reasons to not check bags

Old Jul 26th, 2004, 11:09 AM
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reasons to not check bags

I just returned from a lengthy trip - just in the US this time, but full of good reasons why carry-on luggage is a good way to go.
First, checked my bag on my outbound trip, and when I retrieved it, found that it had been standing in about 6 inches of water at some stage of the trip! This is a really nice, supposedly waterproof (not resistant, proof) bag, but the bottom 6 inches were sodden, and moisture had wicked up through a lot of the contents. All clothing had to be laundered, books were ruined, shoes - well, the jury is out until my shoe repair guy works on them.
Coming back - flight delayed overnight. But checked baggage could NOT be retrieved to take to the hotel with us; the staff handling the baggage had gone for the day and nobody else was authorized to handle the baggage. Happily, my essential personal items were in my carry-on briefcase, but I would rather have liked a change of clothes...
Any idea of how someone checking luggage can avoid these kinds of issues?
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 11:28 AM
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Sorry for your bad luck. I don't know if there is any way to avoid that sort of thing. It sounds like a bad run of events.

I did do carry-on only for this trip, and this worked for 3 out of 5 flights. We did have two flights with a 7 kg limit, so carry-on didn't work for those. On one flight, my bag weighed exactly 10.0 kg, so I was cleared to take it aboard. Luckily and coincidentally I had transferred one item to my son's backpack before we set out to the airport. I have to say I did miss my nail scissors, though, as I couldn't take them with me.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 11:46 AM
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I will never check bags again, with the exception if hubby brings golf clubs. We have done well with our 21" roller + 1 small backpack for several trips now.

On smaller planes (US domestic), they will tag your bag and load it in the storage, then you pick it up on your way into to the terminal.

We have not yet tried the interEurope budget airlines, and I understand the rules change for that game.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 11:47 AM
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Do realize that some carriers from U.S. to Europe (British Air) have carry-on weight restrictions they enforce. So unless you can travel with only a 13 lb. travel bag, you may have to check.

Pack a change of clothes in your carry-on tote along with all true essential items, when you use checked luggage for your suitcase.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 12:06 PM
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This "to check or not to check" is getting out of hand. I have made over 30 plus trips to Europe and Asia, traveled all over the US on business in last 30 years and check my bags. Domestically, I walk on board with my book to read. I have never lost one bag completely and have been delayed less than 10 times...the bag showed up the next day. This just happened to me going from SFO to Florida. No big deal. I got my bag in plenty of time.

I always take my essentials in my small carryon for European flights and put the rest in checked baggage.

It is getting to be a hassle boarding a plane and watching all those people drag their entire household on their back and try to cram it in the overhead. Most of them travel one time a year and make it miserable for the ones that have to use planes frequently. You will soon see a massive cutback on carryon luggage....just wait. The rookie traveler killed it.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 12:23 PM
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Yo yo yo, dawg... I'd say 9/11 and the increased security is what's bringing carry-on changes.

And as for "rookie" travellers, I'd say it's the "rookies" that travel with 2-3 huge checked suitcases per person for a 3 week trip that have it all wrong. It's the savvy travellers who know how to pack lightly enough that their entire 3 week wardrobe CAN fit into a small carryon. Whether or not they check it is up to them... personally I've always been a carry-on person, simply because of the tight connections my trips often entail.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 12:28 PM
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I certainly did not fit a 3-week wardrobe in my carry-on. During our 16-day trip, we did laundry twice - once in Paris, and once in Berlin. As always, these were very interesting experiences and allowed a bit of down time.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 12:52 PM
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Doing laundry is always a hassle for me . . . I am like that commercial with the clothes hanging all over the house . . . I like to hang dry many things! I couldn't imagine doing it abroad, but we may have to when we go to Ireland next summer.

When we went to Paris for a week, we brought one carry on and checked two bags, not b/c we packed so many clothes, but b/c we wanted room to take home all of the things we knew we would take home!
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 02:39 PM
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Uh, Oh!

All this time I thought I was so brilliant because I was going to NOT check-in any bags on my trip to Italy. I was only going to take 1 rolling suitcase, the kind that can be placed in the overhead and one pocketbook.

I have even started to buy clothes that can be squished and rolled into a ball so that I can take only the one bag. But I don't think I can do this under 13lbs! I'm used to the size of the bag being an issue, not the weight.

