American, Delta, and United just reduced size limits for carry-on bags. Will yours fit?

Photo: Reuters.

Photo: Reuters.

If you're planning to fly on American, Delta, or United, and carry a piece of luggage on board, better check the size. All three airlines have announced plans to reduce the acceptable maximum size to 22 inches long, 14 inches wide, 9 inches high.

JetBlue, Southwest, and other domestic carriers still permit bigger carry-ons up to most 24 inches long, 16 inches wide and 10 inches high.

George Hobica of wrote about details the new limitations here:

Just before actually getting to the TSA agent's podium, a red-jacketed person (who I believe was hired by American Airlines as a subcontractor but not an actual employee) insisted that I put my suitcase in a bag sizer. Keep in mind that I was flying in business class, and that I've taken this same 21-inch four-wheeled suitcase all around the world on almost every major airline and quite a few not-so-major ones.

To make a long story short, it was rejected as "too big." What I didn't realize, because it's never been an issue before, is that American (as well as Delta and United) has updated their carry-on bag policies, including a 14-inch maximum width, and my Rimowa is 15 inches wide, as are many carry-ons. Even though it's an inch shorter than the 22-inch length limit, and an inch below the official 9-inch depth limit, back to check-in, I went. And the line was so long, I almost missed my flight. I was then told that this is a new "FAA regulation," a questionable claim given that not all airlines have the same allowances.

Hobica suggests three wheeled carry-on models that meet all US airline size limits:
Briggs and Riley U122CX Baseline
Travelpro Platinum Magna 21"
CalPak Valley 20-Inch Carry-On Spinner.

Read the rest here: "Don't get grounded by new carry-on size limits" [USA Today, via LA Times]

Notable Replies

  1. Our next 2000 mile vacation is by car. Take that, airlines!

  2. xzzy says:

    CEOs for luggage companies everywhere suddenly got the urge to rub their palms together and cackle, and aren't quite sure why.

  3. The weird thing is, it's not like they're making the overhead bins smaller. If they fit before on a 737, they'll fit now. This is pure dickery as far as I can tell, forcing more people to check bags for $35 a pop or whatever it is now.

    That said, I don't mind a little more frontloaded enforcement of the carryon bag size limits. I hate that guy in row 11 who needs 10 minutes to shove his bulging carryon into the overhead bin.

  4. That almost sounds like the old "official" dimensions... Ever notice the go/no-go bag jig that still sat at the entrance to most ticketing areas -- it is much smaller than the average carry-on.

  5. I look forward to 2025 when the class-action price-fixing suit will be settled, and we will all be eligible for a credit of $5.05 on our next flight.

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