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So I'm flying out of Seattle in a month or so and I'm going to take a small backpack as my carry on. It sort of meets the 9*14*22 inch stats but sort gets a little fatter when you stuff things into it. How much fatter? not sure as i'm not packed yet but at what point do i get concerend? are they super strict...any experiences?

cheers and thanks

here is pic of the size machine thingy at UA

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In my experience they are not very strict. Every once in a while, you get someone who compares it against the template, but I've never been stopped with a reasonably sized bag. If you make it through the security check, worst case is they make you gate check it if it won't fit under the seat or in an overhead. Just remember to pick it up before leaving the jetway. It will not show up at checked baggage.

plus if gate checked, on american/alaska anyway, it doesn't cost anything.

skibum43 said: In my experience they are not very strict. Every once in a while, you get someone who compares it against the template, but I've never been stopped with a reasonably sized bag. If you make it through the security check, worst case is they make you gate check it if it won't fit under the seat or in an overhead. Just remember to pick it up before leaving the jetway. It will not show up at checked baggage.

I'm sure that is true at United. I would note that one should ask, because at some airlines(Spirit and US Air on my last trips) they did send gate-checked bags to the checked baggage.....

Do you have to switch planes and one of the planes is a small one, like a regional jet?


The overheads on the regional jets are smaller than on the larger planes.

I always just start taking stuff out and stuffing it into a second bag whenever they tell me my carryon is too large, usually they just say scre it and letme go.

On samll prop planes its a different story, they will require you to check any large bag (even if 'legally' carry on, many larger carry on's simply don't fit in the smaller planes).

i just got done traveling with united and listen to me if you want to save money
even if its a smaller plan take your carryon with and insist it will fit. As you are walking down the ramp and just before you enter the plane itself, you can leave your luggage there and they will take it for free.

Flew United a few weeks ago. Only took carry on bags. On one flight they made anyone with two carry-on bags to gate check (it was a small plane). The flight attendant suggested to someone to maybe check in their carry-on because it was a little wide but nothing more was done. I wouldn't be too worried.

I wouldn't be too concerned. However comments about flying on smaller planes are very valid. If you plan on travelling with just the one bag make sure that you
have another small bag, carrying case etc for any electronics or stuff that you don't want chucked around or squished. Most regional jets and turbo props will make you gate check
the bag...it doesn't cost anything because it is legal carry on size but it goes into the baggage hold. Last thing you want is your camera or laptop ending up on the bottom of 20 other bags.

OP and most of the responders say they "wouldn't be concerned" but if I were one of the
other passengers on your flight I'd be concerned.

Ever since the airlines started charging to check a bag the whole carry-on situation has
become a nightmare. It now takes twice as long to board or get off a plane standing in the
line waiting while people try to cram oversized bags in the bins. I once had someones bag
tumble out midflight and hit me.

Frankly, I wish the airlines charged for carry-ons instead of checked bags. The situation as
it is now is bad and unfair to the rest of us.
Dave

dbrons said: OP and most of the responders say they "wouldn't be concerned" but if I were one of the
other passengers on your flight I'd be concerned.

Ever since the airlines started charging to check a bag the whole carry-on situation has
become a nightmare. It now takes twice as long to board or get off a plane standing in the
line waiting while people try to cram oversized bags in the bins. I once had someones bag
tumble out midflight and hit me.

Frankly, I wish the airlines charged for carry-ons instead of checked bags. The situation as
it is now is bad and unfair to the rest of us.
Dave


Agree with you 100%!

What is even worse is when the idiot IN FRONT OF YOU has extra carry-ons and tries to stick them under THEIR SEAT WHICH IS MY SPACE. I have had this happen before and happily given the person their bag back since it is my space and not their own! We are a family of 4- two teenagers. I manage to fly with 1 or 2 carry on max between 4 people. Make sure those are small enough to go under seat in front of me so I can get into and don't have to fight and board early (another peeve the people with 8-10 year olds who preboard with families with SMALL CHILDREN) to try and grab overhead room.

It is becoming harder and harder to fly. Airlines measure bags, charge an arm and leg if you are over. We pay to check bags and now people try and carry-on everything! I honestly wish the airlines would enforce the rule and at least make people gate check the bag. Even when my kids were babies I would take a diaper bag, 1 small carry one with extra clothes and toys and that was it.

You will probably be ok BUT DON'T GET MAD IF YOU ARE FORCED TO GATE CHECK OR PAY TO CHECK THE BAG. There are rules out there and most of the time the employees don't enforce but don't be mad if you get the one who does follow the rules. This is just like the people who get irate when the car rental person asks for proof of ID and they don't have it...most of the time they don't ask but if you lie and say I am memeber of Costco and don't have card don't whine and complain when you don't get that rate (yes, I was asked for my Costco card in Arizona a few years back and I did have).

Have fun and remember there will be others like you with big bags and you might be the big bag that gets gate checked. Especially if it won't fit under seat!

dbrons said: OP and most of the responders say they "wouldn't be concerned" but if I were one of the
other passengers on your flight I'd be concerned.

Ever since the airlines started charging to check a bag the whole carry-on situation has
become a nightmare. It now takes twice as long to board or get off a plane standing in the
line waiting while people try to cram oversized bags in the bins. I once had someones bag
tumble out midflight and hit me.

