Lufthansa carry on luggage weight limits

Feb 23rd, 2014, 06:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Lufthansa carry on luggage weight limits

We are flying Lufthansa from the US to Frankfurt and on to Milan Malpensa. Information on the Lufthansa website says that "hand luggage" (carry on) is limited to 8 kg, which is only 17 pounds. The luggage itself weighs 7 pounds, leaving only 10 pounds for the contents. I pack light but there is no way I could get in what I need in under 10 pounds. Do they actually weigh the carryon? I wouldn't want to have to check it. I have only had a carry on weighed once and even though it was way over the limit I was allowed to carry it on.
drchris is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2014, 07:10 PM
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in 2009 we flew Lufthansa to Germany. They were checking carry-on luggage for size and weight. They forced some people to check their bags. It was a full flight. That might have made a difference. Regards, Gary
Gary_Mc is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2014, 08:53 PM
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I have flown Lufthansa many time. Sometimes they don't seem to care even if someone was trying to pass a steamer trunk (exaggeration) while other times, they would just look at even the smallest luggage and tell people to check. It depends on the type of plane, how loaded it is, what the counter/gate agent feels like doing, etc. There is also a chance of last minutes equipment, route change, etc, that suddenly require you to take a regional jet with miniscule overhead bins.

I think you are looking for a certainty in a probabilistic realm. I think it is more productive spending effort in reducing the carry-on and reduce the impact even of you have to check against your desire.
greg is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2014, 10:07 PM
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For what it's worth, I believe that American airlines have much more generous weight and size limits for hand luggage than other parts of the world. For example, for flights from/to Australia it's usually 7kg. You can't predict when it will be weighed/measured and when it won't.
dreamon is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2014, 10:14 PM
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Usually LH does not weigh or care about carry-on sizes or weights.
The flightplan between MUC and MXP shows only regular jets like A319 or Embraer 190 on this leg.
But, as greg wrote, equipment can be changed, and if you are stuck with a smaller jet like the Canadair types, you cannot take your larger roll-a-board on board, simply because it won't fit.
Or the regular jets are so full that your luggage won't fit as well.
As you cannot foresee what will happen on that very day, I'd simply keep all the important belongings like passport, money, camera, medication in a seperate small bag - just in case.
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Feb 23rd, 2014, 11:39 PM
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I have also experienced that Lufthansa is not very strict with the compliance of size and weight.
wirnox is offline  
Feb 24th, 2014, 12:17 AM
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are you prepared to take the risk?...........well are you?
unclegus is offline  
Feb 24th, 2014, 03:14 AM
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In my experience it depends on the airport as much as the airline. Lufthansa personnel in Italy may be more tolerant than Lufthansa personnel in Germany, where I've found them very inflexible (about other things) in Munich.

8 kg sounds like plenty for a carryon bag to me, though. I've often traveled for two weeks or more with less than 8 kg. Maybe you need a smaller and lighter suitcase.

If that won't work, why do you have such an aversion to checking luggage? I often check bags that are well within the carry-on limits, just to be free of them in the airport, especially when I have a transit.

In Europe, it's very common to put larger bags in a special compartment of the plane, rather than making you actually check it. In Italy this is called checking the bags "sotto bordo". I don't know what the English term is. In that case, they put a tag on your bag, and an airline employee takes your bag just as you're boarding. On arrival, the bags are waiting for you as you get off the plane. I don't actually care much for this procedure, as they make everyone wait on the plane until all the "sotto bordo" luggage has been offloaded. I wish people would just check their larger suitcases.
bvlenci is online now  
Feb 24th, 2014, 03:29 AM
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We have had mixed experience with Lufthansa checking carry on luggage. On one flight Boston to Munich in 2010 they did check size and weight and some people had to check their bags. I would pay attention to the limits.
Vttraveler is offline  
Feb 24th, 2014, 03:43 AM
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"Sotto bordo" is called " gate checking" in the US and is close to universal on regional jets like the Canadairs and Embraers mentioned above, though JetBlue has some large Embraers on East Coast runs that permit rollaboards. Usually you get your bag back in the jetway or on a cart next to the stairway when you arrive, but at night or in bad weather they often send the bags to the carousel just as if you had checked it at the ticket counter in the first place.

