It is better to travel with only a carry-on bag rather than a large, checked suitcase. So says Rick Seaney, the CEO of FareCompare, although one of his employees did not agree. In an article published by ABC news, Mr. Seaney also discusses whether it is better to use a bag with wheels or a non-wheeled one. Here are highlights…
Why Take a Carry-on
A quick refresher on reasons to use a carry-on no matter where or when you fly.
Save on bag fees: Most airlines let you use a carry-on for free. The exceptions are Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit, and in the case of Spirit it’s actually cheaper to check a bag.
Saves time: I love heading straight out the door after a flight; I’m first in line for a taxi plus I’m not part of the depressing scene at the baggage carousel where gaggles of exhausted passengers wait for luggage. And wait and wait.
Which Carry-on is Best
I use a wheelie; mine’s a structured, fabric bag (they also come hard-sided) with two wheels on the bottom, retractable handle up top. Depending on where I’m going, I use a small-ish one or a slightly bigger bag because airline size guidelines vary but standard carry-on dimensions for domestic flights are typically 22″ long x 14″ wide x 9″ tall. Note: Measure a bag before purchasing (and include the wheels in measurements) to be sure it meets guidelines which you can find on airline websites under ‘baggage’. If you fly internationally, check those sizes too.
Others prefer to go wheel-less with backpacks or a soft, unstructured fabric or nylon carry-alls that usually come with a shoulder strap. These can range from an L.L. Bean medium duffle ($44.95) to a Brooks Brothers ‘Crocodile Weekender’ ($15,000). The convert employee I mentioned earlier uses what she describes as a “ratty old nylon gym bag” and says it no longer smells like socks.
Wheels are better: The pro-wheels arguments.
• Cheap: As noted, you’ll save the $50 checked-bag fee on most airlines. • Painless: It can save you from aches and pains in your back and/or arms. • Roomy: The fairly sizable footprint of these bags means you can pack more and clothes emerge with fewer wrinkles. • Maneuverability: Great on most surfaces, especially bags with spinner-type wheels that can help make sprints through the airport a little easier.
No wheels are better: The no-wheels arguments.
• Even Cheaper: Airlines that do charge for carriers usually allow a small bag onboard for free if it can fit under the seat. The squash-ability factor of some no-wheels bags can come in handy here. • Staying Power: Bin space fills up fast and airlines are increasingly vigilant about over-sized carry-ons; if you go over the limit (or the gate agent thinks you have) your bag may be taken from you and placed in cargo. This is less likely to happen with a smaller no-wheel bag. • Restroom-Friendly: Some find no-wheels bags are actually easier to maneuver, especially into tight spaces like a bathroom stall.
L.L. Bean Medium Duffel Bag
(click image for details)
To read the complete article online, please go to: http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/wheels-wheels-great-carry-bag-debate/story?id=24903481
George Hobica, the founder of AirfareWatchdog.com is a veteran traveler, but even he ran into trouble regarding his carry-on luggage and almost missed his plane as a result. Here is a report by Ric Romero on ABC7 with the story…
Just before boarding a recent American Airlines flight, Hobica was told he couldn’t take his carry-on luggage on board, even though he had carried the same bag on the same airline many times before.
“I was rejected. I was sent back to the check-in line because one dimension was 1 inch over the limit,” Hobica said.
With rules varying among different airlines, experts recommend checking with companies on their carry-on bag restrictions before flying. Most allow travelers to bring on free carry-on bags, but mistaking the size can be a hit to the wallet.
For Hobica, he nearly missed his flight because he had to return to the ticket counter.
Mark Stern of Savinar Luggage in Canoga Park, a company that’s been selling luggage for nearly 100 years, said the different carry-on rules can be downright mind-boggling for travelers.
“The airlines are making it very confusing,” Stern said. “Then you get the situation where a customer comes in our store and they say ‘I had no problem carrying my bag on the way up. It was the same exact plane on the way back and then they stopped me.’”
On American Airlines, U.S. Airways, Delta Airlines and United Airlines, the carry-on bag dimensions can’t exceed 45 inches – that’s the total of the length, width and height.
On Southwest Airlines and JetBlue, bags are restricted to 50 inches. Alaska Air is even more generous, allowing bags up to 51 inches.
But a 50-inch carry-on bag could cost an extra $150 each way on even a relatively short flight if two full size suitcases have already been checked in.
To see the complete article online, please go to: http://abc7.com/travel/whats-the-right-size-for-carry-on-bags/245607/
The problem is not that the rules for luggage size have changed, but rather than airlines are becoming more strict about enforcing the rules that have been in place for quite some time.
