carryon bags

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Jan 12th, 2011, 06:01 AM
  #1
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carryon bags

My husband and I am traveling to Europe with two roller bags (the standard 21 inch ones) I am flying Delta over to Paris-should have no problem. But coming back we are flying from Venice to Paris for our connecting flight to the US on Delta. The flight from Venice is on Air France. I was reading on some other boards that the European airlines have stricter requirements and that the standard 21 in bag isn't always allowed? Does anyone have any experience with Air France? If we have to check these bags we have to somehow manage to carry on what we don't want checked (electronics, medications, so on) as we are flying a total of three segments that day (the final two in the US) and finally into a little airport. Chances are we might not see the bags at our final destination. The good news is it will be at the end of our trip but just want to find out if anyone has had roller carryon bags that would normally be allowed on US airlines, having to be checked on European airlines.
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Jan 12th, 2011, 06:07 AM
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Have carried on an over than 21 inch soft bag on AF and Delta

within the last year so I would not worry as long as you can

fit it in the overhead...

if you are going to fly an econo like Ryanair or Easyjet

you might have a weight problem they only allow 10 Kg

so might be careful with that on those.

But odds are great you will be fine so no worries...
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Jan 12th, 2011, 09:03 AM
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Well, the published limit on Air France is 12 kg, which isn't as bad as the Star Alliance carriers, which limit you to 8 kg. Still, roll-aboards typically weigh between 7 and 10 pounds, empty, so you don't really have that much weight left.

From a practical perspective, I have not found AF to be overly restrictive. Occasionally, I have had them count the number of pieces and require an 'approved' tag, but even that is relatively rare. You would most likely run into a problem if your 'personal item' was large, but a purse shouldn't raise too many eyebrows.

All in all, I think you will likely be okay, as AF doesn't typically enforce the issue, but the rule is there and could catch you out. The only thing that makes me more nervous is that you are originating in Italy, and I can't guarantee that there isn't some sort of local prohibition, or at least that security screener might choose to make one up.
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Jan 12th, 2011, 10:17 AM
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you are asking two different questions.

My experience (having just come back) is that intra-Europe flights are more restrictive no matter who the carrier. So it's not so much a q. of Air France vs Delta, but that your first leg is Venice to Paris where it's a smaller plane and may have more strict size or weight restrictions.

To be safe, I would be prepared to have a small bag to keep with laptops, medicines etc in case they make you gate check the rollaboard. Or check one of the rollaboards and have another small bag with necessaries.
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Jan 12th, 2011, 12:15 PM
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My experience (having just come back) is that intra-Europe flights are more restrictive no matter who the carrier.

I don't find this true. European carriers differ greatly on the published limits - for example, SAS has a limit of 8 kg, while BA allows as much weight as you can lift into the overhead. Carriers also differ on their enforcement - Ryanair actively enforces, while Air France is less vigilant.

So it's not so much a q. of Air France vs Delta, but that your first leg is Venice to Paris where it's a smaller plane and may have more strict size or weight restrictions.

The size of the airplane and short-haul vs long-haul doesn't seem to have much to do with it. Virgin Atlantic, which only flies widebody aircraft and only flies long-haul, has a 6kg weight limit and, by many accounts, enforces it. As for this specific flight, Air France operates A320 family aircraft, which can readily handle rollaboards. By contrast, Delta operates the B767 on flights to and from CDG, which has a reputation for having relatively cramped overhead bins.

I think it very useful to know which carrier you are flying and to keep abreast of what their policies and practices are.

To be safe, I would be prepared to have a small bag to keep with laptops, medicines etc in case they make you gate check the rollaboard. Or check one of the rollaboards and have another small bag with necessaries.

This is excellent advice.

if you are going to fly an econo like Ryanair or Easyjet

Easyjet has no weight limit for carry-on baggage. They do, however, limit you to one piece, including laptop bags and the like.
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Jan 12th, 2011, 12:59 PM
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My experience is not the same as travelgourmet's above. BMI for ex, gate checks many pieces of luggage that meet the weight and size requirements because late arriving pax may not have room in the overheads. Other Star alliance partners more strictly enforce a one-bag policy, as happened to us at Heathrow this December, when security is tighter than usual due to recent threats. (at least that is what we were told)
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Jan 12th, 2011, 03:48 PM
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We have found that British Airways and Air France have strict size restrictions on carry-on bags for intra-Europe flights. That doesn't seem to be a problem if you are connecting to or from an international flight. Two years ago we down-sized our carry-on bags to fit BA's conditions; since we always have to check luggage, that wasn't a problem.
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Jan 12th, 2011, 08:30 PM
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paganwoman - well, a lot of supposition and opinion here, but not a lot of fact.

