A Small Victory for Airline Carry-On Travel Bags

It seems that everywhere you turn airline travelers are being squeezed for more airline fees. Spirit Airlines recently announced that they would charge travelers for their carry-on bags. With this announcement, the airlines have brought new definition to nickel-ing and dime-ing passengers. Yet, maybe they went too far. On April 18, American, Delta, United, US Air and JetBlue announced they will not follow Spirit’s decision and they will not charge fees for carry-on bags.  Hopefully all the other airlines will follow.  Checked baggage fees have not been eliminated yet, however, at this point the beleaguered airline travelers will take any small victory.

Thanks to New York Senator, Charles E. Schumer for making a stink in Washington about this issue and introducing legislation to tax airlines if they charge for carry-on bags.  Enough is enough. Virtually everyone takes a carry-on bag. In fact, it is always a challenge to see how much can be jammed into the carry on bag, and still have it fit in the overhead compartment.

But don’t get too excited yet.  All carry on bags still must meet airline requirements.  Airline regulations for carry-on luggage size are for a maximum of 45 linear inches (the total of the height, width, and depth of the bag). Any larger luggage will have to be checked.  While it is tempting to cram everything into your in-flight travel bags, be warned.  Some airlines, such as American Airlines have a 40-lb weight restriction for carry on bags.  So, even if your carry on travel bag meets the size requirements, if your travel bag is overweight, you will be asked to check it.  Then, it is no longer a free carry-on, but checked luggage for which you will pay a fee.  So for now, enjoy your free carry on bag.

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