Full disclosure…this wasn’t one of those “Holy cow, who would have EVER thought they were going to do something like this???” proclamations. In fact, if you ask me, it was really only a matter of time.
Anyway, it was announced last week that starting on Monday, June 4th, Alaska Airlines will decrease the carry-on bag size limit from 24″ x 17″ x 10″ to the limits of what nearly every other U.S.-based airline has, 22″ x 14″ x 9″.
According to the post on Alaska’s website, their current carry-on bag size is larger than most other international and domestic airlines allow, so they’re changing their bag size allowance, “to make sure that your carry-on bag will be accepted aboard all the flights within your itinerary. This will help you avoid carry-on bag size conflicts and make connections with other airlines easier during your future trips.” They also mention that with the newer, smaller bag size, they’ll be able to fit more carry-on bags into the overhead bins (personally I find this. part suspicious but maybe it depends on the size of that bag that wouldn’t have fit in otherwise. Whatever).
Like I said, this one, IMHO, was only a matter of time. In 2015, the International Air Transport Association made guidelines that suggested the ideal carry-on was 21.5″ x 13.5″ x 7.5″. Most major U.S. airlines followed those guidelines and made 22″ x 14″ x 9″ the maximum size for a carry-on. Alaska was a holdout but apparently it’s now joined the pack.
Now, in some respects, this change makes sense. If you have one flight on Alaska Airlines and a connecting flight on some other airline, it does make it easier (especially for those who don’t know any better) to make sure their luggage fits the smallest size limits of their entire trip. On the other hand, for those who only flew the shorter, inter-Alaskan flights, those people just lost 2″ x 3″ x 1″ of carry-on suitcase space…which, when you’re talking about coats and gloves and long johns and other bulkier clothes you may need for a day or two, might be harder to fit in a 22 x 14 x 9 bag. But…it is what it is, I guess.
Alaska Airlines’ child companies Horizon and SkyWest, will also follow suite and follow the new 22″ x 14″ x 9″ rule, effective June 4th.
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