Alaska Airlines has announced that they’re reducing their carry-on baggage allowance for flights as of June 4, 2018. Here’s how the old and new carry-on baggage allowances compare:
- Current baggage allowance (through June 3, 2018) — 24″x17″x10″
- New baggage allowance (as of June 4, 2018) — 22″x14″x9″
As you can see, they’re reducing the dimensions pretty significantly here — the length limit is being reduced by 2″, the height limit by 3″, and the width limit by 1″, for a total reduction of six linear inches. If you’re measuring by volume, that’s a reduction of nearly 35%, which is significant.
Call me crazy, but for once I actually believe an airline when they explain the reason they’re making a negative change:
Why are we changing our carry-on bag size?
Our current carry-on bag size is larger than most other international and domestic airlines allow.
We’re changing our 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.
Best of all, we’ll be able to fit more carry-on bags into the overhead bins.
While there’s no doubt this will allow them to fit more bags into the overhead bins, the point they make is accurate. Many of Alaska Airlines’ passengers are connecting onto flights on their partner airlines. I imagine this has been a genuine point of frustration for many, where Alaska accepted their carry-on, only for their bag to be checked on a connecting flight on another airline.
American, Delta, and United all currently have carry-on limits of 22″x14″x9″, so Alaska is matching the industry standard here. Now the major US carrier with the most generous carry-on allowance is Southwest, which has a limit of 24″x16″x10″.
Alaska’s new carry-on limit should still be sufficient for a vast majority of standard carry-ons, which are right around that size.
For those who do have larger carry-ons, here’s to hoping they don’t suddenly get strict overnight. Keep in mind, however, that both The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card and The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Card offer a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation, so that could be a good alternative to worrying about the carry-on limits for Alaska flyers. In addition, cardholders also receive 20% back on Alaska Airlines inflight purchases, including food, beverages, and wifi, and 50% discounts on Alaska Lounge day passes, bringing down the cost from $50 to a very reasonable $25. So, if you fly Alaska regularly, these cards could be a good option to save even more.
What do you make of Alaska Airlines’ decision to reduce their carry-on allowance?