How To Measure A Suitcase? Find Out Here!

How Do You Measure A Suitcase?

Suitcases come in many sizes. Some suitcases are built to last for years, others are made out of cheap materials that break down quickly. Be aware of sizing issues before buying a new suitcase.

At home, you'll use a simple tape measure to determine the proper size and luggage dimensions you should purchase. You can find these measurements online, on travel websites, and in travel magazines.

Airline staff will often use a carry-on suitcase sizer to determine whether your suitcase fits properly. If your bag does not fit inside the sizer then it's too large.

If your bag does fit inside the sizer but still weighs too much, then it's probably too heavy. Sometimes extra weight causes a plane to lose altitude during flight. Therefore, if your luggage weighs too much you may be forced to pay extra fees.

You can avoid paying extra fees by measuring your suitcase yourself at home before checking it in at the airport. Always bring along a tape measure when travelling, especially if you plan to fly on international airlines.

In British airways, the flight attendant may ask you to reduce the size of your personal items or luggage scales in the economy passengers class or put your luggage in the exact shape mentioned in their rules. 

How To Take Luggage Measurements At Home?

There are several reasons for measuring your suitcases at home. First, you may not have access to a professional luggage measurement service when travelling abroad.

Second, you may want to keep track of your luggage measurements. Finally, you might be interested in knowing if you can buy luggage bags that fit your suitcase.

You can take luggage measurements at home using a tape measure. All you need is a straight-edge ruler, like a piece of wood, metal or plastic. Simply lay your suitcase flat on the floor and place the ruler end down along the length of the side seam.

Measure from the point where the two ends meet to the top of the handle. Do the same for the bottom. Now you can compare your measurements with the ones provided online or in travel magazines to decide whether you need to buy additional luggage bags.

Do The Wheels Count When Calculating The Size Of Carry-on Luggage?

Do the wheels really matter when calculating the size of carry-on luggage? Yes, they do! You'll automatically end up buying a larger suitcase if you pack it with wheels. It's not that big of a deal though since most airlines measure bags with only non-protruding parts.

Most luggage manufacturers know this, and they calculate the size of cases with wheels accordingly.

However, you may still find yourself getting a larger bag due to extra parts. So keep in mind that packing heavy items, such as skis or golf clubs, will increase the weight of your luggage.

Also, think twice about checking your bag at the airport if you plan on bringing two sets of clothes. One of those two sets should weigh less than 20 pounds.

It's easier to split your clothing between two suitcases instead of trying to fit that second outfit into the same bag.

Carry-On Luggage

Whether you're travelling for work or pleasure, you'll probably end up carrying a couple of suitcases around at some point. You may already have a favourite brand that you've used for years.

Or maybe you haven't had a reason to invest in a new suitcase since you were 18. Whatever the case, there are plenty of great choices out there now.

Luggage doesn't have to cost a fortune either. As long as you're not planning to carry it every day, you should be able to find a decent option without breaking the bank.

So if you're constantly on the move, consider investing in a sturdy carry-on suitcase instead of a backpack. There's no doubt that you can find a lot of great luggage deals online, making it easier to afford a suitable bag.

Before settling on one, though, be sure to compare its dimensions to those of the airline you plan to use. Most big airlines require that you pack your bags in accordance with their guidelines.

Because of this, you might need a suitcase that's larger than if you'd be flying United Airlines. Be aware of this when you're comparing luggage brands—you wouldn't want to end up buying a bag that won't fit through security because it was actually too small for United.

Size Limit

Whether you plan on travelling for a long time or only occasionally, you'll want to carry your belongings in a suitcase that won't break down after a couple of weeks on the road. Travelling should be enjoyable, not stressful!

Look at the dimensions of the airline(s) you normally travel with and compare those to the dimensions of the bags available to determine if you're getting a suitable fit. You may want to consider a larger case if there are no restrictions on the size of suitcases allowed on board.

You can find lots of great deals online. Just shop wisely and look for bags made from heavy-duty materials and ones that meet TSA guidelines. Some airlines require specific sizes as well.

For instance, American Airlines requires cases measuring 45 inches x 22 inches x 17 inches. Don't forget to measure your checked baggage allowance. Some carriers limit the number of pieces you can bring, so make sure you pack accordingly.

Checked Baggage

A checked bag is anything you carry yourself throughout the airport or even at your destination. You may find that there are certain airlines that charge extra for checked baggage.

Most flights include a certain number of checked bags per person, and if you exceed this limit, you will pay extra fees. For example, United Airlines allows two checked bags per person, but once you reach five checked bags, the fee quadruples.

You should also be aware that most major airlines only accept small amounts of cash when paying for checked baggage.

