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I've got a flight coming up on a CRJ-200. I know this is a smaller plane — is there room in the overhead bin for a rollaboard? I usually prefer to fly with carry-on luggage, even paying the upgrade so that I can be sure to be first on the plane and more likely to get overhead bin space. I don't want to pay the extra money if there isn't space.

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No, a standard 22" rollaboard suitcase won't fit in a CRJ overhead bin.

In my experience, most airlines that fly the CRJ and similarly sized regional aircraft use a "gate check" system: luggage that is of "carry-on size" (i.e. would fit in a larger airliner's bin) but doesn't actually fit in the bin on the aircraft in use will be taken from you at the gate, put in the plane's cargo bin, and returned to you at the gate after landing. You won't need to check it at the ticket counter or claim it at the carousel.

However, this means that priority boarding gains you nothing as far as carry-on space.

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Just to note that isn't restricted to the CRJ-100, Emirates which only flies wide-body aircraft, does this often when the flight is full. I have also seen this practice on other airlines when the flight is near capacity. – Burhan Khalid Aug 31 '14 at 8:25
@BurhanKhalid: Yes, but in my experience this is rather different. When "mainline" (not "regional") airlines gate check, your bag is usually treated as checked luggage "to your final destination" from then on. If you have a connecting flight, you don't pick up the bag at your layover airport; it's automatically transferred for you. And you collect it at the baggage carousel at your final destination, not at the gate. I haven't flown Emirates, though, so it could be that they are different. – Nate Eldredge Aug 31 '14 at 16:41
At the gate it is just as you have described on mainline carriers. Funnily enough, Emirates flies the A380 on the same route serviced by A320/737 (CRJ are not common in the Middle East). So yeah - short haul on an A380! – Burhan Khalid Sep 1 '14 at 7:30

It depends on the size of your rollerboard. The overhead bin allows for a 52.5" × 14" × 9.5" bag, but, if memory serves, Delta makes passengers check all rollerboards on the CRJ-200 since they reserve the overhead space for soft-sided bags and jackets. Given that policy, the seat upgrade wouldn't give you any early boarding advantage so you should probably save your money and skip the upgrade. They did gate check the rollerboard though, so you probably won't have to to pay the checked bag fee or wait at baggage claim when you arrive.

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My recollection is that CRJ bins are significantly less than 9.5" high. Seatguru says 7" though of course this should be taken with the usual Seatguru grain of salt. As I recall, height is the main obstacle to fitting a larger suitcase. The depth is reduced also; as you say this can be circumvented by putting the bag in sideways, but this will use more than your fair share of space. – Nate Eldredge Aug 22 '14 at 18:54
"rollAboard", not rollERboard. A rollerboard is a flat plate with 4 wheels used for moving boxes. Narrow ones are called skateboards. Rollerboards definitely won't fit in the overhead of a CRJ, nor most jumbos. – Paul Aug 22 '14 at 23:43

No. My backpack (that fits under the seat in front of me on a normal airliner) barely fits in the overhead bins on Delta's CRJs, let alone my rollaboard. As others have said, they will collect such bags at the gate, put them in the cargo hold, and then return them to you in the jetway (or on the ramp if you're not using a jetway) as you get off the plane. These aircraft are much smaller than a standard DC-9 or 737 class aircraft. At 6'1", I have to duck the exit signs walking down the center aisle on these things. Personally, I avoid them where feasible.

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After a lot of inconclusive research on the same question, here is a photo of a Rimowa Salsa Deluxe business trolley in the overhead of a United Canadair CRJ-200.

enter image description here

enter image description here

It fits -- just barely -- into the space, and the overhead lid just barely closes over it.

The dimensions of the Rimowa case are 16.1" x 16.1" x 8.1". But those dimensions need to be adjusted for (1) the wheels which don't fit exactly through the opening (they have to be carefully angled into it then the case slides in), and (2) the tiny bit of height clearance you see above the case. So taking these factors into account, a more precise estimate would be:

7.5" high, and 15.5" deep for the United CRJ-200

There is plenty of room on length, as you can see, and you will note from the side-view that the key issue is the opening height, because the inner space is a little larger than the opening because of the ramp.

This takes into account the wheels, overhead clearance, and handle height for the Rimowa case.

I've traveled on CRJ's plenty with this case and have never been asked to check it in because it's a half-height.

For others considering the Rimowa approach, I also have the aluminum Topas Stealth Business Trolley but I would not recommend using it on a CRJ: it's slightly larger and unlikely to fit, and I have no desire to gate-check an anodized aluminum finish case.

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please provide proper attribution for your photos – CGCampbell Nov 12 '15 at 11:50

I recently measured the overhead bins of the Embraer 145 and the CRJ 100 because I got tired of gate checking bags. I found a bag that is 19" tall, 13" wide and 7" deep. I took it on a 5 day trip recently on which I flew YVR-SFO-ORD-ICT-YQT-YYZ-YVR on several different small regionals including a Dash-8 100 and it fit into every bin- no gate checks req'd.

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I have found that regardless of bag size AA will not allow any roller bags. They will gate check.

My computer bag is not small looking, but fits under the seat. I have been with others whose bags are half the size of mine, but due to them having rollers, have been forced to gate check.

This is their policy and no measuring is considered.

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I would ask that you support this claim with sources (from AA)... as of 2015, the American Airlines web sight page on Carry On Baggage Allowances shows a picture of a roller bag meeting the requirements! Perhaps you had a misinformed attendant and/or they were in a (foul) mood that day? – CGCampbell Apr 1 '15 at 13:01
@CGCampbell Or the person in question was just boarding late and the overhead was already full. Or they had 3 bags. Or they had 2 non-"personal item" bags. – reirab Apr 1 '15 at 20:11

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