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My son and DIL bought me tickets to visit them for my granddaughter's birthday. They used Jet Blue which does not have a very generous luggage policy. I'd have to spend $30 each way just to check a bag. Instead, I'd rather use the money to buy a carry-on to their specifications, which are 22 x 14 x 9 and that has to include any handles and wheels. It'll be cold then so I want something that can hold as much clothing as possible. I'm traveling there later this month on a different airline but I want to go ahead and give the piece of luggage a trial run before I have to stuff it full of warm clothes. Does anyone have a recommendation for one they love? Thanks!

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Tips for stretching your packed clothes:
- Wear your coat onto the plane, rather than packing it; you are allowed to take it off and drape over your lap, or store under your seat or in the overhead bin and it doesn't count as another "carry-on".
- Pack thinner items that you can layer for warmth.
- Take silk or lightweight thermal undershirt and leggings for added layers of warmth under your clothes, which also helps "stretch" re-using clothes for several days.
- Plan on doing laundry a time or two while visiting, and re-wear clothes.
- You can always borrow a coat from family if you didn't pack enough. Or buy an extra sweater or jacket from a second-hand store when you get there, in case you can't fit everything into the suitcase.


We got the luggage I love close to 20 years ago, so it's not out there anymore, BUT... features I love: 
- wheeled!!!
- soft side rather than hard shell (expands a bit for stuffing in just a little more...)
- handle that telescopes out for pulling, and back in flat to the bag top for storing
- small, flat, zipper "pouch" on the outside is perfect for storing your book handy when having to juggle boarding pass and ID
- recessed wheels -- in line with the bottom of the bag, giving an extra 2 inches of bag space (so NOT the "spinner" wheels that are fully below the bag, taking up precious inches allowed for bag dimensions

Edited by Lori D.
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Good ideas above.  I love the ones with 4 wheels but the 2 wheeled ones work too.  Maybe look for something that has zippers that can expand/collapse depending on the exact airline rules.  Softer luggage vs. the hard shell might make this easier.

Are you allowed a personal item as well?  I take a backpack as my personal item.  Inside the backpack goes my purse, string backpack, kindle, snacks for on the plane, etc.  I can also often fit in a change of clothes, etc. in there.  A backpack is pretty squishable to fit their requirements ....and I will admit on Allegiant I have had it quite full and never had a problem.

Wear your bulkiest clothes on the plane and a hoodie/sweater along with your jacket.  That really helps cut down what must go in the carryon.

make sure you have all of your MUST HAVES....ID, money, medication, tickets, cell phone and charge, etc. in your personal item as sometimes cheaper airlines (or very full ones) will have you "gate check" your carryon and you might not have access to it during the flight.

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Costco had a great one a few years ago - only available online.  they've modeled their bags on tumi and travelpro in the past (we have a 26" travelpro I love).  briggs & riley (pricy) - but you can buy it used.) has a lifetime warranty including airline damage.  spinner wheels are nice - the bags don't tip over.

we have a 29",  had a rush job on a zipper repair... (free).    that has been hauled back and forth between west coast/east coast and around south  America.  then 2ds started using it.  it is still going strong.  most bags would have given up the ghost with what it has gone through.  oh, did I mention - my mother bought it used. I think she paid $50 for it from a neighbor.

 most 22" bags should be fine.  the concern is you have to close the overhead bin when it is in with the handle facing out.

I fly Alaska - and i also buy the tickets where I have to pay to check bags.  when I go to check in, 50% of the time, they ask if I want to check bags - and I say "no".  the next page they ask if I'd like to check it for free.

and then on particularly full flights - when it doesn't ask me, and I take my bag out to the gate (which is a hassle, and you are limited in what you can have in your bag) -  the gate agent will come over the PA asking if anyone wants to check their bag for free.  (with the "encouragement": if you don't check it, we'll start checking bags anyway..)

 

eta: when I carry my suitcase on, I also have my lousy backpack (with laptop) and purse.  I'm able to stow both of those under the seat in front of me.  

