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United Enforcing Oversized Carry-on Rules

By Expert Author: www.cheapfares.com

Select experienced travelers plan affordable trips via a careful review of cheap travel options, such as cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, discount travel deals, and cheap vacation packages and then circumvent airline baggage fees by carrying oversized bags to the gate where they usually are checked for free.

United Airlines has decided to more strictly enforce its rules restricting the size of carry-on bags. Workers at security checkpoints have been asked to start identifying bags that are too big to be carried on planes.

Recently United distributed new bag sizing boxes at most airports and notified frequent fliers by email of its carry-on oversized bags rules.
Most airlines have size limits on carry-on bags that have been in place for years, but airlines have enforced them very inconsistently.

Passengers are usually allowed one carry-on bag that can be placed in an overhead bin and can be no larger than 9 inches by 14 inches by 22 inches. Fliers are also allowed to bring one personal item such as a purse or laptop bag that will fit under the seat in front of them.

There is a long standing practice whereby travelers flying with an oversized carry-on can have the bag checked for free at the gate. However, United passengers who get stopped at security for trying to carry an oversized bag are now being directed to go back to the ticket counter and pay the airline’s $25 checked bag fee.

Some travelers complain that United’s crackdown is part of a larger attempt by the airline to collect more fees. United disagrees, saying that it is taking this step to ensure that compliant passengers can find space in the overhead bins. In the last several years, the final group of passengers to board has often been forced to check their carry-ons at the gate because overhead bins were already full.

Airline experts believe that United’s new baggage directive will result in more revenue for the airline and likely delay the boarding process unless fliers are better educated. Compliant passengers should benefit by more overhead space opening up.

United collects $638 million in annual checked bag fees and has stated that it hopes to collect an additional $700 million for extras such as baggage fees and the sale of extra legroom over the next four years.

Enforcement of other airlines bag sizers at security checkpoints has been sporadic. American Airlines asks its employees in some of its largest airports “to do an eyeball test on size of carry-ons.” Delta Air Lines says that “during peak times at hubs and larger airports” it has staff near security to look for oversized carry-on bags.

United is now enforcing its oversized carry-on rules much stricter than other airlines. Its bag sizers can determine whether bags will fit in overhead bins and under passengers’ seats.

United now encourages passengers on its website to use the new sizers “to find out whether your carry-on and personal items are able to be brought on board, so you can check any bags that are too large right there in the lobby.”

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