United bag sizers at TPA unfair?

Back when I was in high school, I would listen to the MJ Morning Show every morning, which is a local radio morning show here in Tampa. While I don’t listen to it anymore, Eric pointed to a story that caught his attention. Basically, MJ was flying United out of Tampa last week, and placed his bag in the “sizer” at check-in. At the gate, the agent made him gate check the bag, saying it was too big. The kicker is that he was told to place his bag in the sizer at the gate, and he claims the sizer was smaller than the one at check-in.

He claims, once again, that he brought a measuring tape on the return portion of his trip, and that the sizer at the gate is nine inches deep, while the one at check-in is ten inches deep. You can read the story here and listen to him discuss it on air by clicking this link and going to hour three of the 7/12 show. The discussion of this starts about 36 minutes in.

I’ll certainly be keeping MJ honest by showing up at TPA Sunday morning equipped with a measuring tape. And of course I’ll report back.

Filed Under: United
  1. You should try a ruler as they aren’t as flexible as measuring tape, and it’s always better to measure lengths when something is hard.

  2. Of course, the sizer at the gate reflects the UA policy of what is actually permitted as a carry-on: 22x14x9″. That the sizer out at check-in is wrong doesn’t really excuse the fact that the bag is too big for what is acceptable under UA policy.

  3. Incredible that they are doing this. BTW please respond my answer in Ask Lucky. Thanks. šŸ™‚

  4. @Wandering Aramean – are you a United apologist? Are you serious?

    If I showed up at the counter and measured my bag – and it fit – and then I went to the gate – and it didn’t – – I’d be mad as hell as so would you!!!

    If the airline (United or anyone for that matter) is going to really crack down on carry-on luggage sizes – they had better AT LEAST be consistent. As a seasoned traveler or as a infrequent flyer I would ‘assume’ the bag template is correct in the first place!!!! is that TOO MUCH to assume???

    Typical United – “do this, no, really, we meant this . . . .”

    Blame me, after all, I am just the customer . . . .

  5. Not that I have to remind YOU, of all people, but please don’t forget to take pictures of your measurements. šŸ˜‰

  6. Apologist? Hardly.

    I clearly assert that the one sizer is wrong. But the policy is also what it is. The policy is a set of dimensions, not “whatever fits in any sizer you can find with our name on it.”

    I love that people show up to bitch about anything they can when they feel wronged, even though they were actually not following the rules that are defined. Keep at it. I love reading such drivel.

  7. So what’s the big deal? Had he been charged for the gate check, MJ would have grounds to complain.

  8. I think he has a right to complain that United is basically misleading him into thinking his bag is of allowable size when it’s really not (per the letter of the law, so to speak). This is a simple thing UA (and any other airline, for that matter) should be able to get right.

  9. “even though they were actually not following the rules that are defined” . .

    Isn’t the use of a “Bag Sizer” by an airline at the check in counter the definition of “airline policy”???

    Who travels around with a tape measure or ruler when they travel?

    “Excuse me Mr. Check-In Counter Person, but I just measured your bag sizer and according to your carry-on rule section B, paragraph 2, the defined allowable limit for carry-on luggage is clearly listed as 22″x14″x9″ and your size checker here is clearly 22″x14″x10″, so just to let you know, MY bag is clearly allowable as it’s only 22″x14″x9″.”

    Drivel indeed, you are clearly one of those DYKWIA types.

  10. Would it not make more sense to have the smaller sizer out front where customers would be forced to check and pay verusus the larger one that allows them to go to the gate only to be stopped by the smaller sizer.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *