How To Calculate Linear Inches?

An airline will occasionally inform you the maximum size of luggage you can bring and use the word “linear inches.”

When discussing carry-on luggage, you may hear an airline remark… your carry-on bag can be 45 linear inches.

When discussing checked bags, they usually use the term “linear inches,” and they will frequently remark… your checked luggage must not exceed 62 linear inches.

This is a little perplexing because “linear inches” is not a phrase you’d ordinarily hear anyplace else.

The airlines are speaking their own language, and it is up to us, the passengers, to figure out what they mean!

This essay explains what they imply and how to calculate linear inches so you can determine whether or not your bag will be accepted.

How to Calculate Linear Inches

Perhaps you’re thinking… I know what a standard inch is… But, what exactly is a linear inch?

Don’t worry, an inch is an inch; they’re not different sizes or anything. The definition of “linear inches” is straightforward.

All luggage have dimensions such as length, breadth, and height. They are three-dimensional. Stores or manufacturers will give you the measurements of a luggage, or you may measure and write down the three dimensions of your bag with an ordinary tape measure.

To calculate the linear inches of a suitcase, simply add the three values, length, breadth, and height.

Inches linear = length + width + height

So, if a suitcase has a height of 22 inches, a width of 14 inches, and a height of 9 inches, the equation is 22 + 14 + 9 = 45 inches.

So a bag measuring 22 x 14 x 9 inches is referred to as 45 linear inches. That is typical of airline carry-on luggage restrictions.

The most typical size limit for checked baggage in the United States is 62 linear inches. Allegiant permits a bigger checked luggage up to 80 linear inches in length.

Although it is inconvenient for passengers to figure out, it may be rather useful at times.

When airlines specify luggage size limitations in linear inches, it indicates that one dimension can be slightly longer as long as another dimension is slightly shorter.

Consider the following suitcases:

Maxlite 5-Softside Travelpack

The dimensions of this case are 28 x 19 x 11 inches. When we add all three numbers together, we get 58.

So, at 58 linear inches, this TravelPro case is suitable for checked luggage.

Softside Spinner Luggage Suitcase by AmazonBasics

The dimensions of this AmazonBasics case are 30.9 x 17.5 x 12.9 inches.

We get 61.3 linear inches when we combine these values together.

So, once again, this case is less than 62 linear inches long.

Large Nylon Duffel Bag by AmazonBasics

The dimensions of this huge duffel bag are 32.5 x 17 x 11.5 inches.

They total 61 linear inches when added together.

Again, it is less than 62 linear inches and may be examined.

How long is 62 linear inches?

Not all 62 linear inch bags have the same volume capacity.

Assume you’re packing a fishing rod in a box. Assume it measures 2 x 2 x 58 inches.

We can see that the airline industry would characterise the box as 62 linear inches if we add 58 +2 +2.

However, if we multiply the measurements 58 x 2 x 2, we can discover that the box’s volume capacity is just 232 cubic inches (about 3.8 liters). Despite its length, the fishing rod case does not take up much room.

Let’s take another look at the TravelPro Maxlite from above:

It measures 28 x 19 x 11 inches. We may compute its volume capacity by multiplying those three numbers: 5852 cubic inches (about 95.9 liters). That is far more than a fishing rod box!

So, what is the largest 62 linear inch box you may bring as checked luggage?

That’s a perfect cube of 20.66 x 20.66 x 20.66 inches. It would have an 8818 cubic inch volume capacity (about 144.5 liters).

A 62 linear inch cube offers significantly more room than a standard suitcase-shaped box!

This makes me wonder why luggage manufacturers don’t produce cube-shaped bags. Even if they could fit more goods, I suppose they wouldn’t be the most useful shape.

Is the 62 linear inches inclusive of wheels?

That’s an excellent question!

The answer is somewhat dependent on who you are travelling with and who measures your luggage. I searched Twitter for solutions to your questions.

American Airlines

Mark was concerned that when the wheels and three linear dimensions of his spinning suitcase were included, the overall length was slightly over 62 inches.

American Airlines informed him that while measuring checked luggage, the wheels were not included.

But because this was a startling finding, I double-checked.

This time, they informed Ben that the measurement included the wheels…

And they informed Julie that it depends on how much the wheels protrude… as if wheels didn’t usually stick out…

Basically, neither American Airlines nor the Twitter social media staff are sure. They provide a new response each time they are questioned.

It will all come down to the attitude of the check-in employee who measures your luggage in the end.

Delta Air Lines Inc.

Delta, on the other hand, takes a different method and does include the wheels:


Frontier informs Kevin that his backpack, which is half an inch longer than 62 inches, may not be accepted due to the wheels!

And consider the $75 cost for a large bag… ouch!


When measuring luggage, JetBlue takes into account the wheels and handles.

Southwest Airlines Inc.

When counting linear inches, Southwest additionally counts the wheels:

And, once again, there’s a $75 fine if your sticking out wheel exceeds 62 linear inches.

Spirit Airlines Inc.

Spirit will also charge you if you go more than 62 linear inches with a protruding wheel or handles.

Also, keep in mind that their weight restriction of 40 pounds is lower than that of most other airlines, which typically allow 50 lbs per checked bag.

United Airlines Inc.

United includes the wheels and handles in the 62-inch total.

The basic answer is to include the wheels and handles when measuring your own luggage. That way, you won’t be surprised by airlines trying to fleece you for extra money when you check your luggage.

A 29-inch bag has how many linear inches?

By now, you should realise that you need all three dimensions to compute the linear inches of a bag. A 29-inch-high suitcase might have many various lengths and widths, and hence many distinct linear-inch values.

To get the linear inches, add length + height + width.

The Decision

This linear inch baggage dimension is used by the airline industry for a purpose.

When loading carry-on luggage into the overhead bin or beneath your seat, it must have the perfect form for all of the bags to fit efficiently.

Because checked luggage is transported in the plane’s cargo compartment, it is not critical that all bags have the same form. By employing linear inches, travellers may bring all various types of luggage while still having a size limit.

So the next time you’re scratching your brain trying to figure out the linear inches, remember that it’s a useful feature that allows people to carry luggage of all shapes and sizes.


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