At the time of this publication, Southwest Airlines has one of the most liberal policies regarding hand luggage. They allow two carry-on bags free per person, and there size limits are larger than most of their competitors.
Just because you were able to sneak your slightly-oversize carry-on bag onto the plane and jam it into the overhead bin on your last flight, that does not mean they will let you get away with it next time around.
Airlines are getting fed up with passengers taking advantage of their desire to keep customers happy and wasting time as they struggle to shove luggage that is larger than overhead bins can easily accommodate. So says Bill Gephardt in an article recently published by the Examiner. Here are some highlights:
“I have noticed a lot of oversized carry-ons,” said traveler Brian Kehoe.
He is not the only one who has noticed what people are trying to cram into overhead bins lately.
“I saw somebody try to get their child seat on,” said another traveler, Martin Palmer. “This thing was massive. It didn’t even come close (to fitting).”
Then there’s the frustration of waiting behind a fellow traveler while they squeeze an impossibly large pack into a bin.
“They had to lift it up this high, and really shove it, and then they had to bring it down,” said traveler Lynn Hart. “There wasn’t enough space. It was just bad.”
Several airlines are taking a harder line with carry-on abusers. United Airlines installed new bag-sizing boxes at most airports, including Salt Lake International Airport. If a passenger’s carry-on doesn’t fit, they could end up paying to have it checked.
“I’ve noticed a lot lately, when traveling a little bit more this summer, a lot of people are getting rejected and having (bags) loaded from the gate,” Palmer said.
Delta Airlines also added sizing boxes. A ticketing agent said they’ve stepped up their watch for oversized bags.
Frontier Airlines started charging passengers $25 to $50 for the privilege of storing stuff overhead. The airlines insist it’s all about avoiding delays and ensuring all passengers have space left for them.
Not all passengers buy that, and some think the airline is just trying to make more money.
One of Deborah Taylor’s carry-ons got rejected. Although she packed it with pottery she bought in Europe, it got sent to “under the plane.”
“Everyone tries to save money and carry luggage on,” she said. “We’re all kind of doing it, so we don’t have to pay to keep your luggage under the plane.”
The airlines have different limits on what they allow.
A bag measuring 22 x 14 x 9 inches deep can be carried onto a Delta, American, or United flight. Others carriers allow a few more inches.
So, it might pay to check an airline’s website for baggage limits and measure carry-on bags before heading to the airport.
To read the complete article online, please go to http://www.examiner.net/article/20140801/News/308019986#ixzz39Fxeupgz
This traveler once suffered a lost checked bag in India and had to endure three days in Calcutta with only the contents of my carry-on bag. A valuable lesson on what to pack where. If you are going to check a bag, here are some tips on preventing is from getting lost, and getting it back should it not be readily found.
1- Check in early
Baggage handlers may not feel the same sense of urgency as the bag owner for getting late bags on a flight. Having the check-in processes completed and baggage in the pipeline at least 45 minutes before the flight departure time is recommended.
2- Check the destination tags
Travelers should take responsibility to double-check that the correct destination tags get placed on their luggage. The airport codes used on the tags are also shown on the ticket. Old tags and stickers are to be removed before bags are checked to avoid confusion.
3- Enclosing an itinerary indicates luggage destination
Airlines officials will sometimes open a bag to try to identify the owner. There should be a clearly visible itinerary inside the bag indicating its final destination.
4- Make luggage easily identifiable
Luggage that stands out in the crowd are more likely to get where they need to be and less likely to be accidentally taken off the carousel by someone that owns a similar looking bag. Marking a bag can be as easy as adding a tassel, decal, unique strap or colorful tape.
5- Avoid short layovers
When travelers change planes, so does their luggage. Less time between flights means less time for baggage handlers to sort and reroute luggage. A delayed first leg will make that transfer even less likely. Layovers of less than hour should be avoided and longer with international flights. Changing airlines during a layover increases the problem so stick with one carrier.
6- Ship luggage instead of checking
Shipping luggage UPS, FedEx or U.S. Postal service is something to consider. Loss rates are much lower with these services and considering the fees airlines charge for checked bags (especially overweight or oversized), shipping may even save money. Ship at least five days ahead and make arrangements for storage at the bags final destination.
7- Add Okoban tracker tags to all luggage items
When luggage does get lost, Okoban tracker tags greatly increase the likelihood that they will be returned in a timely manner.
