Anyone who has traveled on a major airline has watched as a fellow passenger tried to store an over-stuffed carry-on bag into the overhead bin. These sightings are now becoming a thing of the past as most major airlines crack down on what is, and is not, allowable carry-on luggage.
This year, a number of major airlines have installed new airline bag sizer in airports, and introduced policies that restrict and/or reduce the size of previously acceptable carry-on luggage. The airlines have also increased their enforcement of the rules.
Travelers who are already fed up with airline fees, ranging from checked baggage and seat selection to priority boarding and refreshments, believe the restrictions are, and enforcement is, just another way for the airlines to grab more money. If the carry-on bag doesn’t fit, the airline earns more profit when you have to check it.
The airlines counter that the more stringent guidelines increase boarding efficiency, improve takeoff and arrival times, and provide greater safety in the airplane cabin.
As the holiday travel season approaches, airline travelers should know that there really is no standardized, guaranteed, carry-on bag.
Our best advice is to check with your airline prior to your next flight. Also keep in mind that if you are travelling on multiple airline carriers to your destination, a carry-on bag might be acceptable on the first airline, but not be acceptable on the next airline, meaning you may have to check your bag and pay a fee!
The weight of your carry-on bag matters too
Travelers will be familiar with the warning about items in the overhead bins that may shift during flight but don’t always give the warning ample consideration. Passengers can, and do get hurt when this occurs. A hand-held weight scale is a critical travel accessory to own and is useful during packing.
Is this confusing? Absolutely.
To help Ottawa fliers comply, Capital City Luggage (map) has a baggage sizing device inside the store, available to anyone who wants to see if a suitcase conforms to the new regulations. You can’t discount the wheels by the way because they gobble up sizing space and will be included in the measurement.
Travel today is stressful enough with long lines and often extended airport wait times. To avoid surprises, be familiar with your airline carry-on size and weight restrictions. You might end up having to pack a little smarter to avoid getting hit with extra baggage fees for luggage deemed to be oversize or overweight.