Edited by gardenmom5
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Disclaimer - I travel a lot for work,  it so much for pleasure.  To help maximize packing space in my bag, I use packing cubes.  I have this set and and they are amazing.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LEHAZYY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I don’t fly JetBlue often, but I would encourage you to look for a carry on bag that is at least an inch smaller in every direction that their stated dimensions. That probably means buying a very small carry-on suitcase or rolling duffle.

My current suitcase has been showing its age and mileage.  I’ve been looking at this set to replace it.  Both bags are under the size limits for US airlines, including JetBlue.

https://www.amazon.com/Traveler-Lightweight-Expandable-Rolling-Suitcase/dp/B000QPD7QI/ref=sr_1_17?crid=2BL7X167DJRYQ&keywords=jetblue+carry+on+bag&qid=1559423842&s=gateway&sprefix=Carry+on+bag+jetblue%2Caps%2C247&sr=8-17

 

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Alaska just made their carry-on size smaller, so the one I have used for 20 years is too big now.  If I were to get a new one, I would get a small 4-wheel spinner, because that can bear all the weight of the other carry-on you are hauling around.  (That matters when it is a DSLR camera bag.). AND the problem I now have is that if I put too much stuff in the bag that goes in the overhead bin, I can't lift it.  Ugh.  So that's a problem.  

I've always been a carry-on gal--three weeks in Europe in above-mentioned bag, business and pleasure--but I'm turning into a bag-checker now.  I can take as many shoes as I want, my walking sticks, whatever, and it makes packing a lot less time consuming.  I do hate the extra charge, though.  Most of the time, lately, I have traveled with a friend who is a gold member of at least 4 airlines, so she just checks my bag as one of hers.  haha. If I don't take my DSLR, I can do the small-spinner and a small backpack or tote-bag (which holds my smaller purse).  

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I always take a measuring tape with me when I am shopping for carry-on luggage.  I have found that the listed dimensions on the tag do NOT usually include handles and wheels.  I remember when a passenger was about to board a plane and they asked him to step aside.  They tested his carry-on by placing it into a container they had and it didn't quite fit.  They wouldn't let him take it onto the plane.  Always better to be safe than sorry.

If you have a lot of clothes you are trying to pack into a carry-on, maybe small vacuum storage bags would help.  We've used them in regular size luggage and they are a huge space saver!

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2 hours ago, Ottakee said:

Are you allowed a personal item as well?  I take a backpack as my personal item.  Inside the backpack goes my purse, string backpack, kindle, snacks for on the plane, etc.  I can also often fit in a change of clothes, etc. in there.  A backpack is pretty squishable to fit their requirements... 


This is exactly what I do, too! As long as the backpack isn't a padded one, or a huge one, and can fit under the seat, no problems.
 

... make sure you have all of your MUST HAVES....ID, money, medication, tickets, cell phone and charge, etc. in your personal item as sometimes cheaper airlines (or very full ones) will have you "gate check" your carryon and you might not have access to it during the flight.


YES! Everything vital goes in the personal item. Remember that you are only allowed a 1-quart ziplock for shampoo/cosmetics/etc., and no bottle can hold more than 3 oz. Put all of those items in a 1 quart ziplock, and also put all food/snacks in a clear ziplock, as it makes it so much easier to pull those out and go through security check, and then throw those 2 ziplocks back in your carry-on (shampoo et.al) and personal item (food/snacks).

Also: bring an EMPTY water bottle, and you can fill it at a drinking fountain once you're past security. NO drink bottles with liquids -- even sealed ones -- are allowed through security. Sometimes I just go buy a $4 water bottle that's the 16-oz or larger size in the terminal once I'm past security, and then keep refilling/reusing all during my trip.
 

44 minutes ago, Patty Joanna said:

Alaska just made their carry-on size smaller...


I just looked, as I am flying Alaska this summer, and it is listed as the same 22x14x9 size as OP lists -- but that 22" has to include the height that spinner wheels add...

