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ValerieM Apr 29th, 2006 12:37 AM

Question Concerning Luggage Restrictions
I'm going to be visiting Europe during the summer, and was wondering how strict the airlines are about luggage dimensions. I'm flying British Airways, and on their site they list the carry-on allowance as being 22"x16"x8". I want to purchase the Rick Steve's Carry-On Convertible, whose dimensions are 21"x14"x9". I don't want to check anything, and so I'm curious about how closely they scrutinize the size of one's luggage.

I've searched this site for a while, trying to find something on this particular topic, but haven't come across it. Thanks very much!

alanRow Apr 29th, 2006 12:41 AM

Jujst don't fill it solid - and given BA's carryon weight limits it's not recommended you even try

jody Apr 29th, 2006 01:49 AM

it's not the size that matters so much to BA but the weight ..13 pounds is the limit. And , at least in Orlando, they will weigh it, if they suspect it's heavier.Find the lightest bag you can. Mine is a Le Sportsac and weighs just 2 ounces so I can get a lot of stuff in and still make the weight.

fun4all4 Apr 29th, 2006 03:26 AM

The others are correct....weight is more of an issue than exact dimensions. I have the Rick Steves' roller bag and have carried it on, however, when we flew BA in December out of Dulles, I did not even try to carry it on. I checked it and carried on a backback. I will say that I did see some people with bags that not only looked borderline large, but also seemed on the heavy side (maybe they don't always weigh depending on where you are flying from?)Also, long intercontinental flights like US to Europe sometimes seem to be more lenient while the intraEurope flights, especially on the more budget airlines, seem to be very strict.

I don't mean to imply that dimensions are not important - it is just that that bag should be ok as it is "approved carry-on" size. When we flew Air France last year, they were very strict about having everyone place their bag inside a model space...if it didn't fit inside, then they promptly took the bag to be checked.

Anyway, the bag should be fine size-wise, but you may need to be flexible about checking. I will say that I hate to check, but truly had no trouble getting my bag quickly from BA in London.

I hope this helps and happy travels!

hopscotch Apr 29th, 2006 03:30 AM

The 8" dimension is the critical one. The openings to the overhead bins usually limit the max thickness to 8" or 9" depending on the plane.

jody Apr 29th, 2006 04:57 AM

It also depends on which class you are flying.
World Traveler- 13 lbs
World Traveler Plus- 26 lb
Club World or 1st Cl- 40 lbs

But the same dimensions apply

DeborahAnn Apr 29th, 2006 05:53 AM

Wouldn't it make sense for Valerie to at least try to carry it on the plane rather than ticket counter check it immediately? That way you know it will get on the plane because it was gate checked? If it is the backpack convertible without wheels you shouldn't have a problem. I've been able to take mine on board with me when they were telling others they couldn't. Deborah

janisj Apr 29th, 2006 06:34 AM

I pack light - always in a 21 inch or smaller bag (I mostly use a 19 inch travelpro). But w/ BA and Virgin I just know I'll have to check it so make sure all my flight-essential items are in my handbag or a small tote.

That size a bag will usually be weighed and if you get to the desk and it is too heavy (which it will be if it is your only piece of luggage) what are you going to do w/ the things you want w/ you?

Funny thing - If one had more luggage - like a 28 incher plus a 21" they would be less likely to weigh it. But when it is your only bag they will be 99% sure it weighs more than 6 kilo.

That Rick Steves bag is "carry-on-able" on most airlines but not usually on BA/VS in coach.

suze Apr 29th, 2006 09:15 AM

British Air is strict with their 13 lb weight limit in my experience, more than exact size. Use your bathroom scale at home and see if you can really pack that light. Especially since your suitcase weighs something, that doesn't allow you to carry very much.

I would rather know ahead of time if there was a chance I would be forced to check my luggage, because then I pack the two bags differently (what goes into the suitcase, and what goes in to a tote that I bring on the plane).

Again, assuming you are in coach, 13 lbs. is the limit, fairly strictly enforced.

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