Are 28-inch Suitcases Allowed On Planes?

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In the world of air travel, choosing the right suitcase size is more than just a matter of personal preference. It’s a critical decision that can impact your entire journey, from check-in to baggage claim.

Navigating airline policies can often feel like a daunting task, especially when it comes to luggage dimensions.

You’re not alone if you’ve ever been eyeing your 28-inch suitcase skeptically, wondering whether it will cut the airline check-in counter.

This article aims to demystify the question, “Are 28-inch suitcases allowed on planes?” Buckle up as we unpack the fine print of the suitcase saga.

Related: What Size Suitcase Do I Need for 7 Days?

Airline Baggage Policies

Airline Baggage Policies

Overview of Baggage Policies

Airline baggage policies dictate what passengers can carry onboard and how much they can bring. These rules are crucial as they directly affect travel comfort and costs. Not adhering to these guidelines might result in additional expenses and even denial of boarding.

The Variability of Baggage Rules

The rules surrounding luggage sizes, weight, and the number of bags allowed differ considerably among airlines. For instance, some airlines might allow a 28-inch suitcase as a checked luggage piece, while others may have a smaller size restriction. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with your specific airline’s policies before packing.

Key Considerations for Air Travelers

1. Checked Baggage vs. Carry-on Baggage:
Understanding the difference between checked and carry-on baggage is crucial. Checked bags are stored in the aircraft’s cargo area, whereas carry-on bags are stowed in the cabin. Generally, larger suitcases like the 28-inch ones would need to be checked, but it’s always best to confirm with your airline.

2. Weight and Size Restrictions:
Every airline has specific restrictions on the size and weight of baggage. These constraints not only apply to the dimensions of the bag but also its weight. An oversized or overweight bag may incur additional costs.

3. Fees and Charges:
Lastly, be aware of the fees associated with your luggage. Some airlines include a checked bag in the ticket cost. Others may charge separately for every bag checked. Exceeding the weight or size limit may also incur extra charges. Therefore, knowing your airline’s baggage policy can save you from unexpected costs at the airport.

Understanding Suitcase Sizes

Understanding Suitcase Sizes

Explanation of Suitcase Size Measurements

Suitcase size measurements are typically provided in inches or centimeters and indicate the suitcase’s length, width, and height. They are instrumental in determining whether your suitcase will fit within the airline’s baggage size restrictions.

The Role of Linear Inches and Dimensions

Linear inches is a standard unit of measurement in the airline industry, calculated by adding the length, width, and height of a bag. Many airlines use this method to impose size limits on luggage. Hence, the total linear inches of a 28-inch suitcase would be significantly larger than 28 inches.

Common Suitcase Sizes (Carry-on, Medium, Large)

There are three common suitcase sizes: carry-on, medium, and large. Carry-on suitcases, typically up to 22 inches, are designed to fit in the overhead compartment of most airplanes.

Medium suitcases, usually between 23 to 26 inches, are ideal for short trips. Large suitcases are generally 27 inches and above, suitable for long trips or for travelers with larger packing needs.

The 28-Inch Suitcase: Dimensions and Capacity

A 28-inch suitcase refers to the height of the suitcase, not including the wheels. This size is considered a large suitcase and ideal for weekly or more trips. The spacious interiors allow for packing a substantial number of items.

Remember that one inch equals approximately 2.54 centimeters to convert this to centimeters. Therefore, a 28-inch suitcase would stand roughly 71 centimeters tall.

However, these suitcases typically need to be checked in due to size and may not be used as carry-on luggage with most airlines. Always remember to check your airline’s specific baggage policies before packing.

28-Inch Suitcases: Pros and Cons

Advantages of a 28-inch Suitcase

1. Ample Storage Capacity:
The most notable advantage of a 28-inch suitcase is its generous storage capacity. It can comfortably accommodate clothing and essentials for extended trips, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer to travel with a single piece of luggage.

2. Ideal for Longer Trips:
Given its ample space, this suitcase size is ideal for longer trips, such as a two-week vacation or a business trip. It can hold enough outfits, footwear, toiletries, and even additional items like souvenirs or gifts.

Disadvantages of a 28-inch Suitcase

1. Weight and Size Restrictions:
While the large size of a 28-inch suitcase offers ample packing space, it also brings challenges. The key one is adhering to airlines’ weight and size restrictions. If not carefully packed, the suitcase could easily surpass the allowed limit, leading to additional fees.

2. Limited Maneuverability:
A 28-inch suitcase, once packed, can be difficult to maneuver due to its size and weight. This could pose challenges in crowded airports or narrow airplane aisles.

Airline Policies on 28-Inch Suitcases

Airline Policies on 28-Inch Suitcases

Comprehensive List of Major Airline Policies Regarding 28-Inch Suitcases

Each airline has its specific policy regarding the size of checked luggage which includes 28-inch suitcases. Here are some major airlines and their respective policies:

  1. American Airlines: Accepts 28-inch suitcases as checked luggage. The maximum dimensions for checked luggage are 62 linear inches (L+W+H).
  2. Delta Airlines: Also allows 28-inch suitcases in checked baggage. The maximum size is 62 linear inches.
  3. United Airlines: A 28-inch suitcase can be checked in. The maximum size limit is 62 linear inches.
  4. Southwest Airlines: Accepts 28-inch suitcases. The maximum size allowed for checked luggage is also 62 linear inches.
  5. British Airways: Welcomes checked luggage up to 35.5 x 29.5 x 16 inches, thus accommodating a 28-inch suitcase.

