How Will You Carry Your 15 Inch Laptop Starting March 1, 2014?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by KenInEscazu, Feb 10, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    It seems to be at least unofficially official that UA will begin to strictly enforce the requirements of their sizers on March 1. Although I have not seen any announcement from UA, they aren't denying it, either. There has been plenty of banter about the oversized carry-ons that go overhead, but what about the personal item dimensions?

    Since a 15 inch laptop is 10" deep, that means that there is no way to use a laptop case to carry it aboard. I asked a GA for advice, as I need it to be accessible during flight. Her advice was, "Buy a smaller laptop." Gee... Why didn't I think of that. :mad:

    I wrote to 1Kvoice to get some more useful advice, and I received this reply:

    Thank you for contacting United Airlines.

    The only suggestion I can make for the situation with your lap top, would be to pull it out of your bag in the overhead prior to departure and either put it under the seat in front of you, or in the seat pocket if it will fit. I have however forwarded your comments to the management personnel responsible for review, and I am confident that your comments will be taken into consideration as we continue to review our aircraft and any necessary changes.

    Thank you for choosing United Airlines and MileagePlus. You are a valued customer and your business is appreciated.



    Sincerely,

    Wxxxx Hxxxxxx

    Customer Care Manager​

    That reply is so laughable that I didn't even respond to point at the obvious issues which it would cause.

    My laptop case, a Tumi roller, is admittedly too big. It's so big, in fact, I don't even like it. I bought the extra deep version because at the time I thought having extra storage space would come in handy. It does, but it's not as maneuverable as I want, nor is it always easy to stow under the seat in front of me.

    I'm willing to buy a new case, but not until I see where (if?) the dust settles. I can't find one that is under about 12.5 inches tall, and that's 1.5 inches over the actual dimensions of the personal sizer. The sizer is 1" taller than the stated personal item limits, so now what?

    Personally, I think this policy is doomed. There are far too many passengers who carry and use 15" computers aboard. In the meantime, I am not going to keep lugging around my big ol' Tumi, nor am I going to spend the $400 to $500 required for a good replacement that is reasonably (but not legally) sized. My personal item is going to be a heavy duty 4 mil industrial clear poly bag.

    Image be damned! :)
     
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Seat pocket? The ones that are now above the tray table in the refurbed Airbus planes and barely hold an iPad mini?
     
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  3. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    As I said... Laughable. If anyone here wants to join me in this protest, I'll be glad to send you a free 4 mil bag sample from my online store. I wonder how they'll like all those ugly, clear bags full of who knows what being brought on board. Those with no shame could even put some really personal items that nobody wants to see. At least the TSA should be happy. :D
     
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Does it have to be clear? Could imagine some fun slogans printed on them.
     
  5. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I'm only willing to give away some clear ones. But we do offer custom printing if you care to make such an investment. :cool:

    I've ordered some 20 x 30 samples (you're just going to have to trust me on those dimensions). your "stuff" will go in the 20" opening, then the bag will lay in the sizer on it's side. That leaves room for a laptop and a bunch of cables, peripherals, phones, iPads... whatever, plus enough bag length to roll it up as a makeshift handle.

    I thought of some pretty crude things one could put in there, but I'll leave that to your imagination. Sadly, putting my Bible in there will probably give me ample quiet time when seated next to many. :)
     
  6. okrogius

    okrogius Silver Member

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    If you don't want to use a smaller laptop you can always just use the pocket in your main carry-on bag.
     
  7. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Which will be placed in the overhead where I can't access it during the flight without getting out of my seat to get it out, then getting out of my seat to put it away, turbulence permitting. Or I could get it out before I sit down, as the 1Kvoice rep suggested. That'll speed up loading the flight. And where then should I put it when I want to take a nap? On the floor? There are announcements on every flight that tell me not to put it in the seat pocket during takeoff and landing. There soon won't even be any seat packets that will hold one.

    Not wanting to use a smaller laptop is not the issue. I use a 27" iMac at the office and at home, and I long for a 32" version. While I love my MacBook Pro's functionality, even 15" is very, very challenging for the kind of work I do. Less landscape is not a viable option for me, nor should it have to be.

    Would a 13" height limit really be unreasonable? These things are going under seats. Not to mention important documents that are also carried and may need to be accessed during flight. Or my iPhone. Or my iPad. Or my Bible. Or my magazine. Or my QC15s, etc., etc. Have I mentioned that the current state of this policy is doomed?
     
  8. okrogius

    okrogius Silver Member

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    The limit is an arbitrary number chosen based on some assumptions/balances. No matter what number you pick, it will undoubtedly not work for everyone; it's a balance of what works for most versus some notion of what the average underseat stowage space looks like. I'd venture to say that for the average traveler it's a very workable number. Common uses cases for laptops on planes (at least in my observation) are web browsing, watching entertainment, email, or maybe some document processing - for those cases you don't really need a large screen.

