“The maximum size carry-on bag for most airlines is 45 linear inches (the total of the height, width, and depth of the bag). Anything larger should be checked.”
But that doesn’t mean that all U.S. airlines will allow you carry on a bag that doesn’t exceed those total dimensions, nor does that “rule of thumb” necessarily apply to airlines based in other countries.
One reason that there isn’t a standard size for carry-on bags is that the size of overhead bins varies between types of aircraft. Even the type of plane flown by one airline may have different size bins than the same plane operated by another.
And some European discount airlines, like Ryanair and EasyJet, have “downsized” the limits on carry-ons that you can bring aboard their flights compared to what other airlines allow.
So what can passenger do, other than check the Website for each airline on which they fly, to make sure their roll-a boards will not have to be gate-checked?
A British company called Flylite hopes it has found the answer with its Foldaway Multibag Wheeled Cabin Holdall. While many carry-on bags have a zippered expansion pocket that can be closed to make the bag less deep, the Flylite Cabin Holdall has three such pockets that can be used in various combinations to convert the bag into six different sizes.
Flylite claims the bag will “meet the requirements of Ryanair and EasyJet plus all of the major airlines.” The company’s Website has information on airline baggage dimensions, including links to carry-on bag size limits for 619 specific airlines.
The Foldaway Multibag Wheeled Cabin Holdall is a wheeled bag, but it also has detachable shoulder straps that let you carry it like a backpack.
(Tales Told From The Road learned about Flylite bags from U.K. based travel blogger, Keith Jenkins of Velvet Escape, who uses a Flylite bag when he travels. You can listen to Keith’s comments on the bag toward the end of the August 4, 2013 episode of the “This Week in Travel” Google+ Hangout and audio podcast. Purchasing the Flylite Foldaway Multibag Cabin Bag with Wheels from Amazon.com helps Tales Told From The Road continue to provide you with a wide range of travel-related stories.)