The International Air Transport Association (IATA) set the maximum for a carry-on bag to be 22 length X 18 width X 10 depth in inches. This includes the handles, wheels, and side pockets. And, some airlines may have a restriction on weight too.
To give you a visual on how small this size is, I use my smallest rolling bag as a comparison. Here is some background on this bag. It was my mother's carry on. She traveled a great deal and wanted a bag that would be easy to carry and roll down the aisle while on the airplane and this carry on did just that. She purchased it from Brookstone. I don't even think they have it any longer, but I included the carry on bag page from their website above. It is over 10 years old.
A visual example of the IATA carryon luggage
My carry on's length is about 1.5 inches shorter than the suggested length as you can see here.
The width of my bag is actually the suggested measurement - 13.5 inches. Wahoo!
But the depth is 1.5 inches too high when the pockets are full. If I never use the pockets in the front of the bag, it would just fit and that's not going to happen.
After they announced these new requirements, there were several protests from airlines so IATA backed down. But, I don't think this change is gone for good.
To help you deal with the shrinking carry on luggage probability, here are organizing carry on bag tips:
Six Tips to minimize your Carry on bag
As always, roll any extra clothes you plan on carrying with you. First, flatten the clothes, even the socks, on top of one another and then roll them starting from one side to the other. This will help minimize the space needed for items that most likely will not be used on the plane. Then, place them in a Space Bag Compressible bag as I mentioned in an earlier post.
Reduce your electronics to one or two devices. Have your phone and another device, like a tablet or laptop in your carry on bag.
If you have kids traveling with you and they have their own seat, have them carry their own carry on backpack. At age 5, we started having our kids carry their own bags. The bag was smaller, lighter and didn't hold much but it helped them be more independent and allowed us to have more space in our bag. Note: Have them put the backpack on and walk around with it before your trip to help them get used to the weight. Here are cute ones I found on Amazon.com. If you want to buy it, click on the image below.
Fill the front pockets of your carry on with items you plan on pulling out during flight. Items that you can place in these outside pockets are pens, paper, notepads, gum, water bottle, cellphone, etc... Note: Only place items in the outside packet if the pocket has a zipper.
Carry a smaller handbag that fits your essentials (like your wallet and cellphone) inside your larger carry on bag. This way, you can take out that handbag when you get to your destination and not have to shuffle through your larger luggage. Here are smaller bags that can be placed in your carry on bag I found on Amazon (affiliate).
Have all your important items in one place in your bag for access when needed. Be sure to have it in a zipper pocket close to yourself for safety.
I really hope they do not make these required changes for a while because I don't want to spend the money and buy new carry on bags. How do you feel about these new proposed requirements?
I hope these tips help you make your next trip more organized. What is your favorite tip or item to carry with you in your carry on bag? Please leave a comment below.
Whenever I go traveling, I usually bring one of my bigger shoulder bags with me. They're big enough to allow me to fit in a few extras like my gadgets (cellphone, portable charger, iPad) yet still small enough for the travel companies not to consider it as a carry on baggage so I can still take another bag with me.
Great tip! Thanks for sharing.
A great blog, thanks for sharing. Here is a tip I found that helps me out, it is similar to what you mentioned about rolling clothes. I put clothing inside of clothing then roll it, what I mean by this is. If I have a pair of pants, I put my underwear inside of them, then the socks inside the pant legs. If I plan on working out, I put my gym socks inside of the sweatpants etc. This way when I roll them up, I have them together. It is also a nice way to remember to bring extra underwear and socks.
Great tip William. Thanks for sharing.
Rose M Griffith
As one who travels a lot and marvels at the insanity of people and their carry ons, this size thing could be good news. Could because I don't really see it being enforced. In my many flights, I've seen one bag get removed because it was oversized. Since I've had a couple of bags go missing (luckily ended up getting both of them back through sheer persistence), I totally understand anyone's reluctance to check a bag--outside of the fees. If I do carry on, I do like you and take the smallest roller in the closet. I usually only carryon my backpack (PacSafe is my favorite) with all critical items in it and (Jacquie!) one pair of underwear! I pack an empty purse in my suitcase, like you noted, but have found it is easier and safer to only have the backpack to track.
Good stuff! I'll have to measure my old standby roller and see if it fits the new regs.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience, Rose.
I agree with all your suggestions. They are what I do too except for kids. When mine were little, luggage went for free.My hubby and I just took a trip and bought new luggage before going. So I'm not pleased with the new proposed dimensions.
Thanks for the update on carry on sizes Sabrina. I can understand why some would be bothered by the shrinking sizes, but as a former road warrior I have no problem with it. For 20 years I practically lived in hotel rooms, rental cars and airplanes so I've seen how obscene it can get with the carry on situation and always felt it was a safety issue. To be fair, I'm not convinced that the airlines are motivated by this more than the money they earn from baggage fees, but it's how I choose to see it from my eternally optimistic view of life. 🙂
Thanks for the heads up on the new size regulation...I was unaware! I've never thought to roll my clothes up, so that's a great suggestion that I'll try. And yes...that whole expanding pocket thing can be an issue. I got caught unawares once, and had to empty a pocket into my oversized purse! Embarrassing... it was my underwear!!
Wow! That's embarrassing. I had to do that one time years ago and I figured that instead of embarrassing myself and holding up the line, I would make best effort to follow the requirements when traveling. Better safe than sorry. Thanks for stopping by.
Thank goodness I am not a traveler and if I decide I want to be, I will see Canada first via train. I have only flown once - back in the 60's - when air travel was delightful. From what I've seen and heard that is not so today/
Your tips will certainly help people with one part of the problem. I'll bet many never thought of placing things in their kids backpacks - great tip.
Packing to go on holiday can be stressful especially with such bagging restrictions.
My children carry rucksacks with their small toys and snacks.
I like the travelling process to be as pain free as possible.
Eeggaads - I forgot all about this possible size reduction. And we just bought new bags about 4 months ago that now, don't meet the requirements . Are you saying the airlines do NOT now have to do this? It's similar to the issue with the 3 oz of liquids all fitting into a quart size baggy: how long does that have to stay in effect when people get through security with worst possible weapons?
Oh no, sorry to hear that. Yes, from what I read the airlines are required right now to follow the carry on bag requirement. Not sure how long it will last though. Every article I found said that it is bound to change but no one knows when. I hope it won't be for at least a year or two. We really don't need another requirement when traveling. Thanks for stopping by.