Alaska Airlines and Virgin America want your carry-on bags to be 32% smaller


If you routinely fly Alaska Airlines or Virgin America, you may have to buy a smaller carry-on bag.

The two carriers, owned by the Alaska Air Group, are shrinking the maximum size of carry-on bags by 32%, starting in less than two months. The airlines say the new restrictions are intended to bring the carriers in line with the size limits of competing airlines.

Starting June 4, the dimensions of carry-on bags on Alaska Airlines and Virgin America can be no bigger than 22 inches long, 14 inches high and 9 inches wide. Those are the same maximum dimensions for carry-on bags on Delta, United and American, which set an informal industry standard given their positions as top carriers. There are no federal regulations governing carry-on bags.


Alaska Airlines currently allows carry-on bags up to 24 inches long, 17 inches high and 10 inches wide. Virgin America imposes a maximum outside linear dimension of 51 inches, which equates to the same limit as Alaska Airlines’.

Virgin America was acquired in 2016 by the parent company of Alaska Airlines, the Alaska Air Group.

The merger with Virgin America is taking shape, with all flights and reservations made on Virgin America moving to the Alaska Airlines system by April 25. In addition, all Virgin America terminal gates, websites and mobile apps will be absorbed or converted to those of Alaska Airlines by that date.

Virgin America, a carrier launched by business magnate Richard Branson, will end next year when the logos and paint schemes on the Virgin planes are painted over and the interiors are retrofitted to resemble Alaska Airlines planes.

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