5 Ways United's Carry-on Bag Crackdown is Actually Good for Travelers

If you plan to fly United and take along a carry-on bag, better give it a good hard look before you start packing.

Size Limits Now Enforced

As FareCompare reported last week, United is cracking down on over-sized bags. These are the airline’s current, allowable dimensions:

  • 9 inches X 14 inches X 22 inches (with handles, wheels)

If your carry-on is bigger, the airline will whisk it away to cargo and you will be stuck with a checked-bag fee ($25 one-way for a first checked-bag, $35 for a second).

Why This is Good

1. More room: Fewer over-sized carry-ons means more bin spin space for the rest of us.

2. Quicker boarding: Passengers will be able to get to their seats more quickly since the aisles won’t be crowded with people trying to jam too-large bags into too-small bins. This may even help the airline with on-time departure statistics.

3. Justice for all: Instead of having oversized carry-on bags taken away at the gate for free cargo transportation, size violators will also have to pay the checked-bag fee just like everyone else.

4. Educational: This will force travelers to brush up on valuable math skills in calculating baggage dimensions.

5. Shopping is fun: There are plenty of bags available in stores and online that fit United’s size requirements.

BONUS: Imaginative travelers may prefer to skip carry-ons altogether and try “wearable luggage.”


Published: March 10, 2014