Check vs. Carry-On

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Oct 17th, 2001, 08:44 PM
  #1
JFM
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Check vs. Carry-On

I am going to London in two weeks. I'll be there only 3 days, so I can cram all of my clothes into a hiking backpack that'll fit in an overhead bin (I'm a guy . I would rather not lug the thing through O'Hare though in between flights on the way there (have a nonstop on the way back). Would you check it, or carry it on? On a related issue, how long does customs take at Heathrow?
 
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Oct 17th, 2001, 10:03 PM
  #2
pam
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JFM,
Carry on, carry on, carry on. If you checked it and your bag didn't make your connecting flight, you'd be home before the airlines found your bag and got it to you in London. Why risk it?
My husband left today for London and the first leg of his trip was delayed an hour, cutting his connection very close. With the airlines so flaky right now, why count on them to take care of your bag?
 
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Oct 18th, 2001, 01:15 AM
  #3
amy
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sounds like neither of you have travelled since 9/11. if you really have to carry it on-go for it, but i can tell you that all airlines are enforcing the one bag only rule and are trying to get people to bring on very small bags only. the reason being: all carry-ons are being hand checked before you board and it really backs things up, the bigger the bag...you get the idea. further, you won't be allowed to bring some toiletries on board (remember, sharp objects). personally, i think if we can all just try to cooperate a bit more than we're accustomed to right now it will save the everyone a hassle and a lot of time.
 
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Oct 18th, 2001, 05:19 AM
  #4
Joanne
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Definitely carry it on. Until the airlines improve their record on delayed flights and delayed or lost luggage, it makes no sense to let your stuff out of your sight unless forced to.

Too bad if it takes longer to get thru security, I don't want to spend the first day of my vacation -- of one of the two days of my business trip -- shopping, trying to replace stuff that was lost or delayed. I've done it enough already and will never volutarily check anything again.

And JFM, don't be such a sexist, I never travel with more than one wheel-on and a tote bag.
 
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Oct 18th, 2001, 10:15 AM
  #5
PamR
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I just got back from London and had no trouble with my carry-on. Just be sure it fits the size that the airline allows. And of course you can't carry knives, razors, etc. (You can check them) But we just purchased needed items there and abandoned them after. Customs took very little time, too. I suppose it depends on how many passengers are coming through at the same time.
 
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Oct 18th, 2001, 10:19 AM
  #6
Gerry
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I'm afraid the carry-on international traveler is becoming a thing of the past.
What airline are you taking? Check with them. International air carriers are now typically restricting carry-ons to one bag of not more that 18 pounds(or less) total weight. (My bag weights 7 pounds empty.)
You also cannot bring sharp objects, airesol cans ect. I immagine it is still possible to bring a few things for a short trip. But, the days of the carry-on traveler alla Rick Steves are gone.
 
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Oct 18th, 2001, 10:32 AM
  #7
Joanne
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American Airlines is not limiting international carry-on weight; it's one carry-on plus a personal bag, same as the FAA domestic limits. Check with your airline before packing, or even before choosing which carrier you'll buy a ticket from!
 
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Oct 18th, 2001, 12:29 PM
  #8
Liz
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Check your bag unless it is regulation carry on size. We went from London to Paris on Air France and these 4 people would not budge until they checked their baggage was checked - they were so rude and made such a commotion - and guess what? The guys bag had to be checked. It looked to me as a small suitcase. I'm all for checking anyway - no lugging - especially if you get to the airport early - and my luggage has been lost and found 3 times all and only domestically.

Liz
 
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Oct 18th, 2001, 10:57 PM
  #9
xyz
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joanne-
you sound like the typical rude traveller. airlines i've experienced are asking people to limit carry ons to small bags because they want to go through everything and you're more concerned with yourself than backing up a line of passengers, most of whom are complying with the new regulations. i hope i never have to wait behind you on a security line with all your belongings.
 
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Oct 19th, 2001, 12:35 AM
  #10
Lisabeth
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JFM,

I'm the lightest packer you ever saw, and it's SO worth it, to avoid the conundrums described above.

Unless you're going somewhere formal (I've been known to airmail formal clothes to my destination) why not just put fresh underwear and a shirt in a briefcase and go? You can grab shampoo, etc in the airport on arrival, and for three days, what more do you need?

PS Wear your coat. Have fun!
 
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Oct 19th, 2001, 05:15 AM
  #11
Joanne
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xyz, I am not proposing to ignore the new FAA regulations, which allow one carry-on in addition to a small personal bag, handbag, laptop, or whatever. I am willing and able to travel with whatever size carryon they choose to permit.

And, yes, too bad, I would rather be thought rude and hold up a line of strangers rather than lose my belongings. I've had that happen a couple of times, and won't put up with it again.

Instead of complaining about me, why don't you demand that the airlines hire enough screeners so the lines DON"T get so long, and hire competent baggage handlers, so they stop losing luggage? THEN I'll check it.
 