“Lost” luggage does not actually vanish; “lost” luggage is virtually always found by someone. Lost luggage usually occurs when the finders, usually airline personnel, have no easy way to identify and contact the owner quickly. Okoban® tracker tags from http://www.mystufflostandfound.com connect finders with owners quickly, securely and privately, anywhere in the world.
When Seth Kugel, Frugal Travel writer for the New York Times went out shopping for a new carry-on bag, he decided to share the results of his search with his readers. Here are highlights of his findings:
My pricing sweet spot was at about $150. You can find plenty of bags for under $100, but most are blatantly shabby. That may be fine for infrequent travelers or those whose luggage travels exclusively by taxi and elevator, not city streets and stairways. Above $200, things begin to get unnecessarily stylish for my needs, or the needs of any traveler who wants to blend in at hostels or on buses (though I could hardly tear myself away from the Tumi section at Macy’s).
Instead of wading into different standards for domestic and international carriers, I wanted something that worked everywhere, which means a maximum length of 21 inches and a linear total of 45 inches (that is, length plus width plus depth).
A sturdy handle was a top priority. I lift up the whole suitcase with it even when it’s telescoped all the way out. You’re not supposed to do that, but I’m not going to stop.
The lighter the better. I travel with books and electronic equipment, and need every last ounce.
The appeal of spinner wheels is lost on me. I get that they make the bag easier to maneuver on airport floors, but I can’t see them bouncing along rutted sidewalks very smoothly, at least in their low-end versions. If I ever enter a figure-skating-with-luggage competition, I’ll give in, but for now, it’s old-fashioned bulky two-wheeled rollers.
I liked the idea of hard-shell carry-ons, and if I traveled on (real) business, I’d probably get one: the two shallow compartments look perfect for ironed shirts and fine shoes, but not the bulky items I sometimes carry: hiking shoes and a telephoto lens that needs to be wrapped in layers of T-shirts. (I lost the case, O.K.?)
Between soft-sided regular suitcases and wheeled duffels, I thought I’d definitely want the standard look. But aesthetically, I was torn: the suitcases in my range — lower-end models from dependable brands like Samsonite and TravelPro — were squatter and uglier than the one I was replacing. And the duffels looked better than I thought they would. I was torn …
… But with the duffels, I definitely didn’t want to give up space for hidden backstraps. That’s a younger traveler’s game.
And the winner: REI Wheely Beast 21-inch wheeled duffel, $149.
I wasn’t going to go for the duffel, I really wasn’t. But it had everything I wanted and still managed to look good, and in just the shape I wanted. It has a big, deep main pocket — no divisions, although there are two small interior pockets and one huge mesh one under the top flap (my new underwear drawer!). There’s an exterior one, too, for easy access, and a pocket underneath that is perfect for papers or tablets (but not big enough for a laptop, fine with me since I carry a small bike messenger bag for that).
To read the complete article, please go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/travel/hunting-for-the-best-carry-on-bag.html?_r=0
A very timely article has just been published to help consumers buy luggage. Whether it is a 22-inch carry-on bag you are looking for or a larger piece of checked luggage, there are important considerations to keep in mind. For example, did you realize that in some countries, taxis may have trunks that are too small to hold some large suitcases? Here are more things to consider, as reported in The Vancouver Sun by Joanne Sasvari:
Think small and light
The bigger the bag, the more you’ll be tempted to pack and the more likely you are to incur outrageous overweight charges. Remember, too, that while aviation authorities may approve certain sizes for carry-on luggage, the actual amount of space on the airplane itself may be quite a bit smaller. Also, taxis overseas tend to be much smaller than in North America, and your 29-inch spinner simply might not fit into the trunk of that tiny Fiat. Go smaller than you think you’ll need, and chances are it’ll be just the right size.
The downside of buying cheap, lightweight bags is that they can often be flimsy, poorly constructed and unable to withstand the duress of modern travel. Hard-sided bags tend to be more durable, but more limiting. If you prefer a soft-sided bag, look for a hardy nylon material, preferably waterproof, with taped seams to reinforce the zippers and piping or welts to protect the corners on the outside of the bag. Also look for fibreglass frames, which are both tough and lightweight.
In addition: Make sure the handle is sturdy, firmly attached, the right height for you, and that it feels good in your hand. Shoulder straps for duffels, backpacks and garment bags should be wide, padded and reinforced where they are attached to the bag. Wheels should roll smoothly, be spaced as widely apart as possible and, ideally, be recessed into the frame of the bag so they are somewhat protected.
