Carry it on, or check it?

Old Apr 16th, 2002, 08:47 AM
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Carry it on, or check it?

I need feedback and opinion about whether, after 9.11, it is best to carry on, or check stuff. Last grueling trip we checked it, carrying on just a purse and a fanny pack for husband, and that part was okay, but getting the luggage checked was a total drag (took three hours out of PV, Mexico) and the luggage belt was jammed when we got to our destination, then the train was not working to get in from the outer terminal, so we did tons of stairs, and got bussed all over the tarmack, etc., etc. Some friends say, just "carry on" and pack to fit, leaving all essentials at home--this is the best way. Any comments...I need them as we are planning two extensive trips in the near future. Soon I am going to have to rethink whether the enjoyment of the trip is worth the hassle.
Old Apr 16th, 2002, 08:53 AM
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It depends where you are going and what you're planning to do. I prefer to just bring carry on and then you are the first one out of the airport, but now you won't be able to bring things on that you used to be able to (swiss army knife for picnics...) so it all depends what your plans are.
Old Apr 16th, 2002, 09:00 AM
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I don't think there is a "one size fits all" answer. The problem you had in PV may have been a one-time "traffic jam" or it may be typical of that airport, I can't say. I've flown overseas twice since 9/11, once to Italy, once to London, both times from New York. I got to the airport 2.5 hours before my flight and had 1.5 hours to kill; that included checking luggage, going through security, and buying magazines.

Packing light is always good advice, I just don't always follow it. Actually when I went to London it was a short trip and my stuff was in a "carry on" wheelie that I decided to check. I boarded only with a small tote/purse.
The 15 or so minutes of waiting for luggage at my arrival destination doesn't bother me after enduring a 7+ hour flight. I like the freedom and ease of not dragging a heavy bag all over the airports. Even when I cram everything into a carry-on, it's NOT lightweight! Also, please remember that some airlines have strict WEIGHT rules about carry-ons. British Air for example limits carry-ons to 11 pounds, and that was before 9/11. My little wheelie weighs almost that much empty!
Old Apr 16th, 2002, 11:31 AM
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Just carry on what will get you through a night without your luggage if it's lost. Change of underwear, socks, toiletries. Also carry on what you don't want to lose... camera, etc. Then pack all you can in one or two large bags, with wheels. Use a large rolling duffel if you will be traveling on trains, they "stuff" well into compartments. The internations airport will have carts to help with transporting.
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 07:59 AM
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I always carry on, for many reasons:
1. Forces me to pack light. Who wants to lug a big suitcase up and down stairs, etc. anyway?
2. The airline can't lose my luggage.
3. I don't worry about anyone breaking into my luggage, since it's always in sight.
4. Can go straight to the gate and avoid check-in lines.
5. If an earlier flight is available and I'm trying to go standby, I can hop right on because I have my luggage with me -- or if the airline is offering free tickets to those willing to give up their seats, I can do that, again because I have my luggage with me. If you check your luggage, you can't take advantage of either of these options, because airlines no longer let people fly separately from their luggage for security reasons (and even when they did before, who wants their luggage arriving hours before or hours after them?). I have received free tickets/vouchers four times this way, and have taken advantage of earlier flights more times than I can count.
6. When you arrive at your destination, you can walk right off the plane and out of the airport -- no waiting for the luggage.

Old Apr 17th, 2002, 08:50 AM
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The down side to 'carry on' is, of course, people bring marginal, or sometimes huge suitcases, and then cram them in the overhead lockers, locking out other 'would be' carry on types. I've seen this dozens and dozens of times. When sitting on the isle, folks with huge duffles go by and bash others in the head or knees, etc. Thoughtless folks...probably the same ones who try to 'tuck in' at the beginning of line ups on freeways. Airlines should be extremely strict on size, and then these hogs might learn to truly pack light.
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 09:05 AM
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The last three trips to Europe, I carried on. I haven't been since 9/11 until next month internationally, but have flown domestically.
I am going to check one bag for myself and one for my husband and carry on a small bag with change of clothes. Don't know if that makes me anticipate that my luggage will be lost.
The thing I object to carry on is being pulled out of the boarding line at random and having everything taken out of the carry on piece before you get on the plane.
This seems to happen to many people in line. They also have to take off shoes, etc. I never notice this happening to people with nothing to carry on.
Also, if you are assigned to the front of the plane, all of the overheads seem to be taken up by the time you get on as the rear seating passengers have jammed the compartments. And there is not anywhere to put your carry on anyway.
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 01:00 PM
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I went London in October, checking luggage (22" rollaboard, suitable for rolling aboard, but decided to check it); went to Paris in February, same suitcase, that time I carried it on board.

I hate standing at the luggage carousel - I have permanent bruises from being whacked with luggage carts driven by people more intent on their luggage coming off the belt than any humans in the vicinity; I have been elbowed, trod upon, and smacked with steamer trunks as oblivious travelers mow down everyone in their path to get to their luggage; I've withstood all of that to claim my luggage - only to have it NOT come off the belt, so I have the joy of then spending another 30 minutes describing my luggage and my itinerary to a stressed-out airlines employee.

I'm wishy-washy about whether to carry on or check luggage.
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 01:07 PM
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Check all luggage so we can speed up the boarding and unboarding of the planes.
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 02:42 PM
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I've been packing for two months now for
a month-long trip in May/June to Paris
and Provence; I'm taking a 21" wheelie
and a l0" tote. You can have no idea
the machinations that have gone on to
get a suitable wardrobe in that small
space! LOL! I'd rather give up my first
born than surrender this precious cargo
to the vagarites of the airlines! If
I'm turned back at the gate I'll commit
hairy carry!
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 07:24 PM
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Carry-on is still the best if you can do it. That way airline employees will not lose your luggage, damage it, or steal from it. I've never had anything stolen, but have had luggage go somewhere I wasn't three times, and have had suitcases I liked practically destroyed. If I'm checking my bag now I take a bag I'm not crazy about and always have prescriptions, valuables, and a change of clothes with me.

In the past two months I've flown standby four times. I would not have been able to do that if my luggage was checked. I believe in flexibility. Once after waiting at the airport for my flight to Paris for seven hours they finally announced that the flight would be delayed another 17 hours. At midnight, while the other folks were waiting at the carousel for their luggage I was already in my hotel room(which the airline paid for).
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