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Just a heads up that AA, as of Nov 1, is extremely strict about carry-ons fitting in their sizers. Apparently the FAA thinks they're not enforcing their own regulations (FAA doesn't care, but if an airline says there's a rule, FAA says they have to consistently enforce it) so they're having frequent audits this year. AA agents were rejecting carry-ons *before* going to the TSA area at LAX. Even if a bag passed last month, or passed on another airline earlier that day, it may not pass current AA standards: "Carry-on should not exceed the following size and weight restrictions: 45 linear inches (22 x 14 x 9 in) or 115 centimeters (56 x 36 x 23 cm) including handles and wheels."

Not that anyone here travels with the kitchen sink, but a rigid handle over a softer, squishier handle can put a bag over 22 inches. Which is kinda new, at least for me.

cm,
checker of big bags
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We replaced our luggage a few years back as it aged out, but when looking around, in a major chain store, Macy's, discovered the staff were clueless about the size regulations. But we did find what we liked, 2 stackable sets, but it meant gathering pieces from 2 or 3 sores to make it happen.

Since then, and even before, we've never been checked, but at least we know we're in the limits, at least outbound..

Carryons have at times been hassle, even though they are in the limits, because others are binging way oversized bags aboard, and if not in time, there has been a hassle getting ours stuffed up there.. And of course, some of the overhead bins are really tight.. Others, roomy, never know.. and if you go off into another bin, then you mess up the folks in that seat..
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And of course, some of the overhead bins are really tight.. Others, roomy, never know

True! I always double-check what plane I'm actually getting--unless they switch out for some reason, I know which will always require gate check of my carry-on, etc. And if you're short, bin is above eye level, which it is for me at 5'4"--it's not that it's too heavy or big, I just can't see what I'm doing.

Packing right now. At least older, slightly-too-big carry-ons make good maneuverable checked bags.

cm,
waste not, want not
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There is a place for checked bags (e.g. you're going someplace cold and warm clothes and parkas take up a lot of space). Short of equipment (cold weather, snorkeling, etc), I prefer a single carry-on (plus personal item). Especially in Europe, with cobblestone streets and no elevators (we stayed in two different places, 5th floor, no elevator). It's a nightmare to deal with more than one bag, and the have that bag weigh 50 lbs.

If I have to I'll carry a second bag (checked), but it's pretty easy to pack a single carry-on and have everything you need.
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There is a place for checked bags (e.g. you're going someplace cold and warm clothes and parkas take up a lot of space). Short of equipment (cold weather, snorkeling, etc), I prefer a single carry-on (plus personal item). Especially in Europe, with cobblestone streets and no elevators (we stayed in two different places, 5th floor, no elevator). It's a nightmare to deal with more than one bag, and the have that bag weigh 50 lbs.

If I have to I'll carry a second bag (checked), but it's pretty easy to pack a single carry-on and have everything you need.


Ahh, that is but a dream, I've only manage a single carryon maybe once or twice in my life of wandering. And now on longer trips, DW has her CPAP machine, plus purse, my carryon only has vitals, camera, laptop, meds, toiletries, little else.. But it all still ads up.. DW is small, cannot begin to lift her carryon into the overhead bins, so it's up to me to get them both up there.. Coming back from London to SFO last trip it was a real hassle to get the bin closed, even for me, I had folks backed up quite a while making it happen, close, but finally it latched. I know I put a LOT of pressure on that bin and it's latching mechanism, thought I might break something!

That was a 3 week run, on above the Arctic Circle, but we were way underweight both ways, great trip!
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Actually, a CPAP machine is a medical device. So it's not included in the 'carry on plus personal item'.

I've actually found it pretty easy to pack one carry-on bag. It just takes a little planning, and the more often I do it the easier it is. For example, never carry a dedicated outfit. Everything should mix and match with everything else. So you can have a wide variety of combinations while only having a few items. Plan on laundry in your sink (or a laundry), so you don't need to carry 20 pairs of underwear. Etc. (I typically carry 5-7 pairs, and wash every other night.)

My personal item is almost always my camera backpack. But I can stuff things in it like cellphone chargers. In fact, I can pack it tight and manage BOTH cameras with lenses (I've done it), freeing up 1poorlady's personal item.

Alas, I haven't convinced 1poorlady of the benefits. But I am starting to refuse to carry a 50 lb bag. It's physically painful. There is rarely a reason to pack 50 lbs. I won't say "never". But seldom.
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Well, yes, CPAP, camera bag/backpack add to the bin loads! Unless you can get them under your feet, seat, DW can, but I keep the camera in the carryon, not another separate thing to haul around.. So I don't ever use the 'personal item' DW has her purse, CPAP is tagged as medical, but with the stack pack, its manageable for her..

Long trips we plan on either our own sink washings, or if available some laundry service or laundromat... So few sets, even in the checked bag, mainly, for me, shirts, pants, other non-vitals, so if late, lost, so be it, deal with it as needed...

Maybe airlines should do a flat, per pound fee for all luggage, checked or not, make folks think about all the eextras they bring..

