushing the rules" = "understand the rules as they are actually implemented and refrain from artificially limiting choices (by following the rules)"

I'm failing to see how these things are different.

The answer is that you'll probably be OK with this approach, as long as you don't travel on an international carrier. But you may one of the first people they select to gate check your carry-on if space is tight, and on some planes you may choose to do this on your own, for the same reason. Some luggage space on airplanes is tight, and your bag may or may not work out in some spaces.
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Old Apr 12, 22, 10:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Louis XIV View Post
I am looking at the TravelPro bold set:
https://travelpro.com/products/bold%...ble-rollaboard
https://travelpro.com/collections/bo...rolling-duffle

There are a number of things I like about these but the design of the wheels is a primary one as they have two recessed wheels rather than the "spinner" four-caster arrangement that is now popular.
One advantage of the 22" roller is that you do get more interior space than you do in a comparable four-wheel spinner. That 22" two-wheeler should be fine in most situations. The 30" rolling duffel will always have to be checked.
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