Give an Inch, Gate Check a Mile

Q. I just bought a 21x15x8.5 sized carry-on...while most airlines seem to allow a total of 45 inches, I'm reading some airline's carry-on sizers (such as AA) are 22x14x9. Will my extra inch on one side get me in trouble or am I worrying too much?

A. Nah, you should be in the clear. Usually, it only matters if your flight is packed to the gills and everyone's bringing carry-ons onboard. We're always amazed at the size of some of the bags people lug aboard the plane. That's when they'll start looking for reasons to gate check you. Of course, even if you're well within their stated size that's still no guarantee that you're baggage will be allowed onboard if there's no room in the overheads. Whenever possible, we try to keep things small enough to fit under the seat in front of us, to avoid overheads entirely.