How to Measure Luggage For Air Travel?

We all want to bring what we like when traveling.

But if everyone can receive unlimited luggage, no one can fly. Airplane space is limited.

And if your plane was too heavy, it couldn’t really take off!


Large aircraft have low fuel efficiency, are  expensive and are highly polluted.

For this reason, airlines have size restrictions on both carry-on and checked baggage. And sometimes they are  greedy and want to charge you an extra fee if possible.

In this post, I’ll show you  how to accurately measure the dimensions of your air travel luggage.

Before your flight, it is your responsibility to check your baggage size against the airline’s slot limits to avoid any issues.

How is baggage measured? 

The method of measuring baggage and the method of measuring baggage of airlines are slightly different.

At home,  use a simple tape measure.

At airports, airlines typically use baggage sizers. This is the metal frame needed to place the tote.


If the bag doesn’t fit in the frame, it’s too big.


In most cases, you don’t actually need to put the bag in this sizar unless instructed to do so. In other words, it may not be a problem if the wheels and handles are sticking out. However, if airline staff asks you to test the bag and it does not fit, you will be forced to check the bag and may be subject to additional charges.

If you don’t want to take the risk, it’s best to measure your suitcase with a tape measure at home.

It’s also a good idea to find out the actual size of your suitcase before you buy. Don’t be afraid to bring your own tape measure to the store.

How to measure the size of your luggage at home 

If your carry-on baggage is  in front of you with a roller:


  • The altitude goes up and down.
  • The width is from left to right.
  • The depth is back and forth.


Just take the tape measure and check the size of the bag. It’s not that difficult, but I know what you’re asking …


Are wheels counted when measuring carry-on baggage? 

It depends on who is making the measurements!

Luggage makers want to buy a large and spacious suitcase. Therefore, we often  ignore protruding handles and wheels. When wheels and handles mean technically too big for some airlines, they often advertise suitcases as “carry-on size.”

You can do this because there is no official carry-on size. All airlines have their own limits. Therefore, the manufacturer has a plausible denial. But they  know exactly what they are doing.

In contrast, airlines count bicycles when measuring baggage! Carry-on baggage is measured including the wheels, handles, or  other protruding parts of the suitcase.

Hmm … that means you can’t really trust the dimensions of the luggage given by the manufacturer.

Therefore, use your own tape measure and do not rely on the size information provided by the suitcase manufacturer or  the store that sells the bag.

Professional tips for rolling luggage dimensions

Spinners that can stand, roll, and rotate 360 ​​degrees The 4 wheels of carry-on baggage usually have large protruding wheels.

In comparison, there is baggage with two wheels, which is usually embedded in the bag. This means that there is usually  more “legal” space than a four-wheel spinner bag when using two-wheel carry-on baggage.


Wheels are counted when measuring baggage. This means that two wheel cases with concave wheels usually have more space in the bag than four wheel cases with protruding wheels.

Are wheels counted when measuring checked baggage? 

The same applies to yip checked baggage.

Checked baggage includes wheels in the baggage allowance.

Therefore, to measure the check bag, you need to use a tape measure and include the wheel.

To measure the height, place your suitcase on the  wall and use a pencil to draw a small mark on the top of the wall. You can then measure from this mark to the floor to get the height of the checked suitcase, including the wheels.

How do airlines measure checked baggage? 

The airline does not use a measuring device for checked baggage. So how do airlines measure checked baggage?

When you check in your baggage at the check-in counter, the weight of your baggage will be recorded automatically.

If the bag seems too big, the check instructor will measure the suitcase with a tape measure.

If the bag is  too big or too heavy, be prepared to check the bag in the face of a large invoice.

And not only that … on their return trip they will hit you back at a high price!




Bags that are too large will incur an additional $ 300 one way. And more if it’s overweight!

As for luggage dimensions … What is a linear inch anyway?

Some airlines indicate size limits for carry-on or checked baggage in so-called linear inches.

Linear means “on a straight line”.

That means they don’t really care about the exact shape of your suitcase. However, if you want to calculate and sum the three dimensions of height, width, and depth, you must make it less than the specified linear inch limit.

Look at this example …


What is the size of a 62 linear inch bag? 

Linear inches simply mean adding  height, width, and depth. This is an example of a 62 inch bag.


This Amazon Basics case measures 30.9 x 17.5 x 12.9 inches, including the wheels. The sum of these three numbers is 61.3 inches.

Therefore, this bag is slightly below the 62-inch limit of US airline check-in bags.

To give it a sense of size, the 62-inch suitcase is  about 68% larger than  standard carry-on baggage. It’s not double the size, it’s like one piece of carry-on baggage and two-thirds of a second of carry-on baggage.

In other words, if you pack 6 T-shirts in your carry-on baggage, you can pack 10 T-shirts in a 62-inch suitcase, which occupies the same percentage of the bag.

Don’t forget to weigh your luggage 

In addition to size limits, luggage often has weight limits.

The bag should be weighed and compared to airline regulations to ensure that the  bag does not exceed the limit.

This is especially important when flying internationally.

You can weigh your luggage with a baggage scale.

Strap the scale to the carrying handle, lift the suitcase onto  the scale, and hang it  for a short time. Luggage scales indicate the weight of your suitcase.

Before arriving at the airport, it’s a good idea to know the weight of your suitcase. Especially if you are on an airline with very limited weight restrictions or if you are guilty of overloading.

Again, if your checked baggage is too heavy, the airline will charge a large fee. And again, they will meet you on their way home.

Overweight bags can cost  an additional $ 300. If you’re overweight and oversized, you can easily add $ 600 to  your airfare.

You really have to be careful of these vampires!


If you need to reduce the size of your suitcase, it is advisable to read the Packing Lights and Traveling Lights Guide to lose weight from the bag.



It’s best to make sure you know how to properly measure your luggage  at home to avoid quarrels and excessive charges at the airport.

Like this passenger  flying on United Airlines:


Give them half a chance and the airline will tear you apart for an additional fee. It’s better to know how to measure your suitcase before you fly to make sure you don’t fall victim to this practice.

Also, if it’s too big for legal carry-on baggage, don’t let the luggage maker trick you into buying a bag labeled “cabin.”

What do you think? Any tips for measuring air travel bags? If you have any additional questions or questions, please let us know in the comments below.


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