Airlines often state the maximum allowable size of their carry-on and checked baggage as "Maximum Linear Dimensions", also known as "Linear Length". What does this mean? The linear dimensions, or total linear length, of your luggage are the sum total of the length, width, and height of your suitcase. This number may not exceed the "Maximum Linear Dimensions" allowed by your airline, typically 62 inches (158cm) for most airlines.
When calculating the linear dimensions of your luggage, you will have to take three measurements of your luggage: the Length, Width and Height. Be sure to include any handles or wheels if they are sticking out while collapsed. Then, simply add the three measurements together, like so:
Length + Width + Height = Total Linear Length
This number, the total of all three measurements that you took, must be less than or equal to the Maximum Linear Dimensions that your airline allows. Usually, that means the Total Linear Length cannot exceed 62 inches or 158cm for checked baggage.
The Lightest Large 62" Suitcases Available in 2023
Take a look at our updated list of the Top Rated Lightweight 62" Suitcases on the market. We review both soft-sided and hard-sided suitcases, so you can pack everything you need without worrying about exceeding your 50 lbs weight limit.Click HERE to see our picks for the Best Lightweight Large 62" Suitcases in 2023
The size limit of 62 Linear Inches in centimeters is 158 linear cm. Converting directly 62 inches to centimeters, it is just under 157.5 cm, but most airlines simply state the size limit as 158 cm. This is the most common size limit of a standard piece of luggage accepted by most airlines. This means that your suitcase's dimensions must not exceed a total of 62 Inches or 158 cm when adding the Length + Width + Height of your luggage. These are the exterior measurements of your suitcase, including any wheels and handles.
Maximum dimensions for checked luggage are measured in Linear Dimensions. This is usually expressed as a maximum suitcase size of 158 cm in linear dimensions. When converting to inches, 158 cm in linear dimensions are 62 linear inches. This means the maximum size allowed for your suitcase is 158 cm / 62 inches when adding together the exterior measurements of Length + Width + Height, including the wheels and handle.
Suitcases measuring 62 Linear Inches / 158 cm are typically the largest suitcases allowed as checked luggage by most airlines without being charged an oversized luggage fee. This is the total of Length + Width + Height. When buying a suitcase, these are usually labeled as 28 Inch Suitcases. In most cases, a 28 Inch suitcase will have interior dimensions of approximately 19.5 x 12 x 28 inches, and exterior dimensions of approximately 20 x 12 x 30 inches when including the wheels and handle, which is right at the official size limit of 62 linear inches / 158 cm.
Most 28 Inch Suitcases are specifically designed to fit within the standard luggage size limit of 62 linear inches / 158 cm. These are typically the largest suitcases included in a typical Luggage Set, with exterior dimensions of approximately 30 x 12 x 20 inches, including the wheels and handles, coming in exactly at the 62 Linear Inch limit. The "28 Inches" of these suitcases refers to the interior dimensions of the suitcase, which in most cases are approximately 28 x 12 x 19.5 inches, typically offering about 100-105 liters of packing space.
When calculating a suitcase's linear dimensions, you must use the exterior dimensions the suitcase measured when closed, including the wheels and handles. Some 28 inch suitcases measure slightly larger, with exterior dimensions adding up to 63 or 64. Although this is above the standard size limit of 62 linear inches, most airlines will still accept these as a regular suitcase without batting an eye, and you will probably not be charged an oversized luggage fee.
If your large suitcase slightly exceeds the 62 Linear Inch limit, such as about 64 or 65 inches, in most cases it will not be an issue. The airlines typically do not measure your suitcase at check-in, as long as it does not "look" excessively large. It is typically only when checking-in an odd-shaped item instead of a suitcase that the check-in agent may look at it a bit more closely. It is the WEIGHT limit of the checked suitcase that is much more strictly enforced at the airport. The maximum size dimensions of carry-on/hand-luggage is also more strictly enforced, as these items go into the cabin where space is much tighter.