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United Economy class and personal item bringing on plane

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:53 pm
by BeachPerson
With United Airline's new Economy Class, a personal carry on is free that is their limit of 36 inches.

LLBean Duffel

has the following specs:
Capacity: Approx. 1,152 cu. in., 19 L.
Weight: 1 lb. 3 oz.
Dimensions: 9"H x 18"W x 9"D.

REI Duffel

has the following specs:
Dimensions 20 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches
Gear Capacity (L) 30 liters
Gear Capacity (cu. in.) 1,831 cubic inches

Eddie Bauer comes in at 36 linear inches and REI at 37 linear inches


I used to travel with the
Eagle Creek

Exterior Dimensions: 26.5" x 13.5" x 10.25"
Interior Dimensions: Not Available
Linear Inches: 50.25"
Weight: 1 lb, 12 oz

OK - Eagle Creek is over any of the airlines' dimensions, but it squishes up nice. I have been using that for the past year and for the past twelve years before that an Eddie Bauer duffel that was the same size. As long as the bag squishes up in the overhead cargo bin, no problem with the airlines.

I have a summer trip long weekend with a flight with United Airlines, so the LLBean duffel could work.

For personal item carry on now with United, what are others using?

Re: United Economy class and personal carry on

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:02 pm
by Seasonal
BeachPerson wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:53 pm
OK - Eagle Creek is over any of the airlines' dimensions, but it squishes up nice. I have been using that for the past year and for the past twelve years before that an Eddie Bauer duffel that was the same size. As long as the bag squishes up in the overhead cargo bin, no problem with the airlines.
Most airlines have sizers, basically, boxes with the maximum allowable dimensions. The test, if they decide to enforce it, is whether your bag fits in the sizer. Whether or not it fits in the overhead bin is not the official rule, although it often works in practice.

Re: United Economy class and personal carry on

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:06 pm
by neilpilot
Be careful using the term of "carry on" when you say "personal carry on". The correct term is "Personal Item", not to be confused with "Carry-on bag".

Assuming that you really mean personal item and not carry-on bag, the test is if it will fit under the seat in front of you. The overhead bin sizing is related to the Carry-On bag, not the Personal Item.

Although you state that United defines a Personal Item as 36 inches, but they actually issue maximum dimensions as 17"x10"x9", and that includes wheels and handles. They typically aren't very strict. However, a case that's 2"x2"x32" might not pass muster as a Personal Item.

Re: United Economy class and personal carry on

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:09 pm
by TravelGeek
BeachPerson wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:53 pm
With United Airline's new Economy Class, a personal carry on is free that is their limit of 36 inches.
By new, do you mean Basic Economy? And you are referring to the personal item, not the carry-on bag, right?

So for United, the rules are here:

https://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/travel ... ry-On.aspx

Basic Economy gets you only a personal item. Whether the size is strictly enforced will depend on the gate agent, so I would have a backup plan in case they force you to gate check. I personally have never had problems even with supposedly stricter foreign airlines (one time a Swiss gate agent was walking around the gate area with a hand scale weighing carry-ons, but fortunately her battery died right before she got to us).

Regarding squishing it into the overhead, if you are required to board with the Basic Economy group (no elite status or credit card benefit), you will likely find that the bins are full when you get onboard. So... does it fit under the seat in front of you?

Re: United Economy class and personal carry on

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:17 pm
by BeachPerson
My mistake, a personal item and not the carry on

Re: United Economy class and personal carry on

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:33 pm
by neilpilot
BeachPerson wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:17 pm
My mistake, a personal item and not the carry on
Then I suggest you correct the thread's title and your original post, if you want to avoid confusion

Re: United Economy class and personal carry on

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:40 pm
by DoTheMath
Even more confusingly, some airlines now allow a carry on bag in their version of Basic Economy:

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/exp ... conomy.jsp

You really have to read the fine print these days.

