The New Thin Line Between Carry-On and Checked Bags

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Newscience, Aug 20, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    This article by WSJ travel columnist Scott McCartney is very timely. The major airlines are becoming increasingly rigid with carry-on baggage allowances. In a recent trip trip from LIH to PHX, a US gate agent very strictly required that all carry-on bags be measured for size compliance. My 22" Hartmann carry-on is ~22.3" where the wheel holders are attached to the bag. Result? Check that carry-on bag!

    The New Thin Line Between Carry-On and Checked Bags


    Confusing differences in how airlines measure luggage can create frustration for passengers checking in

    The Wall Street Journal
    Scott McCartney
    August 19, 2015

    Today’s riddle: When is 22 inches not 22 inches?
    On a plane.
    I’ve traveled for many years with a Travelpro 22-inch rollaboard bag. When one finally wore out, I replaced it with the same 22-inch rollaboard bag. Travelpro markets it as compliant with airline size limits, most of which restrict bags to 22 inches in length. The bag slides easily into most any overhead bin.
    But when British Airways had a sizing box at a gate for a recent flight and made all passengers put their bag in the box, mine didn’t fit and had to be checked. The same fate befell many bags on that flight.
    A few weeks later on an American Airlines flight leaving Phoenix, the same thing: Gate agents were telling passengers to put their carry-ons in the bag sizer as they headed for the plane. Many typical, well-traveled bags didn’t fit...

    Read the entire article at this link (if you don't subscribe to the WSJ, simply put the above headline in a search enginem and you will be able to read the entire article):

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-new-thin-line-between-carry-on-and-checked-bags-1440002110?tesla=y
     
  2. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Maybe we'll start seeing bag vendors quit fibbing about their dimensions? That'd be welcome.
     
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  3. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    On the other hand what are the exact dimensions of the bag sizer? The Airline could be lying too!
     
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  4. othermike27

    othermike27 Silver Member

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    I have checked a couple UA bag sizers, and they seem to be more generous in all three dimensions than what UA states as the limit.
     
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  5. Laptop Nomad

    Laptop Nomad Silver Member

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    I am surprised the travelpro did't fit. BA has a 15" wide for the carry-on bag. That being said travelpro does not count the wheels to the length of the bag. I bought a new bag last year, and the only two I found were B&R and Tumi included the wheels. So I got the B&R.
     
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  6. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    +1! :)
     
  7. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    True. On a flight on a BA metal, I had the unfortunate situation of transiting Terminal 5 at LHR. While leaving New York, my carry on was okay, but the connecting flight on a similar sized BA plane all of a sudden the carry on was not !! I stood my ground, they relented only because I was flying in front of the bus. Such are the twins BA & BAA :(
     
  8. pdgorman

    pdgorman New Member

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    I just had a run in with a horrible woman at UsAir gate over this. It isn't always true that your bag doesn't fit! They are just bullying customers. Here is my story... I had forgotten that my umbrella was shoved in the outside pocket of my carryon (this same bag has had Gestapo-style check done before and always fits in Usair sizer). Naturally, this protruding item prevented it from sliding into the sizer. I realized this and was pulling the bag back out to remove said umbrella and place it in my backpack when the nasty woman "Amanda" barks at me that it doesn't fit and I have to check it. I politely smiled and said, "I'm sorry. It is just my umbrella. Let me move it so it doesn't make my suitcase so wide. It will fit, I promise. I travel a ton on your airline with this bag." She then says, "No. I won't let you do that because I DON'T TRUST YOU not to move it back later!" Are you kidding me? Yes, Amanda, my life's work is tricking gate agents by my portable umbrella slight of hand. SMH. Aug 24, 2015 flight #626 out of Gate B6 "Amanda" is now the focus of my ire. Her supervisor "Sophia" came to my seat in First Class at the request of the flight attendant (who was wonderful and also had a run in with this horrible person who barked at her, too). While I do applaud Sophia's gentle voice and clearly well-developed skill for calming down passengers who fly a LOT with this airline and are mistreated anyway, I was non-plussed when she tried to blame the FAA. While they may watch to see if they are checking size at the gate, the airline is not responsible for passengers moving things in their bags once on the flight. (Which, when I pointed this out, she agreed was the case). So, the fact that there was some grave risk that I was a serial umbrella mover was not really the airline's concern. Also, her story that there is absolutely no way she can get my bag to measure it properly is bogus. The FAA requires that only bags with matching passengers are on the plane. So, I wanted to ask her "What happens if I just decide not to fly today? Will my bag be retrievable then?" I didn't, because I did want to fly today. And, I have to fly frequently and don't want to end up on some bogus list for calling USair on their BS lies. Honestly, I wouldn't care so much normally about checking a bag. But, flying into Phoenix in August means bags will be on a runway sweltering in 120+ heat for nearly an hour before you see it emerge, oozing melted expensive ruined products, onto the baggage claim. There is a reason I took THIS bag and forced myself to only pack essentials so it wouldn't be overstuffed on THIS flight. Gah!
     
  9. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Sorry to read this. FWIW, my experience in LIH was also on USAir. And the woman forcing the (many) carry-on bag to be checked on our flight could not be reasoned with. The story that was told by a gate agent was that USAir had been fined for allowing oversize carry-ons on an airplane. And when the "banned" carry-on was brought to the USDA folks (you've got to check your bags through them prior to TSA from HI to the mainland), the agents there said: "Oh, you must be flying with USAir!" :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015
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  10. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    Mrs. Gargoyle and I were shopping for rollerboards earlier this month at a big box store. I lined up 4 different brand 20" bags, the heights varied by about 2 inches. One brand had a 22" that was 1/4" shorter than another brands 20".
     
  11. pdgorman

    pdgorman New Member

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    Yes, I got that "we get fined and the FAA is watching us" story, too. She failed to understand this has nothing to do with me or any other passenger who is following all of the rules. My bag was NOT oversized, even by their "sizer" standard once I moved my umbrella. The complicated logic of the situation was too much for her, perhaps? LOL
     
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  12. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    Just yesterday I had a passenger scream at me in the station because I told him he had too many carry-on bags (5), all of which were enormous. I told him he would need to check at least two to his destination, and he informed me his destination did not offer checked baggage service for his train. I said he was ok then but that starting in October, excess baggage would be $20 per piece so he should consider shipping the excess if he wanted to avoid the fee. Bad call... apparently he "moves" back and forth on the train all the time. I was loudly informed he would no longer travel with us if he couldn't bring whatever he wanted for free.

    A few months back in PHX boarding flight 695 (MCO-CLT-PHX) a woman with a bag that was clearly too large was furious because the US agent wouldn't let her back on the plane. She had originated in CLT and I guess due to the longer layover in PHX they made everyone disembark. "If you hadn't made me get off I wouldn't be in this mess!" etc etc. She does have a point but just because one agent didn't notice and the next did doesn't mean she should get away with it (and the bag was definitely too big!) US does seem to be more observant of bags lately. I wonder if the FAA story is true?
     
  13. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Thanks for presenting another side of the story, timfrost!

    If you're ready for a laugh, take a look at this SNL skit to see what some passengers will bring on the plane as carry-ons (~1:20)! :D

    https://screen.yahoo.com/airport-090000680.html
     
  14. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    I change a lot, especially in Vegas where I shower sometimes 3x a day to get the smoke out of my hair. I always check a bag, and only carry on either a backpack or a rolling briefcase. Luckily I haven't ever experienced these types of issues, but the main problem is consistency.
     

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