    If you really want a large laptop case, you can always use that as your primary carry-on and check your larger piece too. (Although I'm guessing that's not an attractive idea to most frequent travelers.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  9. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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  10. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    Backpack. Targus makes good ones and most are under $100.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
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  11. Laptop Nomad

    Laptop Nomad Silver Member

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    If you look at www.Tom Bihn.com. He has a lot of bags that will fit a 15" laptop and fit under the seat. Should fit the sizer too.
     
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  12. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    I took my lap top bag out to the airport to see if it would fit in the sizer for the second carry-on, as I have a 15" laptop, and no it was slightly bigger, so it will go into my 1st carry-on. Don't really need it on the flight as I will have my tablet with me also. One thought I did have was to take the laptop case with me, and just fold it over, as it is very plyeable, then it would fit perfectly into the sizer as my second carry-on, and then once on the aircraft, unfold it, and place my laptop in it and either put it under my seat in front of me, or on top of my carry-on in the overhead bin.
     
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  13. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    is there a link to this new policy? i always travel with my macbook pro 15in., so this is new info i hadn't heard/read before. TIA
     
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  14. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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  15. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    thank you. i will have to measure my current computer bag, as well as the alternatives that i use from time to time.

    speaking of carry on bags fitting or not...i got into a "lovely" discussion with a gate agent as well as flight attendant, who were both INSISTING that my computer bag/carry on was NOT going to fit into the overhead bin, and must be gate checked. i forget which plane configuration/model i was flying, but i had flown it many times, and bag always fits. i asked them if i could try, but told them i understood the policy, etc, it would have to be gate checked. much to their surprise, my little bag fit fine. ;)
     
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  16. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    The problem is that the measurements they use for those sizers and the rule seem to be very arbitrary and not based on the actual size of the overhead bins or underseat storage space. If they are based on real-world bin dimensions, then it's like they found the smallest bin in the entire fleet and measured it, and totally disregarded the fact that the vast majority of bins are larger.

    My laptop bag is a little larger than the official dimensions for a personal item. Yet, it fits under every single Y seat on a UA mainline or Express aircraft I've tried to slide it under, including ones with large IFE boxes that consume half the foot space. Yet, it's an inch or two too big in two of the three dimensions. I'm not about to go shopping for a new bag – it's a very small, efficient bag for carrying a 14-15" laptop – and it's ridiculous that I should have to. It's not a laptop bag that's excessive in size, nor is it one with wheels on the bottom.

    Anyway, I doubt that any strict enforcement of carry on rules will last very long. There seems to be a history of this coming around once every 12-18 months at UA (and CO before that), and for a few weeks gate agents get a little anal about it. Then things kind of go back to normal again.

    And, really, UA, there are far bigger things at your airline that need fixing. Carry on bags are not the root of your problems these days. Not even close.
     
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  17. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    They used to allow 36 linear inches for the personal item so a 20X12X4 laptop case would be accepted. I have a favorite satchel about this size that has fit under every Y seat (including UX) that I have taken it on. Now it is contraband.
     
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  18. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Thanks for posting the link. For the record, my "like" is for the fact that you shared it. I definitely don't like what it says. :)

    Just as I predicted/knew, lots of people carry 15" laptops and have reasonably sized, specially designed bags for them. Since all 15" laptops are at least 10" tall (a screen is a screen irrespective of the brand), the new sizer makes a rolling laptop bag impossible, and even a handled version limited in selection.

    Exactly. There is no way that any benefit to UA could possibly justify the major inconvenience to their passengers. When they announced the new policy, I wasn't sure about my garment bag. A laptop bag was never a concern. Well my garment bag fits just fine, and I can't even buy a laptop bag that meets the requirements of both me and the airline?

    Those who posted the links to the hand held/backpack version are very helpful. My problem is that I already carry a garment bag with a shoulder strap so I can have more usable space in lieu of some wheels taking up space. I have back and leg problems, plus I carry a CPAP. Having to use a laptop carrier that doesn't roll is going to have very negative consequences for me. I'm a 55 year old man, not a 25 year old athlete.
     
  19. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Well, 36 linear inches on its own doesn't really work. I could carry on a box that's 30" × 4" × 2" but there's no way it's going to fit under a seat.
     
  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    My sense is that a mountain is being made out of a molehill...
     
  21. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Yep.
     
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  22. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    Of course the linear inch rule can be abused, but the 10 inch dimension is too small for almost all laptop carrying satchels.
     
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  23. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    I hope you are right.
     
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  24. The Boat
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    The Boat Gold Member

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    I use an LL Bean backpack to hold my 13" laptop, but with it in, there is still enough space, so I'm sure a 15" could make it work.
     
  25. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    This all sounds bad but I really don't know how anyone uses a 15 inch laptop on a plane unless your in business or first. The seats are so close to together in coach and add in the recliners and there is really very little room to use one. I always just rely on my ipad and pack my laptop into my carry-on that is stowed.
     
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