So even in the US, a carry on may not be a carry on if you are not flying hub to hub.

Great information above. You are making a bet. Your real choice is to be prepared to check your bag or to get a much lighter, squashable bag. If you are a woman, you should also know that you absolutely cannot count on the "purse-personal item-carry on" formula that is common in the US. Your purse, especially if it is large, will BE your personal item.
Ackislander is offline  
Feb 24th, 2014, 05:15 AM
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Fall 2012 we flew through Frankfurt to Venice via Lufthansa from EWR (Newark Liberty). We were each taking carry-ons; both bags were inserted into that metal contraption of dimensions and yes, were weighed. I immediately had to throw a few things in my tote and, yes, had to check both bags, both being too large and too heavy They meant what they said. We have found the carryon allowance varies widely by airline. Suggest reading the limits on your airline's website and following same or prepare to repack/discard onsite.
aliced is offline  
Feb 24th, 2014, 06:04 AM
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My limited experience with LH is they are not what I would call "flexible"...
Lois2 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2014, 07:04 AM
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I use LH more or less once a week for domestic or intra-EU flights. Weighing or measuring hand luggage is not the norm. It may be a different story when you start your trip in the US.
Usually people drag on the flight what they can (or sometimes cannot) carry. When a flight is really full, you sometimes have gate personnel asking pax to check "over-sized" hand luggage. But that is more a matter of size (not weight), or the total number of bags that can be stowed in the cabin.
So there is no solid guarantee that you will never ever be seperated from your carry-ons, even when you stay within all limits.
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Feb 24th, 2014, 08:00 AM
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I'm surprised by all the varied and contradictory experiences. I've been flying Lufthansa and Air France for many years for business trips and I often travel between EU cities. Consistently, they always weigh my carry-on, which is a backpack and a laptop satchel. I can't remember the last time they didn't. Depending on the shape of the bag, they sometimes measure.

Once, at MXP, my backpack was just a little bit over in weight and the LH gate agent made me re-arrange the contents of my checked luggage because I had a little weight room left in one bag. I was humiliated to be on my knees re-packing my bags while a very long line of people watched. The agent seemed to enjoy her power. I asked to see a counter manager to file a complaint. Nothing came of it.

As a result of that awful incident, I take every foreign carrier at their word on bag restrictions. I now travel with a Balanzza. I no longer take the risk because I don't ever want to endure that embarrassing experience again.
wesleymarsh is offline  
Feb 24th, 2014, 08:02 AM
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Amusing how differnt people perceive things. I can't imagine buying a carry-on bag that weighs 7lbs. and can't imagine complaining that 17lbs. was too low a limit.

First, if your bag weighs more than 3lbs. it is too heavy. Get rid of it. Second, if what you want to take weighs more than 14 lbs. plan on checking your bag.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Feb 24th, 2014, 07:33 PM
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Thanks for sharing your personal experiences with Lufthansa. Apparently, the answer to the question is that there is no definitive answer!

dreamon - I think you are correct about American flights as I have never noticed a weight limit for carryon luggage. I checked United (through whom I booked the Lufthansa tickets) and no weight limit is given for carryon - only the size is limited. I also checked Air Canada, with whom we will fly our return flight, and the weight limit for their carryon is 10 kg (22 pounds), with the same allowed for the personal item.

bvlenci - Carrying a bag on helps me feel more secure that it will arrive at the same time/place that I do! My brother once had to spend a week in India with only the clothes he wore while waiting for his bags to be found. When we went on safari in South Africa, some of the people in our group had their luggage misplaced and had to make do with clothes from the gift shop at the safari camp for a couple of days. My DH and I also feel it saves time not having to go to the baggage claim (we don't mind it being gate-checked if we can pick it up at the plane upon landing). When returning from Athens wit a tight connection due to bad weather, it took so long to get my luggage at JFK that I missed my connecting flight and had to pay for a night in a hotel.