Side note: another reason I hate those spinner wheels (in addition to taking away from actual bag room) is that I see people trying to put luggage with spinner wheels  in the overhead bin, and the wheels catch on everything -- and also don't make it as easy for someone else to fit a bag in there with these awkward wheels sticking out. Just me, but I would fear that the wheels could easily be damaged or snap off... 😵

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31 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

SNIP

Side note: another reason I hate those spinner wheels (in addition to taking away from actual bag room) is that I see people trying to put luggage with spinner wheels  in the overhead bin, and the wheels catch on everything -- and also don't make it as easy for someone else to fit a bag in there with these awkward wheels sticking out. Just me, but I would fear that the wheels could easily be damaged or snap off... 😵

I know what you mean.  It's annoying.  My 20-year-best-bag-ever has two recessed big skateboard-style wheels and they go *everywhere*.  The spinner I have for checkin gets caught on thresholds, elevator gaps, and so on.  BUT the spinner supports all the weight of the carry-on, where my 20-year wonder is a 2-wheeler, and so my arm supports half the weight, even as the suitcase bears some and does the wheelie thing.  

When I got my spinner, I got it at the Tuesday Morning store for 1/4 the price it sold for at Macy's, about 75% of what Costco's brand cost.  And I've seen them at thrift stores, too.  I'm just irked that I had to get a new suitcase at all because 20-Year is still going strong.  Eagle Creek.  

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4 hours ago, stephanier.1765 said:

It'll be cold then so I want something that can hold as much clothing as possible.

Just as a suggestion, you might do the opposite and *wear* your bulky things on the plane. Or when I travel cold to warm/warm to cold, a use a down jacket that rolls into a small duffle. 

The bag I use for a carryon is a different print version of this https://www.ebags.com/product/lily-bloom/20-wheeled-duffel/326720?productid=10488817  and I LOVE it. It's like Mary Poppins what this crazy thing holds. Does Jet Blue add the inches? Maybe it won't work. Anyways, ebags sometimes has great deals. Also, if you want to see stuff in person just go to Target.

It would be easier to pay to check the bag and use what you already have for luggage. Then you'd have no stress. 

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1 hour ago, Patty Joanna said:

I know what you mean.  It's annoying....  I'm just irked that I had to get a new suitcase at all because 20-Year is still going strong....


Amen. And well you *should* be irked. It irks me, too, to be increasingly packed in like a sardine with no leg room into ever-smaller planes that require that even the carry-on gets packed in the below-storage, no water unless you pay for it, and you have to stand in the passenger walk-way by the plane door to get it back again...

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3 hours ago, AK_Mom4 said:

Disclaimer - I travel a lot for work,  it so much for pleasure.  To help maximize packing space in my bag, I use packing cubes.  I have this set and and they are amazing.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LEHAZYY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I don’t fly JetBlue often, but I would encourage you to look for a carry on bag that is at least an inch smaller in every direction that their stated dimensions. That probably means buying a very small carry-on suitcase or rolling duffle.

My current suitcase has been showing its age and mileage.  I’ve been looking at this set to replace it.  Both bags are under the size limits for US airlines, including JetBlue.

https://www.amazon.com/Traveler-Lightweight-Expandable-Rolling-Suitcase/dp/B000QPD7QI/ref=sr_1_17?crid=2BL7X167DJRYQ&keywords=jetblue+carry+on+bag&qid=1559423842&s=gateway&sprefix=Carry+on+bag+jetblue%2Caps%2C247&sr=8-17

 

Wow, these prices are crazy good! I could buy both items with the $60 I'd have to give Jet Blue to check my bag. Before I make a final decision, I'm going to go to the store to see luggage in this size so I have a better idea visually of what that looks like. I may just panic and fork over the $60. 😂

Thanks everyone for all the responses! You've given me lots to think about. 

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I love my Osprey luggage.  It is expensive, but it has held up well.  For a carry-on, I would go with a backpack style without wheels to maximize packing space.  If the backpack is lightweight and fits correctly it will not be difficult to carry.   Remember that with a carry-on only you will be limited to one quart size bag of any liquids/gels.   

