Air TravelAirline PoliciesPlanningHow Linear Inches calculated

Trying to get everything together when you are getting ready for a flight isn’t easy. Thankfully, knowing ahead of time that you have luggage in the right size makes the trip a lot easier, as long as you know what linear inches are. 

Key Takeway:

Most airline companies use 62 linear inches as their limit. Linear inches is simply the sum of all of your dimensions added together. So you just need to add together the total inches of the length, width, and height of your bag together to get linear inches. 

Of course, every airline has slightly different rules. Read to the bottom of this article to find out the standards for some of the more common companies around the United States. 

What Linear Inches Are and How to Calculate it

Linear inches are the sum of the length, width, and height of your suitcase. When you get these three numbers, you simply add them together and you get the linear inches. 

Because it’s the sum of numbers, you can have a wide range of luggage that fits your needs. For example, a 27-inch by 19-inch by 16-inch suitcase would equal 62 linear inches. A 30 by 19 by 13-inch suitcase is also 62 linear inches. 

If you know the size of your suitcase in centimeters only, don’t worry, we have that too. 62 linear inches is approximately 158 linear centimeters. 

How Linear Inches calculated
How linear inches calculated

Why 62 Linear Inches Is the Limit

62 linear inches tends to be the standard size across the board for airplanes. This is to make it easier to handle baggage across all airports. For most airports, having a bag that measures 30 inches long instead of 25 doesn’t make much of a difference. 

This means that there’s no limit on specific sizes that may only be possible in a couple of brands of suitcases. After all, finding a 27 by 19 by 16-inch suitcase isn’t always easy, and you may find one that fits your needs a little better than a 25 by 19 by 18-inch suitcase. Unless the airport has a very specific size it can handle, a few extra inches of length, width, or height doesn’t matter much. 

Linear inches gives passengers a bit more freedom with their luggage sizes, while still ensuring that the suitcase will fit through almost every scanner and bag-moving system. The various sizes also allow them to fit bags together a bit more.

Why Are There Size and Weight Limits?

Size limits are mostly used to make sure most luggage is easily scanned by machines. This saves the airport time and adds a level of safety. It also makes sure your luggage easily fits onto the luggage carousel.

However, weight limits are made to help the workers. If a bag is too heavy, it could cause injury. Roughly 50 pounds is the standard for most jobs to expect their workers to lift at a time. 

Additionally, airplanes only work because of great weight management. Airlines take the average expected weight of a person, their checked bags, and their carry-ons to make sure a plane is safe to fly. If bags are heavier than expected, it could cause the plane to crash. 

While it might be inconvenient, these restrictions are necessary to ensure that everything is as safe for you, the machinery, and the workers as possible. These are the standards across multiple airlines for good reason. 

The Suitcases That Measures  Over 62 Linear Inches

Suitcases that measure over 62 linear inches are often subject to extra fees. Depending on the airline, the fees can be anywhere between $100 and $200 for oversized luggage. 

However, certain items, like sports equipment, may get exceptions. For example, many of the top golf travel bags are 80 linear inches because most of the airlines accept this length for golf equipment. Again, the measurements are the same, where you take the length, width, and depth and add them together to get the right number. 

Size and Weight Limits for the Most Common Airlines

Now that you understand what linear inches are, you can make sure you’re ready to get on any plane. However, while 62 linear inches and 50 pounds is the standard for most airlines, it’s not the same for every company. Make sure you know the rules for your flight with the table below. 

Also, it’s always a good idea to check your flight guidelines specifically. Some airports you leave from or travel to have slightly different rules. Though the table below offers a good standard to follow, it’s not always perfect. 

AirlineSize LimitsWeight Limits
Air Canada62 linear inches50 pounds
American Airlines62 linear inches50 pounds
Delta Airlines62 linear inches50 pounds
Frontier Airlines62 linear inches40 pounds
Hawaiian Airlines62 linear inches50 pounds
JetBlue Baggage62 linear inches50 pounds
Southwest Airlines62 linear inches50 pounds
Spirit62 linear inches40 pounds
United Airlines30 by 20 by 12 inches50 pounds

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