Excepting the likes of Ryanair, which operates only Boeing 737-800 aircraft, why would airlines have a unique hand-luggage policy? Wouldn't different types of aircraft allow for different allowances of hand-luggage, just because they have more space?

  • 4
    Probably because it would be a nightmare to manage...
    – brhans
    Jan 16 '18 at 15:53
  • 4
    Airlines often have implicitly different rules about hand luggage. E.g. some US airlines still publish one rule regarding weights and size, but if you're on one of the smaller regional airplanes, your hand luggage will often be gate checked and stored in the luggage compartment, even if it is within the allowed limits.
    – dunni
    Jan 16 '18 at 15:56
  • More space, but they mostly fill it up with more passengers, so the space-per-passenger doesn't change nearly so much.
    – djr
    Jan 16 '18 at 16:35

This is a good question but when you book a flight, you choose an airline, not a plane. Some people may be curious enough to look at what plane will fly the route but certainly not most people.

Most importantly it makes things less complicated. It is already difficult to deal with multiple different allowances by different airlines and trying to fit your gear so that it satisfies everyone's allowance is simply a pain. Imagine if you had to satisfy an even greater set of allowances due to different planes being used as part of your journey.

Honestly I wish they would all get together and settle on one size and let all the luggage makers know so that pieces meant for carry-on would be always right. There are too many variations now and we have carry-ons that fit one airline but not another, depending if they measure by dimension or linear size. Having to also consider the type of plane would make the carry-on allowance pages at each airline website complicated.

Some planes have less space than others but they rather the allowance be the same and sort it on boarding. Regional jets flying the US and Canada often have small overhead bins and the crew often passes around before check-in to collect larger pieces for gate check-in. This helps people not having to worry about the type of plane used and not consider two requirements if the return leg of the journey is on a different plane which recently happened to me going from YUL to YYZ. My plane going was a tiny propeller plane (first one I fly in my life between two cities - had no idea they still existed) and we were told to put the heavy carry-on under the seat and gate check-it if it did not fit. On the way back I was an a small but more common Boeing 737-800.

  • 2
    Just to add to your first paragraph: Even if you look at what plane is scheduled to fly a certain route on a certain day, things might change if the number of bookings is much higher or smaller than expected. And it would be a huge mess if you had to inform half of the plane that carry-on allowance has changed a week before the flight...
    – Sabine
    Jan 16 '18 at 16:43
  • @Itai Air Canada, for one, flies everything from Beechcraft 1900s (very small turboptops with only two seats per row) to large widebodies like the Boeing 777-300ER. AC's regional carriers fly at least four different types of turboprops. Dash 8-Q400s are gradually replacing CRJ-100 & 200 jets. Jan 16 '18 at 16:51
  • A week would be early. I once got a call from KLM because they had changed the plane I was supposed to go on the following day (they wanted to hear if they I could go on an earlier or later flight). Jan 16 '18 at 22:34

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