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If you have a TJMaxx or Marshalls near you, they generally have a wide variety of luggage for affordable prices. I opted to go wheeless for my carry on. Last time I flew, everyone with wheeled luggage had to gate check theirs, my backpack was not even noticed. It is this model, 38 L. I bought this one as a trial to see how I liked the backpack only. I've since added a Tom Bihn aeronaut 30 (30L) to my stash, not cheap and not for a one time deal. It's also 30L, so great for a weekend or very careful packing for longer trips. 

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You don't mention your price point, but if it fits in your budget, this is the most awesome carry-on I've ever seen.  My dh has the Sky-Roll garment bag for business, but I love this spinner.  It has a garment bag that wraps around the outside of the main compartment, and the toiletry bag, laptop, phone, and everything you need fits neatly in the top of the bag for easy access during security check, etc.  It meets your size requirements as well.  https://www.skyroll.com/skyroll-spinner-bag/

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8 hours ago, Bootsie said:

I love my Osprey luggage.  It is expensive, but it has held up well.  For a carry-on, I would go with a backpack style without wheels to maximize packing space.  If the backpack is lightweight and fits correctly it will not be difficult to carry.   Remember that with a carry-on only you will be limited to one quart size bag of any liquids/gels.   

Yup. Osprey makes great gear. 

We only travel with one backpack each. Mine is 30L, which fits under the smallest of plane seats so I never have to worry about overhead space. My purse tucks into the front pocket for airlines that don't allow an extra personal item.

Packing lightly (and using packing cubes) makes traveling just so much easier and is such a time saver. 

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I puffy heart love everything ebags.  

I have this one:

https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/mother-lode-tls-mini-21-wheeled-duffel/125538?productid=1325215

and I got the duffle for trips when we drive:

https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/tls-duffel-bag/272274?productid=10299283

I got both in eggplant purple.  Love the color and my boys won't steal them!  Every other suitcase I have purchased, my boys have taken (ok, not really stolen, I let them have them but they haven't asked for these yet! 🤣)

I am traveling to Phoenix in a couple of weeks and will be taking the suitcase and probably a backpack like others have said (I do have an Ospray daypack to take as it was my son's for day hikes in scouts and he doesn't use it anymore.)

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12 hours ago, DawnM said:

I puffy heart love everything ebags.  

I have this one:

https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/mother-lode-tls-mini-21-wheeled-duffel/125538?productid=1325215

and I got the duffle for trips when we drive:

https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/tls-duffel-bag/272274?productid=10299283

I got both in eggplant purple.  Love the color and my boys won't steal them!  Every other suitcase I have purchased, my boys have taken (ok, not really stolen, I let them have them but they haven't asked for these yet! 🤣)

I am traveling to Phoenix in a couple of weeks and will be taking the suitcase and probably a backpack like others have said (I do have an Ospray daypack to take as it was my son's for day hikes in scouts and he doesn't use it anymore.)

I really wish the suitcase was one inch smaller because it has all the features I've been looking for in my carry-on. It's sorely tempting to get it and hope for the best. One bloomin' inch! Ach!

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46 minutes ago, stephanier.1765 said:

I really wish the suitcase was one inch smaller because it has all the features I've been looking for in my carry-on. It's sorely tempting to get it and hope for the best. One bloomin' inch! Ach!

 

This one is the specs you need I think:

https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/tls-convertible-wheeled-carry-on/316162#productFeatures

Oops, in fact, this is the one I have, not the other one!  Same but different dimensions.

Edited by DawnM
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On 6/2/2019 at 5:38 AM, MEmama said:

Yup. Osprey makes great gear. 

We only travel with one backpack each. Mine is 30L, which fits under the smallest of plane seats so I never have to worry about overhead space. My purse tucks into the front pocket for airlines that don't allow an extra personal item.

Packing lightly (and using packing cubes) makes traveling just so much easier and is such a time saver. 

