If your bag fits in the sizer at the gate, you can take it on board, because its dimensions are within the rules your airline has set for carry ons. At least that is how it is supposed to work.
Passengers bring things that don’t fit all the time, and gate agents don’t enforce the rules until they do. But if challenged, the sizer is supposed to be a neutral arbiter. One passenger decided to take this to the extreme and jammed their bag into the sizer, even sitting on it It’s in, therefore it’s allowed! And the man celebrated with a bit of a strut.
But things turned south when he realized that he got the bag into the sizer… but couldn’t get it out. He tried everything, even turning the sizer over and trying to push the bag out.
Here’s a bag that actually fit in the sizer, but the passenger couldn’t get it out. You’d think the sizer would be the ultimate arbiter of what fits but I’ve covered a bag that clearly fit in the sizer, but where a United employee wouldn’t let the passenger take it on anyway.
Remember that carry on bag dimension rules include handles and wheels while the dimensions that luggage manufacturers list for their bags usually do not. So a 22″ bag may not fit in a 22″ sizer, though some airline gate sizers are actually larger than allowable dimensions in order to avoid constant conflict over this.
(HT: Paul H)