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Oct 19th, 2001, 07:40 AM
  #12
ord lady
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For those of you who think that it is not a problem having carryon luggage rather than checked-I suggest you sit in line at security at O Hare and see how things are going.Do us all a favor and check the thing. The airlines are definitely not being lenient as they were before Sept 11th with the problem of too much carryon.
 
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Oct 19th, 2001, 08:46 AM
  #13
fran
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First off, I think the anonymous xyz just has a bee in their bonnet and I'm guessing doesn't travel enough to truly appreciate the down-side odds of how easy it is to become separated from one's luggage when it's checked, especially with a flight connection involved.
Also, don't think it's so much the amount of carry on luggage as the nature of the often humongous and/or weirdly shaped items--even those rolling suitcases which will fit overhead UNLESS they are so overstuffed and extended they need a flatbed truck. Being somewhat tall and fit, I am often up out of my seat to help some pathetic creature CRAM these in so people can get by and we can get going! Most of the European carriers insist on checking any bag remotely big/heavy but are fine with any reasonable looking carry-on. I think the domestic carriers are headed this way and I applaud them.
Finally, having travelled numerous flights since the new regulations have gone into effect, I'd like to mention that my carry-on (about the size of a gym bag) has not once been gone through. I appreciate that the x-ray machine is actually stopped on each piece that goes through and that the 2 people looking at it are indeed looking toward it and not gabbing away while the luggage speeds through. They are using the wand on just about every person. They are (at last, since this has been a rule for some time) making everyone demonstrate the workability of computers, cell phones and other electronics. These are good things and will take about as much time to accomplish as it takes for the luggage to go through the machine. The bags that were being hand-searched were off on side tables inside security and were not really impeding anyone.
 
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Oct 19th, 2001, 11:29 AM
  #14
Liz
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I've been on 3 flights since the 28th of sept. Not one time was my husband or myself wanded, nor were our carry on bags opened. My cell phone was never checked either. I flew out of JFK, Heathrow and CDG
 
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Oct 19th, 2001, 11:37 AM
  #15
TAMMY
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Some airlines are very thorough. On flying from Glasgow to Amsterdam all carry on things had to be in a see through plastic bag and essentials only
 
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Oct 19th, 2001, 11:50 AM
  #16
Robert
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On 2 flights from SFO all passengers were wanded and both times my carry-on was opened and inspected. On the international flight(Lufthansa) all carry-on bags were weighed. Anything over 18 pounds was summarily taken and checked. Also had to show my passport to get through the security check point.
It sounds to me that JFK security is pretty laz.
I think they should go back to the days before the wheel-aboards. Then you could only take on a flight bag with things you would need on the flight. Everyting else was checked. It worked then, why not now?
 
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Oct 19th, 2001, 01:37 PM
  #17
Joanne
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Robert, it didn't work then, either. My personal history of lost luggage dates back to 1981.
 
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Oct 19th, 2001, 01:54 PM
  #18
Robert
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Joanne:
I've been flying since 1955(as a child then) and have never lost a bag for more than a few hours. I guess I'm just lucky. It does seem, though, that lost luggage has become an increasing problem over the last few years. Maybe we need an incentive to make the airlines improve this. How about they have to pay you say $50 a day until you get your bag? I would then check everything and just hope they lose it! The problem now is that there is no incentive for the airlines to do the job right.
But, I think most people avoid check in more to avoid the time waiting to get their bags than for the fear of losing them. What's in there anyway except some cloaths that you'd just as soon replace with some new stuff.
 
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Oct 19th, 2001, 04:00 PM
  #19
Joanne
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Robert, I have to congratulate you on your good luck with checked luggage.

My experience in 1981 was arriving to give a presentation at a conference, and all my materials were in the suitcase that got lost. I had no slides, handouts, poster, etc. on the day after I arrived. (Remember, this was in the days before e-mail, Kinkos, or perhaps even FedEx.)

I've also ended up without my business-meeting clothes and on a vacation without my vacation wardrobe. Believe me, shopping for a bathing suit to replace the three that were in the suitcase was NOT a treat, and certainly I had NOT envisioned spending my whole first morning in Honolulu shopping.

So, I'll say one last time -- If I can't carry it on , I just won't take it.

Finally, even though I am not one of the people who you imagine prefer carry-on because they don't want to wait for their luggage at their destination, I have to ask: Why is it that you expect them to be patient, waiting for luggage at the destination, but you can't be patient while people get their luggage screened?
 
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Oct 19th, 2001, 04:29 PM
  #20
Janine
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Not sure how big your hiking backpack is? If its on the smaller/daypack size I would carry it on. I have a larger (75l) pack that I will check-in when travelling and carry on a smaller detachable daypack with essential items to get me through first 24 hours in case of main luggage going astray.
 
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