We just got back from a 10 day Europe trip and I just had a backpack and a very small purse. Love being able to throw it on my back and the purse over my shoulder, very handy. I did put my backpack overhead as I didn't need anything in it although it could have fit under the seat. We had 6 flights total and it was a total breeze with all of them.  Amazon has several carryon size bags that are very well reviewed, I ended up finding a backpack at Goodwill for a few bucks that met the specs and it worked well enough. I did use 1 travel cube. My bag had 2 main areas, 1 with a divider the smaller one I put shoes and toiletries (in a ziploc) and the bigger divided one had tops and bottoms split with my socks, undies, and bras in a cube.

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Please be aware the many airlines are going to a 21.5 in tall suitcase so 22 inch ones might start to be too big for some airlines.  The Costco soft side one I think is one of those models.  Although it is super sturdy, it is heavier than our other (more expensive) ones.  I second the recommendation for TJ Maxx.  My mom got a very nice 4 wheeler one for under $50.  She doesn't use it as much as we do so it is perfect (we buy more expensive ones - Delsey Helium and TravelPro as my family travels at least once and usually 2-4 times a month)

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3 hours ago, YaelAldrich said:

Please be aware the many airlines are going to a 21.5 in tall suitcase so 22 inch ones might start to be too big for some airlines.  The Costco soft side one I think is one of those models.  Although it is super sturdy, it is heavier than our other (more expensive) ones.  I second the recommendation for TJ Maxx.  My mom got a very nice 4 wheeler one for under $50.  She doesn't use it as much as we do so it is perfect (we buy more expensive ones - Delsey Helium and TravelPro as my family travels at least once and usually 2-4 times a month)

That's just insane! I can't believe they are going to quibble over an half inch. Flying is becoming more and more stressful.

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We travel a lot so splurged on a carry-on piece by Away. We absolutely love it. The wheels are extremely sturdy and the case covers the bottom wheels a bit so has a bit more space than the usual case of its size. There is a piece that squashes the clothes on one side so it fits more. It has a removable cell phone charger and a small laundry bag. My dd and I have fit enough clothes for two weeks on the road (in cold weather) in that case by rolling everything.

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I just bought my husband a travelpro roller suitcase -- I decided on the two wheels instead of the spinner wheels based on reviews of durability (and because I am still bitter that my spinner suitcase I bought from Macy's was used 5-6 times and then the wheels broke).  

But I can't tell you what it will be like as it's not even arrived yet!

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On 6/4/2019 at 4:58 PM, YaelAldrich said:

Please be aware the many airlines are going to a 21.5 in tall suitcase so 22 inch ones might start to be too big for some airlines.  The Costco soft side one I think is one of those models.  Although it is super sturdy, it is heavier than our other (more expensive) ones.  I second the recommendation for TJ Maxx.  My mom got a very nice 4 wheeler one for under $50.  She doesn't use it as much as we do so it is perfect (we buy more expensive ones - Delsey Helium and TravelPro as my family travels at least once and usually 2-4 times a month)

 

Do you know which ones and when this is going into effect?  Is there a list somewhere?

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23 minutes ago, Hoggirl said:

Do you know which ones and when this is going into effect?  Is there a list somewhere?


I found this list, but I don't think it is up-to-date, as I will be flying Alaska this summer, and when I checked their website a few weeks ago, maximum size was listed as 22x14x9 -- rather than the 24x17x10 that's on that list.

ETA -- Wait, try this list -- it seems to be more recent. (At least, the Alaska Air dimensions on this list match the Alaska Air website restrictions.)

Edited by Lori D.
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We had 3 in the family flying last year. We bought these backpacks at Walmart. Dd packed for a 2.5 week trip touring Italy using this. Dh and Ds each packed one for a week trip to Alaska. Ds used it just this March flying to Colorado. 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Outdoor-Products-Arrowhead-8-0-Internal-Frame-Pack-Camping-Backpack-Black-Griffin/51036934

Edited by mom31257
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8 hours ago, Lori D. said:


I found this list, but I don't think it is up-to-date, as I will be flying Alaska this summer, and when I checked their website a few weeks ago, maximum size was listed as 22x14x9 -- rather than the 24x17x10 that's on that list.

ETA -- Wait, try this list -- it seems to be more recent. (At least, the Alaska Air dimensions on this list match the Alaska Air website restrictions.)

 

Thanks!  

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