Lock it up
Do not even consider checking a bag without a lock. It’ll protect your stuff from thieves, but also keep your bag from popping open mid-transit. And that includes your carry-on — more and more, travellers are expected to check carry-on and laptop bags at the gate, and you simply don’t want to leave your valuables vulnerable to temptation or bad luck. Make sure your lock is TSA-approved, which means if border guards need to inspect your bag’s contents, they can relock it instead of breaking off the lock and leaving you vulnerable to pilfering.
To read the full story online please visit: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Buying+your/9741907/story.html
If you are interested in shopping online for top-rated luggage that is sale priced here is your link: Sale Priced Luggage Online
A recent survey revealed that nearly one out of every four airline passengers has been caught bringing an oversize suitcase into the cabin of an airplane and has had to pay an extra fee as a result. But with different airlines having different maximum sizes for the carry-on bags they allow, it is no wonder travelers get confused.
There is no standard size required by any international air travel regulatory board. Rather, it is up to each airline to set their own limits and restrictions for how large a suitcase you may bring aboard and stow in the overhead compartment or beneath your seat.
Here are some of the sizes and weights permitted by some of the most popular airlines:
Air France: 55 x 35 x 25 cm and 12 kg.
British Airways: 56 x 25 x 45 cm and 23 kg.
Lufthansa: 55 x 40 x 23 cm and 8 kg.
Ryanair: 55 x 40 x 20 cm and 10 kg.
KLM: 55 x 25 x 35 cm and 12 kg.
Here is more information about various European airlines and the sizes and weights of cabin baggage they permit at no extra cost, as reported recently by Travelmole.com.
Easyjet passengers get the tiniest guaranteed cabin bag allowance, although the low-cost airline imposes no weight restriction, while Thomas Cook limits passengers’ carry-on bags to no more than 5kg.
Iberia is the most generous airline, permitting passengers to board with bags as large as 56x45x25, closely followed by British Airways which allows hand luggage weighing up to 23kgs.
In an effort to provide some clarity to customers, and reduce the number of passengers being forced to pay tocheck in over-sized hand-luggage, Skyscanner has created the following guide to cabin baggage restrictions on leading European airlines:
If you would like to see a list of 18 airlines and the maximum size and weight they allow for carry-on luggage, please visit: http://www.travelmole.com/news_feature.php?news_id=2010696&c=setreg®ion=2
It is becoming harder for airline passengers to get away with bringing too-large carry-on suitcases aboard for free. The major carriers have started to enforce their rules more seriously. The first one to strengthen their resolve about bag sizes is United Airlines. They have just put in new tools for judging whether or not carry-on luggage is oversize or allowed within their rules.The rules themselves have not changed, but what is new is how airlines are enforcing the existing regulations. If your baggage is too big, the odds have become greater that you will be sent back to the check-in area, where you’re going to have to pay a fee.
Besides their new inspection equipment at the boarding gates, United Airlines has also sent an email message to their frequent flyers, reminding them what their rules are regarding the size of carry-on luggage.
Here are more details as reported by Travel Mole:
According to an internal newsletter, it is a “renewed focus on carry-on compliance.”
The airline’s passengers are allowed to take one bag aboard measuring no more than 9 inches by 14 inches by 22 inches, along with an additional small item such as a laptop bag or purse.
United’s long-standing policy has been to allow oversized bags to be checked-in for free, but now anyone stopped at security with bulky luggage will be sent back to the ticket counter to check the bag for a $25 fee.
United said it hopes to speed up the boarding process and ultimately, the time an aircraft spends on the tarmac.
However many travelers believe it is simply an excuse to generate more revenue.
Earlier this year United’s chief revenue officer Jim Compton said the carrier was hoping to get an extra $700 million in ancillary fees over the next four years.
To read the complete article online, please click here.
One of the most clever 22-inch carry-on bags we have seen lately is the new Genius Packer 22″ Carry On that comes with a mobile charger. It comes with a battery pack for recharging mobile devices. Another very hand feature is its patent-pending Laundry Compression Technology. Click here for details about the Genius Packer 22″.
We are always on the lookout for the largest carry on tote allowable by airline size rules, and we are pleased to have found what looks like a very good one.
The fliegerduffel adventure bag from Maxpedition has an overall size of 22x14x9 inches. 22 by 14 by 9-in is also the largest size carry on luggage permitted by many airlines. Dimensions total 45 linear inches. The main compartment is approximately 21 x 13 x 8 inches and has a tie down strap. There is a top exterior pocket that measures 10 x 6 inches. There are also two internal mesh pockets measuring 10 x 5 x 2 inches. Rounding it out are two external slip pockets that are 14 x 4 inches.
