Airlines enforcing size limits for carry-on luggage

Flying during the holidays can be a real headache, and this holiday it may be an even bigger pain. In my recent travels, I’ve noticed airlines are enforcing their baggage rules more strictly.

During a recent trip, I was stunned when the ticket counter agent told me to put my bag on the scale. Two other ticket agents walked past me as I swiped my credit card to retrieve my ticket for self check-in, but this agent seemed determined to argue with me. She told me the bag was too big to fit in the overhead compartment. I’ve flown with this bag multiple times a year for at least 4 years with no problem. Why was this woman suddenly giving me a hard time?

For five minutes, we argued back and forth about the size of my bag. I’ll be the first to admit my bag is not the smallest, but it always fits with ease in the overhead compartment. What irritated me more about this whole debate was that I knew we were taking a plane that required gate checked bags. Nobody was getting their bags on the plane. So, was this woman simply giving me a hard time to get money out of me?

She made me take the bag over to the luggage compartment on display and try to fit my bag in it. Then, she yelled at me from the ticket counter telling me it had to go in the other way. Nothing was good enough for this woman, and it was a moment that was too hard to believe because it was so unexpected. I fit my bag in the metal display, and went on my way.

At the gate, the same woman was taking tickets from boarding passengers. She stopped the man in front of me because she thought his bag was too big too. He was just as stunned as I was since it was a duffel bag he travels with often. He fit the duffel bag in the demo overhead bin and boarded the plane frustrated. He sat next to me on the plane, and I told him my  horror story too. We laughed.

Then,  during a girls trip some of my friends talked about their horror experience not realizing I’d had problems too. These incidents happened on different airlines and different trips.  While I understand airline employees have to enforce the rules, this has  nothing to do with security and it’s a rule that hasn’t been enforced for years. Is it a coincidence that now airlines make big bucks off those checked bag fees?

Just make sure you pack even more patience before heading to the airport. What frustrating thing will happen at the airport next?

4 thoughts on “Airlines enforcing size limits for carry-on luggage

  1. I’d write a letter of complaint to the airline NOT for them enforcing their rules but for the rude behavior of their employee.


    • Howard – Oh it definitely crossed my mind. It happened during a busy time of year for me so she got lucky. The other incidents I heard about were not as confrontational as the one I experienced and saw others experience.


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