Re: United Economy class and personal carry on

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:46 pm
by TravelGeek
DoTheMath wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:40 pm
Even more confusingly, some airlines now allow a carry on bag in their version of Basic Economy:

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/exp ... conomy.jsp

You really have to read the fine print these days.
Ever more confusingly, even United allows a carry-on bag in their version of Basic Economy if you fly on a trans Atlantic flight.

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/conten ... onomy.aspx
Full-sized carry-on bags are not permitted on select routes

On trans-Atlantic flights, your carry-on baggage allowance is the same as for standard Economy tickets.

For all other Basic Economy tickets, you're not allowed a full-sized carry-on bag unless you're a MileagePlus Premier member or companion traveling on the same reservation, the primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card or a Star Alliance™ Gold member. Everyone else who brings a full-sized carry-on bag to the gate will be required to check their bag and pay the applicable checked bag fee plus a $25 gate handling charge.
What they don't say is if you can also take that carry-on if you are connecting to/from a trans-Atlantic flight. E.g., if your flight is PHL-IAD-FRA, can you carry your bag onto the first domestic leg? (usually for checked baggage rules are applied based on the international leg in a case like this)

Re: United Economy class and personal carry on

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:40 pm
by Carson
TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:46 pm

Ever more confusingly, even United allows a carry-on bag in their version of Basic Economy if you fly on a trans Atlantic flight.
Does this apply if you booked one 'ticket' to that has a stopover? We are going Chicago >Toronto > Copenhagen (booked as Chicago to Copenhagen, not two separate flights) I was just beginning to research baggage options for our family.

Re: United Economy class and personal carry on

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:11 pm
by TravelGeek
Carson wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:40 pm
TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:46 pm

Ever more confusingly, even United allows a carry-on bag in their version of Basic Economy if you fly on a trans Atlantic flight.
Does this apply if you booked one 'ticket' to that has a stopover? We are going Chicago >Toronto > Copenhagen (booked as Chicago to Copenhagen, not two separate flights) I was just beginning to research baggage options for our family.
I asked the same question in my post.

That said, your scenario may be somewhat different because I assume your trans-Atlantic flight is either operated by Air Canada or SAS, not United. The question then is, who is the marketing carrier of that trans-Atlantic flight? Because under IATA rules apparently the marketing carrier of the most significant leg is now determining the baggage rules.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g417 ... Trips.html

You could see if the United baggage calculator can determine your baggage charges or allowances.

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/conten ... ggage.aspx

Re: United Economy class and personal item bringing on plane

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:25 pm
by radiowave
I've been using an old Targa computer backpack for years. I can almost always stuff it under the seat in front of me. It has a handle on the top of the bag which makes it easy to pull out the bag (push the bag in with both feet with the flat (back) side up.

I also have a RedOxx travel bag I use for short trips when I don't need my TravelPro suiter. https://www.redoxx.com/safari-beanos-b ... 2/product This thing may be bullet proof and has some of the best zippers and ergonomics I've ever seen. I have not tried to put it under the front seat yet, but playing with it may be possible if you don't put too much in the bag.

Re: United Economy class and personal item bringing on plane

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:36 pm
by Carson
D'oh, sorry for missing that in your post.

The tripadvisor link was helpful-ish, at least it seems both my flights have UA numbers, even though air canada is operating it. So UA baggages rules would apply. And since we booked this as one ticket, I think the Ord-Cph would be what would apply.

I was maybe going to call, if I had a day of patience on the phone. I'll update if I do.

I'm fine checking one bag for our whole family, and each person having a personal item. I just dont know if we might need a bit of overflow into one more bag which would be carryon sized.

ETA, I used the http://www.iflybags.com/ site linked and whether it is ORD-YZZ or ORD-CPH under United Airlines, it allows for 1 personal item + carryon

And under united checked baggage, it states "For a trip that includes one or more connections, United will check bags to the final destination stated on the ticket. Your connecting flight must depart within 12 hours of your arrival at the airport in order for your bags to transfer automatically. " Which implies to me that our flight is considered to be ORD-CPH as there's not a material stopover. I think... :|

Re: United Economy class and personal item bringing on plane

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:43 pm
by TravelGeek
Carson wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:36 pm
D'oh, sorry for missing that in your post.