You can buy it online through Amazon at a sale price of $123.40, marked down from the regular retail price of $155.99.
Here is a review of the suitcase posted on the Amazon website by Bradley Fogle: This is an incredible bag that has served me well as a constantly deploying Airman. I purchased this bag due to my need for a tactical carry-on bag to use when traveling. I have been pleasantly surprised by the versatility of this bag and its ability to withstand all types of abuse. This bag has now been on trips to and from Iraq, training trips, and general use. It has survived superbly through all manner of over-stuffing!
My primary reason for purchasing this size of bag was to fall within FAA carry-on sizing. No other bag that I’ve seen gives you the maximum possible space with minimum fuss. The open expanse of the bag’s interior allows you to pack enough gear to last 72 hours or more. There is ample space to put an entire uniform with boots inside the bag and have room left over for your laptop and extra personal items. Even when completely stuffed to the point of being hard to zip close, the bag STILL fits into overhead luggage compartments on small commuter jets. When traveling, I often unzip just one end of the bag to access my laptop and travel accessories that I put into one of the mesh pockets. The design of the bag allows you to have it completely open for packing, then minimally open for when you are traveling and want to get at things.
The bag is designed with a completely open interior. This allows you to pack and organize as you wish. The top of the bag unzips across the front, sides, and 1/4 around the back on each end. This lets you open either end partly when the buckles are connected. On each end of the lid are “cheek pockets” that are mesh enclosed. These pockets are great for putting in small items, electronics, and underwear, socks, or other small clothing items. The ability of opening these ends during travel make these pockets great for small electronics that you want to access while traveling. The front, back, and top of the bag have slip compartments. I’ve used these compartments for books and other items that can slip into them. The back/bottom of the bag has a large, zippered slip compartment. This is also where the stowaway backpack straps go when they are stowed. I’ve used the compartment for quick storage of magazines while traveling. The bag comes with a robust sling strap that attaches to rings on the ends of the bag. Fully loaded, I’ve felt that the bag is easier to carry with the backpack straps. But the sling strap is built well enough, and has nice padding, for when I just want to shoulder the bag. There is a neoprene padded top handle, and reinforced handles at each end of the bag that make it easily handled during any use. For those of us that use Molle webbing, the bag has numerous places that additional pouches can be added to.
To summarize, this is the best traveler bag ever. Its ability to fit into overhead airline compartments when completely filled is its best testament. The bag can be purchased in a low key Black, Tan or Foliage Green, or be completely tactical in an ACU print or OD Green. If you travel constantly and hate the confining compartments of backpacks, this is your relief!
Although some veteran travelers say that 22 inch carry on luggage bags are best, I disagree to some extent. Just as there is no one best airline to serve all of your travel needs, there is no one best carry on suitcase in my opinion. If I were going back to India for another two-week business trip, I would select a different kind of carry on bag than if I were flying to San Francisco to visit my sister. What difference does it make? Well, for starters, the biggest difference is whether or not I am also going to have checked baggage, and how severely it would impact my trip if it were to get lost.
Being stranded in Mumbai among strangers for two weeks without luggage is much different than being in San Francisco with my sister without luggage. Do you follow my drift?
Now that more and more airlines are starting to charge you to check any luggage, I am thinking that I’m going to travel less with checked bags and rely more on having only a carry on suitcase. That being the case, a 22-inch carry on bag is the largest size permitted inside an aircraft cabin by most of the major airlines. Although a rolling bag with wheels and a telescoping handle adds weight and might not be allowed in some of the smaller aircraft used on regional routes, it sure is nice being able to roll it through the airport and not having to tote it. Again, that is my personal preference. If you are a young, healthy back packer kind of a guy or gal then you may feel differently, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion when it comes to what to pack and what to pack it in.
If you do decide to put most of your clothing into a carry on bag, I can personally vouch for the pack-it organizers from the Eagle Creek company. Their 15-inch one not only easily holds seven or eight shirts, but it compresses them into a compact package that takes up much less of the precious space in your suitcase. I also use one of their smaller organizers for underwear and socks.
Finally, I want to mention the Rick Steeves 21-inch roll aboard suitcase that is available now from Amazon for less than $85. Don’t let the 21-inch name fool you. This suitcase is actually much larger. As a matter of fact, it’s actually a bit larger than some stingy airlines will let you carry aboard. Some of the reviews are very positive, while others feel the size discrepancy is misleading, so be forewarned. It also comes with an enclosed laundry bag, which is a nice surprise.