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Can I check "carry-on" bags airside @ Frankfurt switching to Lufthansa?

Can I check "carry-on" bags airside @ Frankfurt switching to Lufthansa?

Old May 10th, 2022, 10:29 AM
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Can I check "carry-on" bags airside @ Frankfurt switching to Lufthansa?

We have 3 flights from the US to our destination. We carry-on a 4 wheel spinner and a backpack for each of us. We carry-on to eliminate our bags being delayed or lost and not catching up with us. We each pack one change of clothes in our backpacks, and we also pack 1/2 each in the carry-on bags in the event we are forced to check them.

We made it 25 days in 2019 with this set up flying BA over and AA return. However, this time we have UA from New Orleans to Washington, then Washington to Frankfurt where we switch to UA's partner, Lufthansa, for the last leg. Our spinners are Travel-Pro which are 22.75" from the ground to the handle, and will weigh around 20lbs. So, they are both too long and too heavy for Lufthansa's maximum carry-on dimensions. I posted this issue to UA's Facebook page, and they replied that Lufthansa will abide by UA's (more liberal) baggage rules; however, that makes little sense to me as on UA's travel-ready page they provide a link to Lufthansa so passengers may review Lufthansa's travel guidelines.

We have a 2 hour layover in Frankfurt, and I am curious if any of you have had this issue, and if Lufthansa allowed your oversize bag onboard? If not, were able to check the bag at the gate and remain airside (presumably for a fee)?

Thank you for your time.
richarde99 is offline  
Old May 10th, 2022, 12:15 PM
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Just last week I flew from Munich (originating in the US) to a small airport in Italy. I had a very small wheeled carryon, which met Lufthansa domestic standards. However, at the gate they gave me a tag to check it airside, because they said the plane was very full. They were requiring almost everyone to check bags bigger than a large duffel bag or small backpack.

Then when I got to the plane, they told me to take it on board.

Anyway, to answer your question, if the bag is on the large size, you probably are required to check it airside.
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Old May 10th, 2022, 12:19 PM
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Last week, I transferred in Munich to a small airport in Italy. At the gate, they told me that I had to gate check my very small wheeled suitcase because the plane was very full; the bag was well under Lufthansa domestic standards.

Then, when I got to the plane, they told me to take the bag on board.

So, I think you may be required to gate check your bag.
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Old May 10th, 2022, 12:27 PM
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When traveling on one ticket one gets the baggage allowance (even for cabin bags) of the transatlantic carrier -- in this case UA. But worst case if you transfer to on a small plane where the overheads won't hold your bag they will gate check it for you. Shouldn't be a fee.
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Old May 10th, 2022, 12:32 PM
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But . . . if you want -- you can check your bag through from the beginning and you won't see it til your final destination. Immigration is done when first entering Schengen and Customs at the final destination (it's not like in the States where all luggage is collected at first port of entry then re-checked)
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Old May 10th, 2022, 12:38 PM
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I didn't fly LH last week - it's been about 3 years.... In my experience, they are not super strict about bags fitting into the exact posted dimensions or a sizing bin. If your final flight is on a "full sized" single aisle plane (Airbus A319/320/321 family) and the plane isn't packed to the gills, they will let you carry that sized bag on. The overhead compartments are adequate size for that bag. If it looks overstuffed, then the it's higher risk it'll get flagged, but nominal dimensions not.

I have often seen them gate check when it's a smaller plane. Basically the same tagging procedure UA & others use in the US. I don't recall if they then sent those bags to baggage claim, or returned them plane side. I seem to recall all bags went to baggage claim, but it may depend on the destination.
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