If you forget an ATM card or credit/debit card, then you can buy a prepaid card online and load funds onto it. Alternatively, you can bring cash along and exchange currency at the airport.

You should also be aware that most major airlines only accept small amounts of cash when paying for checked baggage.

If you forget an ATM card or credit/debit card, then you can buy a prepaid card online and load funds onto it. Alternatively, you can bring cash along and exchange currency at the airport.

Size Limit

Your carry-on baggage size limit doesn't vary between air carriers, but there are several benefits to flying with carry-on luggage rather than checked bags.

First, you won't be forced to leave anything behind when you travel.

Second, you're not relying on anyone else to make sure your stuff arrives in one piece and on time.

Third, you're saving space and avoiding additional fees by carrying your luggage with you instead of checking it.

Fourth, you're reducing the number of items you need to pack and keep track of in order to have your trip go smoothly.

There are actually a couple of reasons why most airlines don't let you bring larger carry-ons onto planes. While it may seem counterintuitive to only provide a certain maximum weight allowance for carry-on luggage, airlines usually err on the side of caution.

After all, if you accidentally throw your carry-on in the overhead compartment and it breaks open, spilling out your clothes, laptop and toiletries, then you're going through all the trouble of flying with the extra stuff anyway!

Plus, the average person tends to overestimate how much stuff he/she can fit inside his/her carry-on.

Therefore, airlines typically cap the size limits at a reasonable level that prevents most travellers from packing way too much or risking damage to their belongings.

Checked Baggage Fees

Most major airlines don't charge additional fees for checked luggage. However, some do charge extra for overweight or oversized suitcases, including the following airlines:

American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Jet Blue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, WestJet Airlines and Virgin America.

For example, Alaska charges $35 for a 20-pound oversized suitcase.

You might think that checking an oversized suitcase is fine because it won't affect your flight. But in reality, it can sometimes delay your arrival time.

For instance, if you check a 30lb suitcase that costs $20, then you'll get charged $40 after passing through security. So, instead of spending the night in a hotel, you'll spend another day at the airport. That's not fair, right?

Baggage Fee Exceptions

You don't know everyone's situation, but here are some exceptions to common airline baggage rules. If you're travelling on a budget, you'll want to look into the following options:

1. Carry-On Bag - A carry-on bag is similar to a backpack, but it fits under the seat in front of you.

Many airlines limit passengers to one piece of luggage, which means that carry-ons are usually not allowed. However, if you travel light, you might be able to fit just one carry-on bag.

2. Travel Documents - An airline can let you keep documents that are required for international travel, such as passports and visas. Other documents, such as boarding passes, may be taken away depending on the airline policy.

3. Laptop - Although laptops are usually prohibited, some airlines permit them. If yours has been lost or damaged, however, you won't be permitted to bring it with you.

4. Cellphone - In case of emergency, you can still call loved ones using your cell phone. In fact, most airlines do not prohibit the use of phones during takeoff and landing.

5. Electronics - Sometimes electronics can cause problems because airports are highly controlled environments. It's possible that your electronic device could malfunction due to poor ventilation, high heat, humidity, water or radioactivity.

Therefore, it's best to leave it behind until after you arrive at your final destination.

6. Musical Instruments - Airports are no place for musical instruments, which must be transported separately. In many cases, you can deposit them in a locker where they won't bother anyone.

Be sure to ask the desk agent whether you can store them safely at the gate.

7. Snacks & Drinks - Food and beverages may appear tempting, but they can pose health risks if ingested by cabin crew members, children or other passengers.

Therefore, they should be avoided on aircraft. Alcoholic drinks, particularly wine, rum and beer, are not allowed onboard unless they are served in a single glass.

This includes alcoholic mixed drinks. Beverages containing caffeine (coffee, tea) are okay, but you should drink only in moderation.

Pack snacks that are easy to eat and can withstand long trips. The same goes for food that requires refrigeration. Keep in mind that you're restricted to serving only 2 litres of liquid, plus a reasonable amount of food."

Choosing the Right Size Checked Bags

Your checked baggage policy should explain how long and heavy your luggage needs to be in order to avoid extra fees. Your policy should clearly state that your bag will not exceed 62 linear inches (length plus width plus depth), nor will it weigh more than 40 pounds.

If it does, you'll pay additional fees for every pound over 40.

You'll typically pick up your checked bag at the airport once you arrive. However, if you forgot to collect it, you might end up paying a fee if the weight of your luggage exceeds the allowed limit.

When you book flights online, look for policies that include the number of checked bags allowed for free along with any fees associated with excess weight.

To save yourself some hassle later, ask your travel agent to book your flight so that you won't have to worry about picking up your bag yourself.