The tripadvisor link was helpful-ish, at least it seems both my flights have UA numbers, even though air canada is operating it. So UA baggages rules would apply. And since we booked this as one ticket, I think the Ord-Cph would be what would apply.

I was maybe going to call, if I had a day of patience on the phone. I'll update if I do.
I'd try Twitter. If you give @United your record locator in a private message, they should probably be able to help you.
Carson wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:36 pm
And under united checked baggage, it states "For a trip that includes one or more connections, United will check bags to the final destination stated on the ticket. Your connecting flight must depart within 12 hours of your arrival at the airport in order for your bags to transfer automatically. " Which implies to me that our flight is considered to be ORD-CPH as there's not a material stopover. I think... :|
Right, that's pretty standard.

If you have a Basic Economy fare, your first checked bag will cost $60 unless you have elite status or a qualifying credit card.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g ... ravel.html

Re: United Economy class and personal item bringing on plane

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:43 am
by nps
Carson wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:36 pm
The tripadvisor link was helpful-ish, at least it seems both my flights have UA numbers, even though air canada is operating it. So UA baggages rules would apply.
That is not correct. The operating airline's rules apply, not the code share's.

Re: United Economy class and personal item bringing on plane

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:22 am
by TravelGeek
nps wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:43 am
Carson wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:36 pm
The tripadvisor link was helpful-ish, at least it seems both my flights have UA numbers, even though air canada is operating it. So UA baggages rules would apply.
That is not correct. The operating airline's rules apply, not the code share's.
Do you have any page you can point to that documents/explains this? Everything I find indicates that the IATA MSC rules were changed in 2015 to marketing carrier. E.g.,

https://www.airnewzealand.com/most-significant-carrier

“These rules are based on a checked baggage concept, which is from when a bag is checked in until it is picked up, as such there may be various carriers allowance and charges applied across a customer’s entire ticket. For tickets issued on or before 31 March 2015 under Resolution 302, the Operating Carrier is generally the MSC, especially when they are operated by a partner airline (code-share flights).

For tickets issued on or after 01 April 2015 under Resolution 302, the Marketing Carrier is generally the MSC, including for flights operated by a partner airline (code-share flights).”

Re: United Economy class and personal item bringing on plane

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:46 am
by nps
The thread is about carry on bag sizing, so that's what I had in mind. Sorry, I see now you are asking a separate question about checked bag allowance. Yes, it's my understanding that First Marketing Carrier applies to your itinerary for baggage allowances.

Re: United Economy class and personal item bringing on plane

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:00 am
by Psyayeayeduck
I'm actually surprised that not many people have done this but when I'm at an airport with a small carry-on or personal item, I take a picture of my carry-on/personal item inside one of those metal dimension boxes for each of the airlines. Then I upload my pictures to my computer to be used as reference whenever I make future flights. This method have saved me lots of money and frustration.

Re: United Economy class and personal item bringing on plane

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:18 am
by neilpilot
nps wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:46 am
The thread is about carry on bag sizing, so that's what I had in mind. Sorry, I see now you are asking a separate question about checked bag allowance. Yes, it's my understanding that First Marketing Carrier applies to your itinerary for baggage allowances.
Actually, the thread is NOT about carry-on bag size. That's just the typical thread creep.

It's about personal item size.

Re: United Economy class and personal item bringing on plane

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:23 am
by JoMoney
I took a United "Basic" economy flight last month. I used my large laptop bag as my personal item to bring a change of clothes, and a few other items. I could have used a bigger bag, my duffel bag might have worked but I didn't want to risk it. United would not allow me to check in online if I didn't purchase checked baggage. Even when using the check-in kiosk at the airport I had to wait for a UA rep to come over and visually inspect my personal bag before it would issue the tickets.