When in doubt, check the airline's website! Best not to rely on advice from others in something like this.

BA:
(No differentiation between intercontinental and intra-Europe flights operated by BA. Allowances differ for flights operated by franchise or partner airlines.)
You are allowed one piece of hand baggage plus a laptop or handbag. Please see below for sizes.
* Your main piece of hand baggage is up to the dimensions 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (22in x 18in x 10in), including the handle, pockets and wheels.
* Your bag must fit into the bag gauge, available at the check-in area.
* Your laptop or handbag is up to the dimensions 45cm x 36cm x 20cm (18in x 14in x 8in), including the handle and pockets.


Air France:
Flights within Europe...baggage allowance in the Voyageur cabin
* 1 standard baggage item that respects the following maximum dimensions:
55 cm (l) x 35 cm (w) x 25 cm (h) – including pockets, wheels, and handles. Please note: (1 suit bag is considered a standard bag)
* 1 accessory (handbag, notebook computer, camera, etc.)
* Maximum total weight (standard baggage + accessory): 12 kg/26.5 lb
* Your laptop or handbag must fit under the seat in front of you.

Intercontinental...baggage allowance in the Voyageur cabin
* 1 standard baggage item that respects the following maximum dimensions:
55 cm (l) x 35 cm (w) x 25 cm (h) – including pockets, wheels, and handles
* Please note: (1 suit bag is considered a standard bag)
* 1 accessory (handbag, notebook computer, camera, etc.)
* Maximum total weight (standard baggage + accessory): 12 kg/26.5 lb


Delta:
You may carry on one bag and one personal item at no charge. Please note that all items must easily fit into the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.
* Baggage may not exceed 45 linear inches (or 115 cm) in combined length, width, and height.
* Baggage must fit easily in the Carry-on Baggage Check, which is located near the check-in counters and at the gate and is approximately 22" x 14" x 9" or 56 x 36 x 23 centimeters.

Approved Personal Carry-on Items
* 1 purse, briefcase, camera bag, or diaper bag;
* or 1 laptop computer (computers cannot be checked and must be carried on);
* or 1 item of a similar or smaller size to those listed above.
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Jan 12th, 2011, 10:40 PM
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When in doubt, check the airline's website! Best not to rely on advice from others in something like this.

One should certainly check the website, but I stand by the statement that enforcement differs greatly, particularly for weight limits. It doesn't matter how low the weight limit is if they don't check. On AF, I find they don't check.

BMI for ex, gate checks many pieces of luggage that meet the weight and size requirements because late arriving pax may not have room in the overheads.

Gate checking is not the issue. American carriers gate check, too. The difference with some European carriers is that they will enforce the limit without regard for size of the aircraft or number of people on the aircraft. Ryanair, for example, would enforce the rule, even if you are the only person on the plane.
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Jan 13th, 2011, 06:01 AM
  #10
 
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RE

Gate checking is not the issue. American carriers gate check, too. The difference with some European carriers is that they will enforce the limit without regard for size of the aircraft or number of people on the aircraft. Ryanair, for example, would enforce the rule, even if you are the only person on the plane.

But the OP isn't on a LCC she's on AF. And gate check WOULD be an issue if she has medications and a laptop in her carryon.
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Jan 13th, 2011, 06:48 AM
  #11
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Thanks for all the info. Sounds like we should just prepare to check our roller bags on the trip home and hope for the best. I would rather sort out what we need to have with us and put it in a small tote or something to carry on than have to do it at the airport.
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Jan 13th, 2011, 07:44 AM
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But the OP isn't on a LCC she's on AF. And gate check WOULD be an issue if she has medications and a laptop in her carryon.

Yes, gate check would be an issue, but I don't find AF to be very aggressive in requiring gate checks.

The OP's question stems from statements about European carriers being more strict with carry-ons. These discussions center on the more restrictive requirements imposed prior to ever getting to the gate. Once at the gate, the differences end for most carriers. The OP should worry no more about having to gate check in Europe than they should on the US legs. If the bins are full, it won't matter if it is Delta or Air France.

Simply put, as long as you make it past check-in without AF telling you to check your bag, then you have no higher risk of having to gate check with AF than you do with Delta.
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Jan 13th, 2011, 10:22 AM
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Of course 'enforcement differs greatly, particularly for weight limits', no argument there, travelgourmet. And no argument with 'It doesn't matter how low the weight limit is if they don't check' either.

But again, those are opinions, not facts.

Written policies don't change unless they are re-written. Their enforcement can change from day to day and person to person depending upon many factors, none of which are under the control of the passengers involved. The only control we as passengers have is to ensure we meet the restrictions the airlines impose. What happens after that is beyond our control.