Please note these are general guidelines and may be subject to changes. Always double-check with the individual airline before travel.

Are 28-inch Suitcases Allowed On Planes?

While most major airlines do accept 28-inch suitcases as checked luggage, there can be variations in size allowances.

For instance, some low-cost airlines or regional carriers might have stricter size restrictions than the ones mentioned above. It’s always advisable to check the airline’s baggage policy to avoid any last-minute surprises.

Weight Limits and Additional Charges

Along with size, airlines also impose weight limits on checked luggage. Most airlines set a weight limit of 50 pounds (23kg) for checked bags. If your 28-inch suitcase exceeds this limit, you’ll have to pay extra.

The charges for overweight baggage vary by airline, but they can add a significant cost to your travel budget. So, it’s vital to weigh your suitcase after packing and balance your needs with the cost implications of exceeding weight limits.

Tips for Traveling with a 28-Inch Suitcase

How to Ensure Compliance with Airline Policies

1. Measuring and Weighing Your Suitcase:
Always measure the dimensions of your suitcase, including wheels and handles, to ensure it meets the airline’s size restrictions. Use a tape measure to get accurate measurements.

Also, weigh your packed suitcase with a luggage scale. This will help you avoid surprises at the airport, especially if your airline has strict weight limits for checked luggage.

2. Distributing Weight Properly:
Pack heavier items towards the bottom of the suitcase to maintain balance and prevent things from shifting during transit. Also, evenly distributing weight can make staying within airline weight limits easier.

If traveling with a companion, consider splitting items between two suitcases to avoid one overweight bag.

Packing Strategies for Maximizing Space

Consider using packing cubes or compression bags to maximize the space in your 28-inch suitcase. These can help organize your items and reduce the volume of your clothes.

Roll your clothes instead of folding them to save space and minimize wrinkles. Use the inside space to store socks or other small items for shoes.

Suggestions for Easier Handling and Maneuverability

A 28-inch suitcase can be heavy and tricky to handle. Opt for a suitcase with high-quality wheels for easy maneuverability. Four-wheeled suitcases, also known as spinners, can be pushed or pulled in any direction, making them easier to handle.

Also, ensure your suitcase has a sturdy, comfortable handle. Consider using a luggage strap for added support and to attach a smaller bag or personal item.

Lastly, lift your suitcase properly to avoid strain or injury – bend at your knees, not your waist, and use your leg muscles to lift.

Alternatives to 28-Inch Suitcases

While a 28-inch suitcase can be an excellent choice for longer trips, there are alternatives. Each comes with unique advantages and maybe a more suitable choice depending on the nature and duration of your journey.

Smaller Suitcase Options

Smaller suitcases, such as 24-inch ones, can be a viable option for those who wish to travel lighter. Though less spacious, these suitcases are generally easier to handle and accommodate enough belongings for a week-long trip.

Their smaller size makes them a convenient choice for airline travel, as they are less likely to exceed weight and size restrictions.

Using Multiple Smaller Bags

Using multiple smaller bags might be beneficial for shared journeys or trips requiring a variety of clothing options. This distribution can help you stay organized, as each bag can be dedicated to different items. It also reduces the risk of exceeding weight limits, as weight is distributed across various pieces of luggage.

Packing Efficiently with Compact Luggage

Compact luggage options such as carry-on bags or backpacks can be suitable for shorter trips. Many items can fit into these compact luggage options with efficient packing strategies, such as packing cubes and rolling clothes.

Not only can this save you the hassle of handling a large suitcase, but it also eliminates the risk of lost checked baggage.


Whether 28-inch suitcases are allowed on planes is not straightforward as it depends on the specific airline’s policies.

While a 28-inch suitcase offers ample space and can be an excellent choice for longer trips, it comes with challenges, particularly around handling and the risk of exceeding airline size and weight restrictions.

Utilizing smart packing strategies, understanding your airline’s baggage policies, and considering the nature of your trip can help you make the best luggage choice. It is always recommended to verify the luggage limitations of your particular airline before traveling.

Always remember, efficient packing isn’t just about fitting everything in but also about managing weight and mobility for a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

Is 28-inch luggage too big for checked luggage?

Whether a 28-inch suitcase is too big for checked luggage largely depends on the airline’s baggage policies. Most airlines accept 28-inch suitcases for checked luggage, but verifying with your specific airline is crucial.

Furthermore, the total dimension (length + width + height) often matters most, and a 28-inch case may exceed this limit if it’s bulky.

Remember, it’s not only the size but also the weight – even if your suitcase fits the size restrictions, it may still be overweight.

Always check your airline’s size and weight restrictions before you travel to avoid any unnecessary hassles or fees.

What size suitcase is best for checked luggage?

The ideal size for checked luggage often depends on the airline’s baggage policies, which vary considerably.

However, suitcases around 25 to 27 inches are often considered the best size for checked luggage.

This size offers ample packing space, typically enough for a week-long trip, yet is usually within the scope and weight limits most airlines impose. But remember, even within size limits, you must be cautious of the weight of your packed suitcase as overweight fees can be significant.

Always double-check your airline’s policies on checked luggage size and weight limits for a stress-free travel experience.