How to Measure Luggage Size

How to Measure Luggage Size
If you just glance at the information about acceptable luggage sizes when you purchase your airline tickets, you may be in for a surprise. Airlines have more stringent luggage restrictions than ever before, and having an oversize bag can put a damper on your travel plans or wallet. Make sure your luggage is the correct size so you can avoid stress and hassle at the airport and be able to focus more on your upcoming excursion.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Luggage Ruler or tape measure Calculator
  • Luggage
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Calculator
Step 1
Use a ruler or tape measure to determine the height, width and depth of your bag. Measure from the outside, rather than the inside, as rollers and outside pockets can add several inches to the total.
Step 2
Add the three numbers together. This figure is the linear measurement of your bag.
Step 3
Know your airline's policies for carry-on and checked luggage. Most airlines limit carry-on bags to a measurement of 45 linear inches, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Checked luggage may be limited to 61 or 62 linear inches.

Tips & Warnings

Luggage stores often label bags based on the longest measurement. For example, a 22-by-14-by-9-inch bag would be marketed as a 22-inch bag, but a bag this size measures 45 linear inches. Always verify the linear size.
Airlines also have weight limits on luggage, commonly 40 pounds for carry-on and 50 pounds for domestic checked baggage. Oversized or overweight luggage or sports equipment may be subject to additional fees.

Article Written By Christine Meyer

Christine Meyer has been writing professionally since 1995. Holding a Bachelor of Arts in music from Taylor University, a CELTA from the University of Cambridge ESOL, and a CBA in marketing from IBMEC Rio de Janeiro, Meyer has experience in a variety of fields. Her articles have been published in newspapers and on sites such as

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