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When is a carry-on not a carry-on?
Old 12-02-2009, 04:01 PM   #1
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When is a carry-on not a carry-on?

Just back from a trip to the left coast. Despite the holiday rush, the flights went OK most of the way. But when we boarded at SFO to return home, Delta decided to do carry-on size checks on random passengers just as you were boarding (even after the boarding pass was checked at the ramp). They stuck the bag in their "size checker" gizmo and mine, DW's and everyone else I saw checked was over-sized by their definition. It was not overstuffed and in fact the outside zipper compartments were empty. I've carried on that roller a hundred times without a hitch until now.

So, with no opportunity to rearrange contents or grap the occasional valuable (like electronics), they made us gate-check the bag right there. (The bag never made it to Tampa last night, and had to be delivered to our home today.)

The bag checker gizmo is 22" x 14" x 9" - that's small. Really small, only enough for a few sundries and maybe one night's worth of stuff. I try hard to avoid checking a bag if I can.

I'm betting this is just a temporary enforcement effort to tone down the really overstuffed "carry on bags" that some passengers take. Not gonna run out and replace my luggage just yet. Anyone else been caught?
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:21 PM   #2
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Rich, one of my pet hates are travellers who take 4 different pieces of carry on and I am glad to see that for once an airline is enforcing the rules. Ever since airlines started charging for checked bags, people have started taking ridiculous amounts as carry on, which slows down the boarding and it's a pain if you are one of the last to board as good luck with finding somewhere to put your stuff.

I never travel with carry on, I always check my bag mainly because I always take too much stuff with me and I can't stand lugging it around with me.

However, I wish airlines were not so arbitrary, if they are going to enforce the rule they need to be consist on all flights with all passengers. Carry on dimensions are so small that your mind boggles when you see what people are dragging behind them as they come down the aisle. On my Virgin flight from LAX to SFO last month they were confiscating luggage at the gate from passengers and checking it, however when I went to baggage claim to get mine there were probably only 20 checked bags for the entire flight.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:21 PM   #3
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My suitcase is exactly 22" x 14" x 9" and it is very small, but I try to fit everything in it, even when I am gone for a couple of weeks. I have never had a problem with the bag checker gizmo in the US (as long as I don't overstuff the suitcase) but I have had problems in Europe because European airlines enforce the rules rather strictly and they not only check for size, they also check for weight there (22 lbs max for some airlines).
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:24 PM   #4
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things happening down your way doc?

Alaska has "A la Cart" for some of their puddle jumper flights - the carry-on gets checked before climbing the ramp. Really like it since you don't have to fight your way through the aisle and catch falling bags from the overhead. OTOH, the gal just had to replace her ZUCA bag when the aluminum frame was seriously tweaked by the handlers. (BTW - while I don't care for the ZUCA bag, ZUCA replaced it with new instantly after over a year of ownership - I was just trying to buy & replace the bent bits). Wonder if the planes have been getting too top heavy?
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:25 PM   #5
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Coming back from my daughter's wedding in October, the overhead bins filled up and the stewardess "confiscated" all carryons just as we stepped into the plane, except small ones that would fit under the seat. Mine was confiscated and it had my laptop in it, too.

But in the long run, I was glad. They checked it through to MSY. That way I didn't have to drag it through DFW at the speed of light due to my tight connection there, and my laptop was undamaged.

This was Southwest, so there were no charges for checked luggage - - just too many big carryons to fit in the overheads.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:37 PM   #6
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Was this guy on your flight? Maybe they had to put your bag on the next flight out....
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:46 PM   #7
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I wish I could remember where I saw this.... but one airport I went through they had a guard over the x-ray machine... it was the size of the carry on bag... if you could get your bag in the hole, you could carry it on..... if not, go back and check it in....

As others have said, I have seen people with suiters which can not fit in some of the smaller overheads... they stuff and stuff, and nothing... and then there is that expandable bag.. which is the carry on dimensions when you buy it, but expand to three times its size... and people wonder why it does not fit...

Airlines brought this on themselves when they started to charge for checked luggage... I used to check all but one bag... now, I will carry on everything if I can get away with it... also, choose one of the back rows so I make sure I got a spot... but I do not fly much anymore...
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:12 PM   #8
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22 x 14 x 9 is the size, and we each have one piece of luggage that conforms. Others are taking on larger luggage, so something has to be done. The overheads fill up, and this causes delays as people bring on their legitimate one piece, and there is no where to stow it. You have to be aware of the rules, and expect them to be enforced.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:13 PM   #9
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Was this guy on your flight?...
Not this time but a lady a few rows up required a seat belt extension. For your aviation education, that is the same prop they use when instructing you how to fasten your seat belt during the pre-departure speech.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:26 PM   #10
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Airlines brought this on themselves when they started to charge for checked luggage... I used to check all but one bag... now, I will carry on everything if I can get away with it... also, choose one of the back rows so I make sure I got a spot... but I do not fly much anymore...
Maybe airlines exaccerbated the situation with the charge for checking bags, but passengers were already busy being jerks long before that.

