Airline travelers told their carry-on bag is too big even though they've carried it on before

Airline expert says fuller flights are to blame

WEST PALM BEACH - No shoes. No belt. No large liquids.

We all know the rules of flying, or do you?

"I was surprised," explained Maggie Losch.

"I don't think it's fair," explained jewelry designer Ashley Carson.

Carson is well traveled and packs with a plan.

"Whenever I pack my carry on it's everything I couldn't live without," explained Carson.

On a recent trip, her carry-on was loaded with jewelry expecting it to stay in her possession the whole trip. However, she went through security empty handed.

"My bag was way too big for a carry-on bag which is funny because I carried it on probably 100 times," explained Carson.

Airlines are cracking down on oversized baggage, enforcing the fine print of their carry-on policies that restricts the width, height, and length of your bag.

"She told me it was too big and they have those crates out front but no-one's bag fits in there. They are so much smaller than what actually fits overhead," explained Carson. "I tried to reason with her but she forced me to check it."

Carson was fed up with TSA because she was turned away at security. We found it was not a TSA agent who was the baggage police. Independent contractors hired by the airline or airport are turning you away.

They are even tripping up airline experts like George Hobica of Airfarewatchdog .

"Airlines don't want to advertise that they are cracking down because people immediately assume it's because of checked bag fees, but that's not the case," explained Hobica.

Airfarewatchdog believes the crackdown is a result of fuller flights, and expects the enforcement will last through the summer travel season.

"They want the planes to load faster, unload faster, and make sure there is enough space in the overhead bins for everyone," explained Hobica.

As the airlines enforce their space and size requirements travelers are left scrambling.

"We try to condense it as much as possible but obviously we did not do a good job today," explained Maggie Losch.

The Losch family had to make their carry on bag slimmer with the baggage police watching their every move.

"We worked it out. We brought some backpacks and made it work," explained Losch.

Carson didn't have an extra bag so she checked her carry-on along with all her valuables. When she opened it in New York, there were two bags of jewelry missing. Carson filed a claim with the airline, but she wants to get the word out so you are prepared the next time you travel.

To deal with this new level of scrutiny, measure your bag before you leave home. Only take valuables that you can fit in your purse or personal item.

Delta , UnitedAmerican Airlines restrict bags to 22 x 14 x 9 inches. JetBlue , Southwest , and Spirit Airlines are a little more generous.

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