Have you noticed Delta Air Lines gate agents are starting to really enforce “SizeCheck” rules?

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If we look at the Delta.com web site we see the following SizeCheck rules (the old SizeWise btw)

  • For carry-on bags your bag must:
  • Not exceed 45 inches (length+width+height), or 115 cm.
  • Fit easily in our SizeCheck® unit (approximately 22″x14″x9″, or 56x36x23 cm).
  • Fit in an overhead bin or underneath the seat in front of you.

With checked bag prices going up year by year, and waiting for bags can take a long time, and if you have a tight connection you may make it but your bags might not – what is a Delta traveler to do? Also, if your bag is too big with flights always going out full, gate agents are more and more frequently enforcing the SizeCheck to make sure your bag can go on-board!

My bride and I have his and hers of this little puppy. The Traveler’s Choice Rome 21″ Hardside Rolling Carry-On Upright (my link to Amazon btw). It is outside the “official” regulation size from Delta but does fit inside the “SizeCheck” metal box at the boarding gates as you can see below. On the CRJ-100/200’s you can fit ONE under the seat but not TWO! It is very light and it is shocking just how much you can fit inside these little guys. The wheels are quiet and roller blade style. The handle is strong and sturdy.

The way we do trips with this is I have my laptop backpack and my wife has her “big” purse. Now I am not telling everyone to go get this bag and that it is the best one ever. For a bag under $50 it works great for us. Either way, it seems that Delta is going to more and more enforce the carry-on bag size rules and if you want to avoid having to check your bag, this kind of bag is one you will want to seriously start to look into!- René

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  1. Nonsense – I flew 4 delta segments this past week, and almost half of the passenger’s bags exceeded the size limits. Checking should be mandatory!

  2. @ I Wish – I agree with you {Checking should be mandatory!}. I think many with the “monster bags”, even Medallions, make the situation worse! But I have seen this more and more and since the bag fee’s are a big part of income stream for DELTA, why miss out on a way passengers are “gaming” the system to save the fee. Wait and see. More on the way!

  3. Carry on has gotten out of hand with the mega bags and people having 3 or more. The rush to board is to claim overhead space – upfront if you do not board fast, you risk not having space overhead.

  4. Flew Delta a few days ago out of BHM to ATL to MCO and had a frustrating experience. We were initially told the bag couldn’t go as carry-on, then we were told it could be, back to that it could not be. Seems like they were really looking out for bags that were even slightly too big and wouldn’t fit in the SizeCheck

  5. I am all for measuring bags. I don’t ever have a large bag and can easily fit it under my seat if I need to. But, I shake my head at what passes at carry on baggage and a personal item these days. A personal item becomes as big as the carry on bag, which barely fits into the overheads to begin with.

    Boarding a plane is already an inefficient process. I imagine that costs the airline quite a bit of money. Start measuring, be sure that all bags fit into the SizeCheck, make sure that there really is only 1 carry on and one personal item and over time it’ll be come more and more efficient as people adjust to the requirements. Not rocket science here.

  6. I see the bag you prefer is sold on Amazon from ebags.com. Hopefully you are getting the 10+ bonus miles by buying via Skymiles Shopping…when its offered. Ebags will pricematch BTW.

  7. The last few Delta flights I was on were checking people’s carry-on bags for free at the gate. Lots of people took advantage of this and it made enough space for everyone who carried their bag on.

    Also, Delta’s size checker doesn’t seem to say so, but others state that the bag cannot be higher than the metal guards. That would make your bag “too big”.

  8. @Cassie – I quizzed the gate staff about that and they said it was fine. ( it is 21x15x9 ). I was told if it fits it’s fine! But YMMV as always with Delta.

  9. @Gussomer – good catch but it is 5x bonus points vs what Amazon offers: http://americanexpress.skymilesshopping.com/me____.htm?keywords=ebags&mnpos=1261|6954|1|1|search_box&mids=510 and the price is much higher buying direct that way: http://www.ebags.com/product/travelers-choice/rome-21-hardside-rolling-carry-on/120465?productid=1312651 so it is your call of under $50 with free s&h and no DL points or $60 + S&H + points. (unless you can get them to price match that is and then some times the do not offer the points as they are extending the price match already)

    You can also start at the Hawaiian site and get 1 Hawaiian point per dollar spent if you would want. https://partners.hawaiianair.com/pages/rewards/shopListing.aspx

  10. @deltagoldflyer – if you have shoprunner membership, you get free 2 day shipping to ebags and many other merchants. shoprunner has had multiple free annual membership offers in the past 2 months and had a $1 annual membership offer earlier this week. Also, skymiles shopping offered 15 points for ebags back in November and had 12 points earlier this week. However, you mention a very critical issue re: points are nullified if asking for price match. Would be nice to know if points are indeed nullified.

  11. The overwhelming majority of rolling carry on’s do NOT fall inside Delta’s 22X14X9 guidelines & that includes the vast majority of carry-on’s whose manufacturer specifications say they are smaller than 22X14X9. Invariably, there is a handle or wheel or other portion of the bag that causes rolling carry ons to exceed 22X14X9,in at least one dimension, along at least some portion of the length, width, or height. If Delta actually enforced 22X14X9, the vast majority of those with rolling carry ons would be forced to check them.

  12. I have a Tumi international carry on. It is legal and has wheels and a handle. Tumi states the size including
    wheels and handle.

  13. I have the Tumi Tall Wheeled International Brief Style #: 26126. This is the perfect bag for a 2-3 day carry on, it fits perfect in the Delta Carry On Size Check and it fits perfect in the overhead bin.
    I wish Delta would enforce the Carry On Bags. I see so many people carry on big bags on the planes.
    I don’t get how they get past 1) TSA and 2) The Gate Agent

  14. We just flew Delta and they told people the flight was full and free checking of carry on bags will occur at the plane for those willing. Yet I watched person after person (we had priority boarding) board the plane with one, often two bags which we far larger than a carry on bag should be. Most of us carry stuff on we plan to use on the plane, snacks, music, readers, and even an extra set of clothes…can easily fit all in a carry on which meets the airlines carry on size guidelines. There is nothing more frustrating than watching people taking up two-three overhead spaces cos there bags are so darned big. I know the gate staff are already overwhelmed but it’s pretty easy to spot a bag that doesn’t meet their criteria, if I can do it so can they. Start enforcing…applies to all airlines!

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