Backpacks reminded me of more than once seeing young folks with monster backpacks lugging the in taking a ton of room, way beyond the limits... Bummer for the rest of us..
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I don't think I've ever had a 50 lb bag! Maybe when we used to take school supplies to Jamaica... My usual carry-on is about a half-inch over height and width--no problem unless, as now, FAA audits are going on and there's a cranky/nervous checker.

I have checked even an underseat bag in the past, when I was going to be carrying more liquids than allowed. Looks silly but I've seen small duffel bags, etc. come off the baggage belt so I guess I'm not the only one.

What really annoys me is that I like to stuff my travel pillow, jacket, etc. in the carry-on so my tote can be zipped up tight, nothing hanging off it, etc. while going through on the TSA belt. Afterwards, those come out and get stuffed/attached to my tote. By the time I get to the gate, my carry-on is slimmer than when I walked into the airport. It seems like that final step would be where dimensions count.


cm,
plane seat nester
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So do they then charge the $25 bag fee?

Or do they waive it like they do now if the plane is particularly full - you know, "overhead bins are filling up rapidly so free gate check for group 6 and up?"

Might be just a crackdown from above to start maximizing revenue by enforcing size standards.

Fly Southwest, bags fly free!
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So do they then charge the $25 bag fee?

That's probably why they're checking so far ahead of the gate...closer to the baggage check. Gate check is more likely to be complementary because nobody's trying to monetize at that point, they're trying not to get fined for late departure.


Might be just a crackdown from above to start maximizing revenue by enforcing size standards.

Maybe...wouldn't surprise me, but the stated reason does seem to be FAA's position of "you make a rule, you gotta enforce the rule."

I never see Southwest fly where I want to go at the times I need, but I have friends who got RDU-FLL or other FL points and love it.

cm
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Charging for bags is one way to get 1poorlady to control herself. She is very frugal. She hates paying for bags. So an airline that charges is actually attractive to me.
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Charging for bags is one way to get 1poorlady to control herself. She is very frugal. She hates paying for bags. So an airline that charges is actually attractive to me.

It seems like you don't have a problem with stress and traveling; you have an issue with frugality and travel. Most of your travel stress can be solved with some money. It's also reasonably easy to get a free checked bag with a credit card.

Control herself ? So respectful.
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Kind of hard to expect a store to be knowledgeable about carry on sizes since it varies among the airlines, especially international airlines.

This is from 2018 but shows the differences.
https://www.travelandleisure.com/style/travel-bags/airline-c...

For US airlines the general size allowed is: 22 x 14 x 9
Although Southwest is more generous and an airline such as Allegiant is rather stingy.

Rich
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And Europe is smaller, frequently. I think Air France is typical(??) at 21x13x9. I got a Rick Steves bag (actually, we got a matching pair). If you use the compression zipper it's Europe legal (in general), and if you expand the bag it's US legal. Though I experienced one flight where they weighed the carry-on. Only time in my life they did that (I forget if we had to pay excess fees on that).

I agree luggage people aren't going to be generally clued-in. In fact, you would be wise to check the specific policies of the specific airline you're flying as it may be different. It's not a safety thing, so they can go their own way.

Probably the more difficult thing is packing philosophies. 1poorlady and I are very different. She's a "we might need this", and I'm a "we probably won't but can buy it if we do". We do butt heads over this, but I'm not going back to traveling heavy. Too painful. I haven't gone this far, but several travel "experts" say you shouldn't even bring soaps and such. Buy it at your destination, discard any unused before returning. I may try that just to see how it goes. Makes more space in my carry-on for mementos. Plus a mini-adventure deciphering what toothpaste has fluoride in a store in Madrid (or wherever).
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but several travel "experts" say you shouldn't even bring soaps and such. Buy it at your destination, discard any unused before returning.

That *can* work, if you're not picky, have sensitive skin, going somewhere that has travel size products, etc. I lighten up by figuring out how much product I need for X number of days, then decanting it into a much smaller container. I'd be sad to buy, say, 89 ml of shampoo for $4, then throw away half. I'd rather put 30 ml of what I already have into a slim plastic bottle or pouch. Or taking face cream out of a heavy glass container and filling a contact lens case with a few days' worth.

I do notice I got better about packing lighter after I started flying alone! That will create a minimalist :-)

cm,

loves sample sizes
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As I said, I have not tried it yet. Maybe part of the adventure sorting out sensitive skin products?? But of course there are medical considerations that might make that a bad idea.

Throwing away half would be sad, but if it's worth the up-side for you then it is OK. YMMV. I'm going to be a while before I can take a big trip, but I've been toying with the idea of bringing a toothbrush and that's it (it terms on toiletries). Buy small sizes of everything and use while I'm there.

Good point about flying alone. Never really thought about that, but if you have no help you would likely not carry anything non-essential.

