Q. I haven't flown in more than a year so I'm not sure of the current policy on carry-on luggage. If I fly on a smaller regional jet, I know that the overhead bin will be too small for a "standard" carry-on piece of luggage. In the past I recall they would “gate check” the luggage and there would not be any fee. Is there a written policy now or is it subject to airline discretion?
A. You’re correct that regional jet overhead bins are too small to accommodate some carry on bags, even if they conform to the airline’s published size and weight limits. But as long as your bag conforms, you should be able to gate check your bag for free. On United Airlines, for example, the maximum combined linear measurement (length + width + height) of carry-on bags must not exceed 14 inches x 9 inches x 22 inches (23 x 35 x 56 cm) or 45 linear inches (114 cm). You can find carry on limits for your airline by doing a web search for airline + carry on size.