There’s some simple magic in accomplishing all of this, provided the suitcase makes it past the pearly white gates.
Should you be extra determined not to check the bag or wait at the gate after arrival, the best way to fit a carry-on suitcase in the overhead bin of a regional jet is to turn the suitcase sideways.
Our own carry-on bag, which measured 21.5 inches x 13.5 inches x 9 inches, fit on an ERJ-175 aircraft just fine using this method.
(This is also a great reason to opt for smaller carry-on bag sizes versus bigger ones. Most gate agents are trained to spot bags that may pose a problem on these flights in advance.)
Clearly, this is where paying attention to the make and model of the aircraft is important. Though most regional jets won't be able to accommodate standard size hand luggage, the Embraer ERJ-175 in particular, is one of the few regional jets that can accommodate normal carry-on suitcases.
The Bombardier CRJs (or Canadair Regional Jet) are not known to be as friendly. That said, one CRJ-200 pilot has this to say, even though he notes a standard 22-inch bag will fit on the plane:
The CRJ200 is very sensitive when it comes to weight and balance. Due to the nose being heavy, all roller bags have to be gate checked and added to the cargo bin in the back to help balance the plane.
In fact, it’s all about visual and spatial orientation; did you think the article on Tetris was silly?