1poorguy (we have "sample size" soaps we can refill, and shampoo too)
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We travel a lot by train, bus and rental car as well as on a wide variety of airlines (as well as ships). Before we pack, I take a look at the maximum size bags I can comfortably/safely handle on each leg of the trip. Frequently, we set up the logistical routing so that we can leave a large bag or two in a hotel if we are heading out on the next leg by train or bus and then pick it up later on if, say, we are boarding a ship. I research the luggage policy of the airline handling each air leg and frequently create a strategy of how we will handle specific bags as carry-ons. Sometimes you are weight constrained on the main on-board, but can carry a laptop, camera, coat, book, etc. in a second "purse". Sometimes you are not allowed that second bag, but the first one is not weighed - causing us to repack the bags differently each time. BTW, our record for leaving luggage was arranging for it to be left on a cruise ship for four months and then rejoining it on another trip a half a world away from where we left it.

Once we have picked our bags/luggage out, we figure out if it will be likely that we buy anything abroad, subtract that space and then we can take anything we want - as long as it fits in the available space. Normally, that leaves us carrying a lot less stuff than most. While our trips frequently last 2-4 months, and we sometimes wear out our clothing, the world is filled with places to buy (or have tailored) clothing and supplies, frequently giving us the opportunity to end up with all sorts of useful and eclectic clothing. So, while we generally don't buy many nick-nacks as souvenirs, a large proportion of our clothing has been purchased abroad.

The bane of my existence is shoes. I wear a US size 13 (Euro 48) which generally are available only in the US and maybe the Netherlands. That means that I not only have to lug the assortment of "necessary" pairs my wife "needs", but also generally pack a pair of sandals and a leather pair (as well as wearing a pair of sneakers) which take up an abnormally large portion of my allocated space - c'est la vie:-).

Jeff
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We also are not into "nick nacks". Most of our souvenirs are photos (in our cameras). We sometimes get mugs (one of my favorites right now is my Switzerland mug). I have a few caps (baseball style). We bought some sketches in Italy (and later framed them; they're really nice). My wife while traveling around the southwest accumulated a collection of native American pottery (real stuff -we learned how to tell the difference)**. Probably the biggest thing we bought was a kimono in Japan. We tend not to buy statues if the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or snow globes, or whatever. Some folks like that, but it's not our taste. To each his own.

Regarding shoes: if I plan on hiking I will wear my hiking boots. They are the biggest and heaviest footwear I own, so if I have to bring them I wear them. I will then pack my black athletic shoes (no design, just black so they can be casual or formal unless you look really closely). And I pack 1 pair of slippers for the room (hotel, cabin, whatever). That's it. If I'm not doing any hiking, leave the hiking boots and wear the black athletic shoes.

1poorguy



**As an aside, the native Americans never knew what hit them. She is from the Philippines where everything is haggled. They were used to dealing with people from New York, not Manila. We Americans suck at haggling.
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several travel "experts" say you shouldn't even bring soaps and such.

I'm a broken record on this, but if the trip is 2 weeks or less, every toilet article I need fits in the standard-size zip-loc baggy that TSA allows in carry-on. Same for DW. Buy travel-size stuff or little refillable containers. If we need more than that, we buy it wherever we are. It is indeed a mini-adventure to figure out how to ask a clerk if they sell dental floss.

With TSA pre-check (we have GOES cards), you don't even need to take the baggy out of your carry-on. Only rarely does it take us more than 10 minutes to clear TSA at Detroit Metro.

I keep my zip-loc pre-packed in a drawer at home. When it's time to travel, I drop it in my carry-on. Zero worries, zero stress.
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I keep my zip-loc pre-packed in a drawer at home. When it's time to travel, I drop it in my carry-on. Zero worries, zero stress.


I probably travel more frequently than you (at least once a month) but mine lives in the carry on bag.
I check quantities, but it has no other home.


peace & prepared
t
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The bane of my existence is shoes. I wear a US size 13 (Euro 48) which generally are available only in the US and maybe the Netherlands. That means that I not only have to lug the assortment of "necessary" pairs my wife "needs", but also generally pack a pair of sandals and a leather pair (as well as wearing a pair of sneakers) which take up an abnormally large portion of my allocated space - c'est la vie:-).

No idea what size shoe your wife wears, but my husband wears an 11 1/2 and I wear a 6 1/2. Several international trips ago, I happily discovered that my shoes *almost always* fit INSIDE his sneakers/dress shoes. We try to never take more than two pair each, so it's not a huge space-saver, but it helps.

Chili
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Chili,

Great idea, but my wife wears a US size 9, so won't work. I usually end up stuffing my socks/underwear into my shoes (which saves space and keeps dress shoes from getting crushed).

I just finished double checking luggage logistics for our next trip:

When in Rome, checking large pieces at the airport for a couple of days.

Then heading to Dubai for boarding ship

When getting off in Cape Town, we are sandwiching two stays at the same
hotel with about three weeks of driving in-between and hotel has agreed (in writing) to hold large bags while we take shoulder bags (which are going to be packed in large bags).

Flying back in business, so allowed an extra bag each if we are dumb enough to buy something large.

So, while we may end up taking only one large bag for the two month trip, we are never handling the luggage for more than taxi rides, yet have the ability to acquire more crap along the way if we become insane.

Jeff
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