Mark Nevelow isn’t worried about the new airline carry-on luggage standards everyone’s talking about.
That’s because he just spent $99 on a new, smaller bag, a MobilePro backpack that fits under his seat. “I heard about the proposal,” he says. “I’m not concerned. With this backpack, it won’t affect me.”
At least, not yet. The controversial new limits proposed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade group, set the maximum for luggage brought onboard at a slimmed-down 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches, significantly smaller than what’s now allowed on most planes.
Last week, after loud protests from several airlines, IATA backed down, saying it would “pause” the rollout of its voluntary “IATA Cabin OK” rule, which it claimed would give everyone an equal chance to store their carry-on bags on a large passenger jet. But don’t think for a moment that smaller luggage standards are dead.
“We can’t know for sure which luggage recommendations will become regulations,” says Michele Pittenger, president of the Travel Goods Association, which represents luggage manufacturers.
It’s probably only a matter of time before shrunken luggage becomes the norm. Even Pittenger admits that the current trend “is toward efficiency,” and a lot of times, that means going smaller. Bottom line: Either you need new luggage, or you’ll have to pack light.
For Arabella Bowen, the editor-in-chief of Fodor’s Travel, that means fitting everything into her Kate Spade Weekender (alas, no longer sold). But she recommends the Lipault 2-Wheeled 19″ Carry-On ($169; lipault-us.com), clocking in at 19 x 13 x 6 inches, which IATA would be OK with. It’s also soft-sided.
“Soft-sided bags have the advantage of fitting into overhead bins with a bit of massaging even when hard-backed roller bags can’t,” she says. “In a pinch, they can even slide under your seat.”
Samuel Nebel swears by the Aerolite luggage ($99) he discovered at a recent trade show, because it’s light, small and just an inch larger than the IATA standard, but still fits in the overhead bin of most large passenger aircraft. “It’s ridiculously functional,” says Nebel, who runs a health and beauty products company in Atlanta.
Of course, technique matters, too. It goes without saying that you’ll want to pack less, and smarter.
“Roll instead of folding and use nylon straps to cinch down bulging bags,” says Jonathan Deesing, a packing expert for imove.com. If you’re serious about squeezing more into less space, consider a luggage cube or a compression bag.
“Using these bags, I’ve compressed a week’s worth of clothing in a tiny duffle bag with room to spare,” he says.
It isn’t just how you pack, but what you take. Stay away from heavy fabrics like denim or linen, advises Rachel Grant, a TV host and frequent traveler. “Choose to pack clothes that are made from light fabrics, like silks, light cotton and polyester,” she adds. If you must bring a pair of favorite jeans, then wear them on the plane. . . .
Reason #5,289 not to rely on the fact that your luggage will be waiting for you at the end of your journey ~ Pack A Carry-On With All Necessities!! **DB
(Photo: British Airways)
Television executive Theano Apostolou was on a 10-day business trip from Los Angeles to London then Brussels and Glasgow when her luggage went missing on a British Airwaysflight from Brussels to Glasgow over the weekend.
By Monday morning her luggage had been lost for 53 hours and according to Apostolou the airline was unable to tell her if her bag even landed at Heathrow in the first place.
She isn’t alone. Since Thursday, thousands of pieces of luggage have been misplaced in the baggage system, causing travelers intense agitation.
“When we arrived in Glasgow, I would say that almost everyone who had checked luggage for this regional flight had their bags lost. There were attendants with long forms with our names waiting to tell us our bags hadn’t made it,” Apostolou said. “I’ve now wasted hundreds of dollars on essentials because I was only on day three of a ten-day business trip and have had to run like mad in between meetings to find stores that are still open.”
Checking into her hotel later that afternoon, Apostolou was informed by the receptionist that other guests had been plagued by the same problem and that many of them had not received their baggage by the time they checked out many days later.
According to the airline, the problem began on Thursday of last week when a technical failure knocked out the baggage processing system at Heathrow Airport.
Heathrow did not respond for comment.
“The situation has been as a result of an IT failure with Heathrow Airport’s baggage system in Terminal Five,” according to Euan Fordyce, a spokesman for British Airways. “The problem began on Thursday of last week, but there have been intermittent faults since then.”
The airline says that the system was back up and running on Monday, but they were still advising travelers to “carry essential items in their hand baggage as a precaution.”
I am preparing for my China trip, and I need to get 2 suitcases that are as close as possible to the maximum size (62 inches).
I’m not particular to brand or material, while budget is a factor.
So what are your experiences with luggage?
Any brands or types you particularly hate/loved? Looking for advice on ease of handling, packing, durability, price, etc.
I’ll write up a review on everything I’ve learned after I’ve made my choice 🙂
I can’t cover all of the airlines, but I think this should give you a good idea of the average free checked luggage allowances. Presumptions: flight from USA and on an economy ticket. You can also find this on the website.
|China Southern||20×40×55||1 Piece||11 lbs|
|American Airlines||35 inches; 45 inches||1 Personal item; 1 Carry On|
|United Airlines||9x14x22 inches; 9x10x17 inches||1 Carry On; 1 Personal Item|
|Delta Airlines||45 inches total||1 Carry On; 1 Personal Item|
|Emirates||22 x 15 x 8 inches||1 Personal Item||15 lbs|
|Southwestern Airlines||10 x 16 x 24 inches||1 Carry On; 1 Personal Item|
|Lufthansa||21x15x9 inches||1 Carry On||17 lbs|
|Air China||21x15x7 inches||1 Carry On||11 lbs|
|Air France||21x13x9 inches||1 Carry On; 1 Personal Item||26.5 lbs|
|British Airways||22x18x10 inches; 18x14x8 inches||1 Carry On; 1 Personal Item||50 lbs|
I can’t cover all of the airlines, but I think this should give you a good idea of the average free checked luggage allowances. One thing that appears to be consistent- 62 inches total size around. Presumptions: flight from USA and on an economy ticket.
|China Southern||62 Inches Total||2 Pieces||50 lbs|
|American Airlines||62 Inches Total||2 Pieces||50 lbs|
|United Airlines||62 Inches Total||0 Pieces||50 lbs|
|Delta Airlines||62 Inches Total||1 Piece||50 lbs|
|Emirates||62 Inches Total||2 Pieces||50 lbs|
|Southwestern Airlines||62 Inches Total||2 Pieces||50 lbs|
|Lufthansa||62 Inches Total||1 Pieces||50 lbs|
|Air China||62 Inches Total||2 Pieces||50 lbs|
|Air France||62 Inches Total||1 Pieces||50 lbs|
|British Airways||81 Inches Total||1 Pieces||51 lbs|
“Well, I leave the good ol’ USA in about 3 days and 15 hours (but nobody’s counting). I gotta tell you- things feel pretty weird. I’m in limbo where I have all this excitedly nervous energy emitting from my poofy blonde locks…..but I havent actually left yet. However, getting to pack does put some of that unused energy into something a bit more productive. And, as you guessed, I LOVE PACKING. I love suitcases, I love luggage tags and I love those little cute travel-sized body washes and shampoos from Target. . . .”
“The bulk of your luggage is filled with clothing. Minimize by bringing less. Experienced travelers try to bring only things that will be worn repeatedly, complement other items, and have multiple uses (for example, since I don’t swim much, I let my shorts double as a swimsuit). Pack with color coordination in mind. Neutral colors (black, navy, khaki) dress up easily and can be extremely versatile.. . . “