That way, you won't have to stress out over whether or not you charged enough for your checked bag. And remember -- you won't want to carry around your heaviest suitcases when you're trying to enjoy your vacation!

Tips for Buying Check-in Luggage

You should buy checked luggage only if the airline offers a free checked bag allowance. Otherwise, you'll end up paying for those checked bags anyway.

As long as you stay within the airline's allowed weight restrictions, you shouldn't ever have problems checking in enough bags to cover your entire trip.

If you plan on using travel luggage for most of your trips, it makes sense to invest in check-in luggage. Depending on your airline, you may either purchase directly through the airline or book online.

Either way, you'll end up paying a lot less than buying your own checked suitcases.

Buying check-in luggage allows you to avoid paying extra charges for checking additional bags. You can buy one large suitcase or you can splurge and buy four small ones.

Whichever option you choose though, you should never purchase any kind of luggage without knowing what the price looks like beforehand. Before you buy, compare prices across several websites.

Compare prices between different brands and sizes, along with shipping costs and expected delivery times.

Why It's Important To Always Measure Your Luggage

Measuring our luggage is not only crucial during travel, but it should be done routinely at home as well. By measuring your luggage, you'll be able to plan ahead for upcoming trips.

You won't have any surprises once you reach your destination. You'll also avoid unnecessary stress caused by forgetting to pack certain items.

You may think that packing light means you can just throw whatever you haven't used in years into those suitcases. However, there are plenty of reasons why we should measure our bags regularly.

We'll start off by discussing the most obvious reason: saving time.

People who pack their luggage efficiently have less time spent travelling

Finally, measuring our luggage ensures that we pack everything we need to prevent extra costs. Some travellers forget to bring shampoo or toothbrushes and end up paying $30 per day for basic necessities.

because they spend less time searching for lost items, unpacking, checking if they forgot anything, and repacking their bags. These tasks can eat away precious hours of productive time.

Another advantage of planning ahead is knowing what you need before you leave.

If you know you have to fly somewhere within the next six months, you might consider buying two pairs of shoes instead of three.

You can also buy additional clothing, toiletries, etc., depending on what you expect to wear during your trip.

Why Do Airlines Impose Restrictions On Luggage Size And Weight?

Airlines impose restrictions on luggage size and weight to protect passengers' belongings. They do this to keep costs low and provide a consistent level of service across their entire network.

While most airlines have similar restrictions, some have stricter rules than others. Some airline luggage restrictions include the following:

Maximum dimension for checked baggage:

• United States - 7 x 10 x 20 inches

• China - 12 x 13 x 30 cm

• Emirates - 8 1/2 x 14 x 22 inches

Hand luggage size allowances vary between airline carriers. For example, bags exceeding the size limit will be subject to an oversized fee. However, not all airlines charge extra fees for oversized bags;

some only charge a nominal fee. You'll usually find out about the exact charges at the airport check-in counter.

Most airlines stipulate that only one item of hand luggage accompanied by a ticket is permitted onto a plane. However, some airlines permit up to two additional items.

Others, including American Airlines, prohibit passengers from bringing additional items onboard. If you're flying with an infant or baby stroller, however, several airlines let you take one item onboard.

What Happens If You Exceed The Limitations

There are plenty of limitations that you should never exceed. Let's look at just a few of them now.

1) Weight and Balance - Weigh yourself using a portable scale and compare your reading against the FAA specification tables for the weight and balance of the model of aircraft that you are flying.

Be aware that there may be differences between a generic POH table and a specific aircraft POH table. Also, be careful not to exceed the maximum gross weight specified because it can result in serious consequences.

2) Turbulence Penetrating Speed - Flight envelope limits exist to protect you from severe weather. Always fly within the recommended speeds, and do not chase after the speed.

Remember, it takes longer to climb out of thick clouds than it does to run down through them.

3) VNE - When you are flying into the VNE, avoid making any significant power adjustments. Otherwise, you risk causing damage to the structure of the aircraft. As soon as you reach VNE, start reducing power until you come in sight of land or another airport.

There Are Two Reasons To Measure Your Baggage.

You may not realize it, but every airline charges you for carrying baggage. There are two reasons why airlines charge you this fee.

First, it helps to keep your luggage organized, making it easier for you to find things. Second, it allows you to buy additional space on board the plane if you feel that you might need it.

Before you head off on vacation, consider the amount of baggage that you'll be bringing. By doing this, you'll be able to plan accordingly and save yourself the trouble of being stuck at the airport with extra baggage weighing you down.

About this Guide

Written By Alex
Last Updated On November 18, 2022
Reading Time 
15 minutes
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