Frankly, I wish the airlines charged for carry-ons instead of checked bags. The situation as
it is now is bad and unfair to the rest of us.
Dave
Actually, I have said for years that the airlines should Decrease the size of the overhead bin to force people to bring smaller bags on the plane (and add a little headroom). I love flying on the smaller regional jets with the smaller overhead bins. They are just big enough for briefcases, laptop bags, or maybe a "small" overnight bag, those planes empty no time at all.

dbrons said: Ever since the airlines started charging to check a bag the whole carry-on situation has
become a nightmare. It now takes twice as long to board or get off a plane standing in the
line waiting while people try to cram oversized bags in the bins. I once had someones bag
tumble out midflight and hit me.

Frankly, I wish the airlines charged for carry-ons instead of checked bags. The situation as
it is now is bad and unfair to the rest of us.
Dave


Be careful what you wish for. That is probably the next thing they'll start charging for taking your arguments exactly. Don't give them more ideas for other things to charge.

Going back to OP, what are you stuffing in the bag that can't be removed and put on person? You can always put on a jacket or take some items and put them in your pocket. Taking that concept to the extreme, here are a couple of additional suggestions:

http://www.thebeerbelly.com/
http://www.hammacher.com/publish/72765.asp

You may raise TSA suspicions, but I don't see how different it is from carrying an extra 50 or 100 or more pounds of fat as far as airline policies goes, unless you extend it to the point of reaching the obesity policies.

Be careful what you wish for. That is probably the next thing they'll start charging for taking your arguments exactly.

i am very careful what I wish for. Like I said, I wish they charged for carry-ons, not for checked bags. Reason is it's the oversized carry-ons and rude behavior of people who bring them that inconvenience the rest of us. Checked bags don't cause any delays, and they can't fall down and hit you when someone decides in midflight they want to grab something out of one.
Dave

dbrons said: Be careful what you wish for. That is probably the next thing they'll start charging for taking your arguments exactly.

i am very careful what I wish for. Like I said, I wish they charged for carry-ons, not for checked bags. Reason is it's the oversized carry-ons and rude behavior of people who bring them that inconvenience the rest of us. Checked bags don't cause any delays, and they can't fall down and hit you when someone decides in midflight they want to grab something out of one.
Dave



You make a good point...Carry-on is a convenience many would pay extra for. I think the airlines got it backwards when they decided to charge for checked bags.

FYI

I was on a flight, not sure what airline, but it was one of the majors. The flight was full. At some point they did not let anyone with a bag that had wheels to take it in. By using the with wheels criteria they avoided arguments like, you let that person's bag on ... I had a pretty big backpack without wheels and that was OK.

In April on US Air I noticed 2 people that brought very large backpacks to carry on. Clearly not small enough. Interestingly, the one on the less full flight was able to take it on. The other one was not but he may have avoided the fee.

I also have noticed people with small duffles which are over 45 inches total but not too big not having problems. In all fairness, they usually crush pretty well so they fit in.

There are also some 22" carry-on that meet the 45 inch criteria with wheels that don't fit well into the overheads and need to go in sideways. I am looking for a carry on and will go with a 21" for it is not the length that makes big difference in capacity.

By the way, I have heard if you are bringing your own wheel chair(s), that(they) travel free.

Charging for a reasonable amount of baggage on an airplane is just stupid. It's called TRAVEL!! People BRING things when they TRAVEL!!

That said, the motivation for checked bag fees was probably the people bringing 25 outfits and 10 pairs of shoes for their weekend trip to Timbuktu. I remember seeing those people in the check-in line all over the airport -- now they seem to only be at the Southwest counter. So, the checked bag fees have probably accomplished what they set out to do: increase each passenger's profitability by either (1) encouraging them to bring less (lighter plane = money saved), or (2) forcing them to pay for the extra weight.

The stupid part is the implementation. You can't say "bags with wheels must be checked" -- I have a tiny rolling tote that is barely bigger than a laptop bag and fits underneath every airline seat... but it has wheels for no other reason than I don't have to hurt my shoulder as I lug it around the airport. It's also dumb to enforce arbitrary number-of-bag limits or baggage weight limits without discretion. This causes situations where people are forced to repack their bags at the check-in counter (holding up the line) to optimally balance the weight of each bag they are checking. Why is there a $50 difference between having a 60-lb bag plus a 40-lb bag as opposed to two 50-lb bags? And why is it more expensive for my wife and I to bring two 50-lb bags as opposed to a single 60-lb bag between us? These stupid policies are inefficient and frustrate everybody involved -- the ticket agent, the travelers, and the people waiting in line.

If it were up to me, I would make it quite simple: in addition to your personal item which MUST fit under the seat in front of you (laptop bag, briefcase, purse), each reservation is allotted up to 1 bag and 40 lbs per person for free... PERIOD. If you can cram all 40 lbs into a carry-on sized rollerbag and you want to bring it on board with you, more power to you. Or if you prefer, you can check the bag instead, but you won't be allowed an extra carry-on with additional items. Likewise, if two people are on the same reservation, you can bring up to 2 bags and 80 lbs total. This can be a single 60-lb bag and a 15-lb carry-on, or two 40-lb bags.

Bottom line, there is no better way to annoy people than to have a bunch of stupid rules that can result in $0, $50, or $100 in extra fees depending on how the same items are distributed amongst the same baggage. Maybe my system isn't perfect, but it's a drastic improvement, and doesn't penalize travelers for putting 3 pairs of dirty underwear in the wrong suitcase. The airline industry needs to change their policies, or they'll continue to accelerate the current trend of fewer people traveling by plane. EOM

I have an older 9"x14"x22" carry on but the wheels would make it almost 23.5". I called United and the overseas customer service guy said it should be alright. The reason I'm not bringing the large luggage is the cost and the long time to check in and chect out.



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