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Carry on bag for transatlantic flight

Asheville, North...
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Carry on bag for transatlantic flight

Does anyone have any good recommendations for a carry on bag that is small enough for a transatlantic flight (Dulles International to Heathrow) on Icelandair? I am hoping to travel with a carry on only and I am finding it near impossible to find a bag that meets their size criteria (55x40x20 cm).

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: Carry on bag for transatlantic flight

I don't understand the problem... 55 x 40 x 20 is pretty close to the standard carry-on size for most airlines. Almost ALL carry-on sized luggage from any store will fit those dimensions.

I use a backpack style carry-on: ospreypacks.com/en/…

There are endless roller style carry-on luggage that meet that criteria as well.

Have fun shopping.



Sherbrooke, Canada
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2. Re: Carry on bag for transatlantic flight

That is pretty big size. Is your problem finding a bag (tons of them ) small enough or you want to carry too much?

Mission, Canada
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3. Re: Carry on bag for transatlantic flight

That is a fair size for carry-on. The best idea is to keep looking in luggage and discount stores.

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4. Re: Carry on bag for transatlantic flight

If you do not like rants, stop reading now.

I now have an immense hate for the words "international-sized carry on". I have looked on at least 30 websites. Most of them are major US shopping websites and every single one lists multiple bags as "international carry on". I did warn about this being a rant.

Then you check the exact measurements to find they absolutely are not the size most airlines worldwide require for international travel. Especially common with wheeled bags is for them to be taller than allowed once the wheels are included, and many are also too deep. Searches of multiple websites have shown me without fail the three most popular are too large for a large proportion of international airlines and have at least 1 person's report they were refused to carry them on some airline not based in the US in the first five or six comments. I am at the point of perusing sewing websites with an eye to sewing up my own. Not even kidding.

How hard can this possibly be? Multiple websites provide lists of the requirements for multiple international airlines. Obviously the major luggage manufacturers do not read. 21x13x7 inches with possible expansion to 21x13x9 inches and no allowance for anything to protrude beyond 21 inches is the only size that can reliably be expected allowed on the majority of airlines. Yup, you might not get measured and might get by with a US 22 incher, or one of these lying 21 inchers with wheels that protrude. You cannot count on this, and I am not interested in being embarrassed by having my luggage fail miserably at multiple airports on our planned international flights upcoming.

Rant over as I'll just be off trying to figure out where to buy proper luggage fabric.

Edited: 26 January 2014, 09:55
Mission, Canada
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5. Re: Carry on bag for transatlantic flight

TravelinGert has the numbers right for inches. Martian/Terry, are your's in metric, i.e. cm?

Personally, I try to avoid carry-on bags with wheels, but I do have one that meets WestJet requirements. I generally prefer one or two of my laptop backpacks which meet the lower number size requirements. It is important to meet the lowest size requirement, as noted, since NO one wants to lose their carry-on from their hands.

r c
Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Carry on bag for transatlantic flight

Amy S,

jsut a comment. when i was researching a carry on to buy, i was informed that there are 2 standard sizes. If you can call it a "standard". I choose the smallest since if you think about it, everyone should allow it where as the larger of the 2 maynot be the case.

also, just so you know, some airline has restrictions MUCH smaller than those dimensions so just be prepared to check in your luggage and be prepared to also pay.

Phoenix, Arizona
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7. Re: Carry on bag for transatlantic flight

Mention has been made of "wheels," and also the "handle" needs to be taken into consideration. Many mfgrs. do NOT list dimensions with wheels and handle, though some, like Tumi, do.

We have two smaller Tumi Alpha cases (very similar dimensions, but with different internals), which fit in even RJ's (Regional Jets), which can be tiny.

Ours fit within the parameters for UA, and SW, so work fine for us. Both are soft-sided nylon, with wheels and handle, plus strap for the Tumi Add-a-Bag system. Some folk prefer a true "soft" bag, as they can usually be compressed to fit into even more confined spaces.

In years of 100K+ travel, we have only gotten a few skuffs, and three zipper-pulls missing - Tumi actually uses "break-away" zipper-pulls, to minimize any damage to the actual zipper, and will replace the pulls for a minimal charge - often in-store, while you wait.

Just what we use for domestic (US), and Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific, though primarily on UA planes.

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8. Re: Carry on bag for transatlantic flight


I am having the same problem as you. I wonder did you ever find a bag that fit those size requirements?

9. Re: Carry on bag for transatlantic flight

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Removed on: 06 September 2014, 15:29
Wellington, New...
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10. Re: Carry on bag for transatlantic flight

Nice bag #9 - similar to what I've used for years. Remember there is a maximum weigtht for carry ons too. I have no trouble packing for months just in a carry on sized pack - but the weigth limits - particularly 7kg - can be hard to stay under

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