Traveling on business, I learned to make very sure my bag would fit under my seat if necessary. This meant a 22x14x9, not overstuffed, and figured I'd be eating my knees that flight. Most of the time I'd manage to find space in an overhead, but if I truly needed to have my bag with me I made sure it would fit under the seat and that I was prepared for the discomfort of having it there.

Once a flight attendant asked me to take my carry on out of the overhead and place it under my seat to make room for a pile-o-crap some folks had carried on that wouldn't fit under their seats. Sorry...... I can't do that. She just smiled and found some other way to deal with it.

The airlines should check every carry on bag for size and weight compliance without exception. Even if there is room on board, oversized bags should be either gate checked or sent to the garbage compactor.

BTW, I RE'd 40 months ago and haven't been on an airplane since! Can you tell I got tired of it?
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:30 PM   #11
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Last flight we had in October was on Delta and people were carrying huge bags on to avoid the bag penalty . It slowed down boarding considerably plus everyone who had a carry on ( Smaller bag ) had to place it under their seat . I am glad they are finally doing something but sorry that you had to lose your luggage . I really wish they would lose the bag fee and return to sanity .
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:53 PM   #12
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I really wish they would lose the bag fee and return to sanity .

All they need to do is go on an enforcement blitz for carry on compliance (which they needed to do before the bag fee anyway) and sanity will return.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:53 PM   #13
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While we talk about bags.... what about the people who bring on 'junk'...

I remember one guy who brought on a bull skull... horns and all.. it would NOT fit in the overhead no matter how he tried...

Another time I open the bin to put my bag in... and a SKATEBOARD was taking up most of the space...

The last one I can remmber now is the guy with the ice chest of fish... again, to big for the overhead so it was taken away....
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:00 PM   #14
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While we talk about bags.... what about the people who bring on 'junk'...

I remember one guy who brought on a bull skull... horns and all.. it would NOT fit in the overhead no matter how he tried...

Another time I open the bin to put my bag in... and a SKATEBOARD was taking up most of the space...

The last one I can remmber now is the guy with the ice chest of fish... again, to big for the overhead so it was taken away....
So....... you too are enjoying your reprieve from the rigors of air travel?
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:06 PM   #15
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While we talk about bags....
Bags? Igor knows how to handle bags... (0:35 in)

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Old 12-02-2009, 06:16 PM   #16
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I only travel by air a couple of times a year and always for personal reasons. I detest waiting for checked bags so I carry a small backpack type purse and a roomy zippered leather tote that slips under the seat. I keep clothes at my place in FL so that's no problem for my Christmas/New Year's visit and my other trips usually involve staying at least partly with family who have laundry facilities. The only exception is if I go to NYC for 3 or 4 days and I manage to get by if I pack judiciously.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:21 PM   #17
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A lesson learned a few years ago is that the standard size we are allowed for domestic carry ons is too large for overseas travel. If you travel on Lufthansa, Air France, etc., they are manic about bag size and weight. When you check in, you get a tag that says "Cabin Luggage" - after they measure and weigh your bag. We bough a really small roll on for international travel - 20" x 13" x 9" - and it seems to work just fine. Last flight we were on two of our friends tried to use standard US sized carry ons - they ended up having to pay for a 3rd piece of checked luggage - not cheap. But I was allowed to also carry my small netbook in its case as an additional piece.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:35 PM   #18
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22" is rather large. I have a large 21" which won't fit on a regional jet. I use a 20" most times.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:38 PM   #19
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For the first time since the airlines started charging for checked luggage, I had a larger bag I planned to check the last time I flew. Each way, the automated check in machine offered me a $90 upgrade to first class when I selected the "bags to check" option (or really $70 each way since I would have had to pay $20 each way for the bag). I admit I took the upgrade--was that wrong?
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:49 PM   #20
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A lesson learned a few years ago is that the standard size we are allowed for domestic carry ons is too large for overseas travel. If you travel on Lufthansa, Air France, etc., they are manic about bag size and weight. When you check in, you get a tag that says "Cabin Luggage" - after they measure and weigh your bag. We bough a really small roll on for international travel - 20" x 13" x 9" - and it seems to work just fine. Last flight we were on two of our friends tried to use standard US sized carry ons - they ended up having to pay for a 3rd piece of checked luggage - not cheap. But I was allowed to also carry my small netbook in its case as an additional piece.
Good points. If you are checking bags anyway, as in a typical European trip, the roll-aboard is really just for odds and ends anyway. It's when the roll-aboard is your only "luggage" (say, for a 3 or 5 day stay) that problems arise.

What brand and models did you find best in that 20" style?
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