Re: United Economy class and personal item bringing on plane

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:12 am
by GoldStar
Their website clearly states 17 x 9 x 10 inches max for personal item.
All three of your bags are bigger than this (2 are significantly so) - so could be taken away if they can't be squished down into these dimensions.

When I think "personal item" - I think small backpack or small laptop bag. Duffel bags are carry-on's at best - not personal items.
(EDIT ADD: I have 3 that I use. For business trips - small laptop bag is personal item - bring small roller-board for carry-on; for overnight business trips I bring a small laptop backpack that can also fit a change of clothes and a few toiletries; for personal trips - I have a backpack that fits a laptop and DSLR with an extra lens or two).

Re: United Economy class and personal item bringing on plane

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:17 pm
by BeachPerson
GoldStar wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:12 am
Their website clearly states 17 x 9 x 10 inches max for personal item.
All three of your bags are bigger than this (2 are significantly so) - so could be taken away if they can't be squished down into these dimensions.

When I think "personal item" - I think small backpack or small laptop bag. Duffel bags are carry-on's at best - not personal items.
(EDIT ADD: I have 3 that I use. For business trips - small laptop bag is personal item - bring small roller-board for carry-on; for overnight business trips I bring a small laptop backpack that can also fit a change of clothes and a few toiletries; for personal trips - I have a backpack that fits a laptop and DSLR with an extra lens or two).

At the airport the steel frames simulate the size allowed for a personal item and a carry on, well with duffels thay come in all sizes. Duffels are different than suit cases since duffels can squish up well. I have always been able to have the duffels squish in the allowed spots for the airline regulations.

Re: United Economy class and personal item bringing on plane

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:32 pm
by GoldStar
BeachPerson wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:17 pm
GoldStar wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:12 am
Their website clearly states 17 x 9 x 10 inches max for personal item.
All three of your bags are bigger than this (2 are significantly so) - so could be taken away if they can't be squished down into these dimensions.

When I think "personal item" - I think small backpack or small laptop bag. Duffel bags are carry-on's at best - not personal items.
(EDIT ADD: I have 3 that I use. For business trips - small laptop bag is personal item - bring small roller-board for carry-on; for overnight business trips I bring a small laptop backpack that can also fit a change of clothes and a few toiletries; for personal trips - I have a backpack that fits a laptop and DSLR with an extra lens or two).

At the airport the steel frames simulate the size allowed for a personal item and a carry on, well with duffels thay come in all sizes. Duffels are different than suit cases since duffels can squish up well. I have always been able to have the duffels squish in the allowed spots for the airline regulations.
Note I specifically used the word "squished" above as well. Fact is - I see very few folks with duffle bags as personal items (going under the seat).
I do see folks come on board with duffles so full they can't fit under the seat - they put them under the seat and they stick out into the foot area where they dont belong - they resort to moving them to overhead space (which is for carry ons) versus under the seat (which is for personal items).

Re: United Economy class and personal item bringing on plane

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:55 pm
by ddurrett896
Backpack = personal
Duffle = carry on

The beauty of both is that the sides are soft so you can cram and make them work in any of those metal boxes.

Re: United Economy class and personal carry on

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:59 pm
by lws6772
neilpilot wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:06 pm
Be careful using the term of "carry on" when you say "personal carry on". The correct term is "Personal Item", not to be confused with "Carry-on bag".

Assuming that you really mean personal item and not carry-on bag, the test is if it will fit under the seat in front of you. The overhead bin sizing is related to the Carry-On bag, not the Personal Item.

Although you state that United defines a Personal Item as 36 inches, but they actually issue maximum dimensions as 17"x10"x9", and that includes wheels and handles. They typically aren't very strict. However, a case that's 2"x2"x32" might not pass muster as a Personal Item.
Thanks for making that distinction. You made me realize that all I'm traveling with is a "personal item". I was counting that as my "carry on".