Usually I pack a carryon with clothes,an extra pair of shoes,and the guidebooks; and an RS Civita day pack with all my personal care items, meds, camera, electronics, chargers, sunglasses, etc. but I'm not sure that I want to carry a day pack around Italy and thought I might get the Travelsmith BeSafe XL Security Bag as it looks like a purse, though I'm not sure whether it will hold everything I need.

dulciusexasperis - I am glad that you are so easily amused and hope that you are able to do something to improve your lack of imagination. It must make your experience of the world rather dull and limited. Perhaps that is what contributes to your perception that your way of doing things is the only way of doing things and that you have the right to tell others what they should and should not do. Remember - always be kinder than you need to be.
drchris is offline  
Feb 24th, 2014, 08:22 PM
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It is not up to you to decide whether you can bring your carry-on on board. If there is no space, they can still say no to your supposedly carry-on compliant luggage.

Also, there are ways to minimize the impact of delayed luggage other than hoping that you can keep your carry-on.

On every flight, we pack our luggage as if we might not see one or both of our carry-on luggage. This includes trips we plan to do all carry-on. We pack the same way.

Our small tote/day bag we carry-on contain the most essential items for the trip so that even if our 20 inch carry-on needed to be checked and do not make it to the destination, we can still continue the trip.

We each carry one complete change of clothes in these small tote/day bags. If we have done right, we have never less than two complete change of clothes. If we have coordinated the colors, we have four attires each by combining tops and bottoms. This is just between a tote bag and what we are wearing.

In our 20 inch carry-on bags, we each split the content so that if if one of luggage does not arrive, we both have at least one more complete outfit. So if one carry-on makes to the destination, we each have at least three complete attires. If they have chosen to mix and match, we have 9 clothes combinations (3 bottoms x 3 tops). This is more than sufficient to continue the trip with almost no disruptions. Many people put everything in one luggage and suffer the consequences like your brother in India. This strategy costs nothing to implement while adding resiliency.

You don't need any complicated rules. As you pack, ask your self: if this bag did not make it, how would you have liked to have the other bags packed? You will find that it does not help if all your bottoms and in one bag and all your tops are in another bag. Also, if you need to match shoes with certain pants, having them in separate bags don't help if one is delayed.

It also helps to bring mostly wrinkle free fast drying clothes. They don't have to be only the outdoor type clothes. Fashion items can be made of such materials. You have to be diligent in checking the materials when you go shopping.
greg is offline  
Feb 24th, 2014, 08:35 PM
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To add one additional data point, we flew Lufthansa internationally just last week. My carryon was weighed both at check-in, and again before we went through the boarding area checkpoints on our outbound flight. Our daughter and I shared only one carryon, but with my laptop in the bag it weighed 10kg (2kg over the limit), so I was asked to carry the laptop separately before we could proceed through to our gate. A little silly, but whatever.
fourfortravel is online now  
Feb 24th, 2014, 08:55 PM
Join Date: Nov 2013
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We have flown US to Frankfurt then to Venice three times. They've never checked weight in Frankfurt, but I think it's because that was presumed to have been done in the US. That being said' I find it's just easier to check my larger suitcase (Which I use as a "carry on" in US ALL the time.) Usually you are allowed one checked bag for free on their international flight. Then just carry essentials and a spare pair of panties/shorts in your carry on.
bsmithstucky is offline  
Feb 24th, 2014, 09:20 PM
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That weight restriction is certainly hard for a dedicated "carry on only" person.

I am certainly assuming you know how to pack light if you tend to be a carry-on person. However, have you ever tried wearing a Scottevest, ,or similar product?

On two trips with similarly restrictive weight limits, I wore my Scottevest and layered it with a Magellan waterproof jacket that also had tons of pockets.

OK,I looked like a penguin--and a pregnant one at that--but it did work out just fine.

The actual luggage I used was not a roll-on. It was a Lucas Expandable 21" that weighs around 1.3 lbs. I think you can get the A. Saks version on ebags or Amazon for around $47 or you can search the aisles of TJ Maxx/Marshalls for it.

We had to run through some airports to make connections, so I purchased a really good shoulder strap similar to the Red Oxx "Claw" strap. I attached some D rings to the luggage handle loops so I could clip the strap on.

Our family still prefers roll-ons when carry-on restrictions allow, but we all came to the conclusion that this Lucas/A.Saks bag was a DREAM to get into overhead compartments because it just slid in perfectly. It also worked well under seats because it can change shape.

Good luck with whatever decision you make.
AlessandraZoe is online now  

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