About that carry-on bag

You know the one. The bag that you’ve had for years. The bag with hundreds of flights and hundreds of thousands of miles on it as a carry on. Not so much any more.

It seems that the airlines have gotten even more greedy than it seemed even they could manage to do. Rather than settle for bleeding their passengers $15-25 a pop for checking their bags, the airlines are now reducing the official size of permitted carry-on bags, from 51 linear inches to 45 linear inches (22”x9”x14”).

I’ve got the “normal 22” bag” from Travelpro. The official measurements are exactly what are spec’d above for the new, smaller size. I’ve never been able to get it into one of those size-wise devices. Ever. And it actually fits in the overhead just fine, wheels in on most flights I’m on. I guess I’m going to have to start carrying a tape measure now to show that it is the right size.

Yes, we’ve all seen people carry bags on that are grossly oversized. Or people carrying on too many bags. But the solution to the problem is not to reduce the allowed size. It is to enforce the rule as written.

I’m not opposed at all to enforcing the rules. And I’m not opposed to forcing people to check their extra or oversize bags. But this just looks bad. The airlines are charging at one end and cutting back at the other. The squeeze on the passengers is bad. I don’t pay the fees for the checked bags as an elite member, and I still think it sucks.

I’ve seen word of this new policy from Continental and US Air at least, and I’m sure there are others. I cannot imagine the others not piling on while they can.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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