Knowledge is power. The OP may well end up being allowed to carry on the roller bags, but is being prudent in deciding to 'prepare to check our roller bags on the trip home and hope for the best.'
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Jan 13th, 2011, 10:39 AM
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But again, those are opinions, not facts.

Opinions formed from a fair bit of experience.

Written policies don't change unless they are re-written. Their enforcement can change from day to day and person to person depending upon many factors, none of which are under the control of the passengers involved. The only control we as passengers have is to ensure we meet the restrictions the airlines impose. What happens after that is beyond our control.

Sort of true. But the passenger actually has more control than you give credit for. For example, SAS is pretty strict about checking weight limits at the counter. For this reason, I check in online, avoiding having anyone look at my bag prior to the gate. I have never had them seek to gate check my bag after doing this.

None of this means you won't have to check your bag, but it all works to decrease the probability that you would have to do so. With Air France, I think the probability is so low that you are better off packing plastic bags enough to hold your critical items and take those out if they choose to enforce at the airport. That is certainly more of a hassle than if you had checked in the first place, but only on the relatively small chance that you are forced to check the bag.
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Jan 13th, 2011, 04:48 PM
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this is some good information as I'm thinking about an upcoming trip.

We are flying EWR - OSL, then OSL - BGO, all on SAS. Is there a chance that SAS will make us gate check bags on the OSL-BGO portion after carried on the EWR-OSL portion ?

I see that SAS has a weight limit -- sounds like tg's experience is that they enforce that. Is that all carryon's or individual ?

Our problem is that the important things (books, Ipods, food, etc.) are heavy and I find the carry on is frequently as heavy (or feels similar) to the checked bag. Should I be mentally prepared for that ? I know some have used the strategy of pulling out 'small heavy' things (Ipods, chargers, phones) and putting them in their pockets for the 'weighin'... should we be mentally prepared to do that ?

We will be a family of 5 people - with 5 daypack sized bags and probably 3 carryon bags. We will most likely carry an empty shopping-type bag so that once we are on the plane, all coats go into that bag so that they don't get separated and left on the plane, but as for walking on the plane, we will have 3 "bags". Will this be a problem ?
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Jan 13th, 2011, 07:08 PM
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I find it really difficult to do 15 lbs carry on but easy to do about 18.

My bag is about 4 lbs...the lightest I have been able to find w/ wheels.....and by the time I squeeze in Kindle, glasses, meds. rollers, teesy camera and case, and docs...theres the weight. I dont even try to take my netbook..which is a shame cause I would like to have it w/ me.

Im old and need mah wheels cause lugging bags thru airports is just over for me. Im taking Cathay Pacific in the spring and will have to stuff pockets and me smalls I guess!!!
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Jan 14th, 2011, 01:40 AM
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I see that SAS has a weight limit -- sounds like tg's experience is that they enforce that. Is that all carryon's or individual ?

What SAS does is that, when you check-in, they eyeball your carry-ons. If it is on wheels, my experience is that they will ask to weigh it. It will almost certainly be more than 8kg, so they will make you check it. Even if you pull out heavy items, I see no way that one can get a roll-aboard that is anywhere near full, to weigh less than 8kg.

If you can make it to the gate without the check-in staff seeing the bag, then I have not had problems bringing on a roll-aboard. Also, I have not had them weigh bags that don't have wheels, even though they are of comparable size.
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Jan 14th, 2011, 06:34 AM
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My experience flying AF from Venice to Paris was that they checked the size of my wheeled carry-on bag because it was an odd shape (sort of a rolling tote bag) but did not weigh it. I honestly think your experience will depend on the airline staff -- some do their jobs, some do their jobs too rigidly, and some don't care.
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Jan 14th, 2011, 07:37 AM
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I think you have to consider the policies of the airlines, but also the realities of air travel today.

Some airlines check the size of your carry on at boarding; but I think most don't. Since many of us seek to avoid baggage costs, and the planes are more crowded, this leads to a defacto limit in that earlier borders get the space, and when the space is gone, they don't go through the bins to see who has too much, they just start gate checking. For essentials, such as medicines, my wife and I always have a bag that will fit under the seat, and avoid bulkhead seats as most of them lack such space.

Yesterday we were on a domestic flight, in business class, so we got to board first, and then watched the parade of tourist borders hauling multiple bags of excessive size past us. Soon the flight attendants were busy looking for overhead space, and soon it ran out. Most of the last borders were forced to gate check licit bags, unless they were small enough to fit under the seat. And as the airlines add entertainment systems, they install more and more equipment under the seats, so my old bag that used to fit there easily now barely fits.
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Jan 15th, 2011, 11:38 PM
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a very general comment, but the one time my carryon got denied and moved to checked luggage was for weight (not size) on BA
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