I don't know what airline I will be on yet so please tell me there are some that allow more than 13lbs?

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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 02:42 PM
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I always travel with a couple of large cases - I'd be amazed if you can really enjoy a long holiday with so few clothes. As for damage in transit, so far I've never had any problems, but if I did, I'd have lots of insurance money to replace the garments. As for the wait - an hour long wait is nothing compared with the inconvenience of having to have garments laundered, only to wear repeat outfits.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 02:48 PM
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Our trips usually involve multiple flights of stairs with luggage and public transit with luggage and budget airlines. So the less the better certainly. If you have no objection to paying for taxis and porters and not being able to take budget flights, by all means pack heavily.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 02:51 PM
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gor
We travel a Lot and that has happened to us once.
About 5 years ago, maybe, Continental/Air France to DeGaulle..our luggage was soaked, everything inside was soaked.
Thank goodness for good dry cleaners on the Left Bank and for a lady in Customer Service at the Airlines. They paid for the dry cleaning and we got vouchers for First Class on our next trip.
But I would still always check my luggage, nothing is worth that hassle!
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 02:54 PM
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Yo-yo Skatterfly! If you are worried about security check the bags and walk on with no junk in your hands. The plane leaves sooner and you make your connection better.

Plus, how come everyone in the US leaves the good clothes at home (if they have any) and looks like a blue jeaned bum in Europe? They all dress as if they were going to spill something on themselves so want their worst clothes when it happens. Not to mention the fanny packs and the wrinkled shirts.

Just check the bag and let the airlines do their thing. If they lose your bag lie about the contents and collect some money to buy more Target clothes for the next trip.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 03:09 PM
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I just can't envision lugging around a bunch of luggage on this trip.

I do agree if I were going to be staying in ONE place for the entire trip that a couple of suitcases would be no big deal.

However, since we will be in multiple places, with travel involving planes, trains and automobiles and two elderly travel companions, that each of us having a small rolling suitcase SOUNDS like a good idea.

I for one do not wish to look poorly dressed that is why I am being so careful picking out stylish yet low maintenance clothing.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 03:09 PM
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I travel frequently, both domestic and international and, unless it's just a 1 or 2 day trip, always check my suitcase. I have never had lost, misdirected or damaged luggage.

I prefer sitting towards the front of the plane and it's one of my pet peeves that by the time I board, all the overhead space is taken because of the "carry-on space hogs".

I wouldn't mind at all if the airlines were more strict on enforcing their carry-on limits. I've seen people trying to cram dufflebags large enough to hold a dead body into them.

I reserve my carry-on luggage to valuables (camera, jewelry), things I need in-flight (book, water bottle) and any breakables I happen to pick up on vacation that I don't want in my checked bag. I keep it light because I'm the one who has to haul it around the airport. I check the heavy stuff. And as a general rule, I don't pack any more than I can handle myself.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 03:24 PM
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It is interesting...

This bs of loading a plane from the back and by rows is simply not done on most European airlines. First come first served and it takes no longer to load the plane, not a single second longer and of course I don't have the problem of sitting towards the front of the plane and finding there is no room in the overhead compartments by those inconsiderate people who don't respect the rights of others by loading their suitcases which should be checked into all the overhead space so that I am forced to put my carry ons, a brief case and a small pack on the floor in front of me.

Of course the airlines could help by making an effort to load baggage off the plane so as not to keep folks waiting at the carousel for as much as 20 minutes before baggage starts coming down.

It should be a rule that within 10 minutes of arrival at the gate, baggage is on its way to the carousel.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 03:30 PM
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If you are doing carry-on only, of course you should follow the airline's rules about what and how much you are allowed to bring on. Actually this applies to people with checked luggage too, since they also carry stuff on in addition. And of course people should use commonsense and courtesy about placement of their bags in the appropriate area of the airplane.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 03:37 PM
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"This bs of loading a plane from the back and by rows is simply not done on most European airlines."

But this is very common practice in the US. Whether or not it saves time (and I'm sure there have been studies), it is commonly done here.

And, yes, if everyone followed all the rules the world would be a better place.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 04:59 PM
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PLMN... As point of reference my same 22" was fine carry-on from Seattle to both Mexico and Hawaii many times. Just recently (2 years back) British Air Seattle to London enforced the 13 lb. rule and into cargo it went. Now that I am used to the idea, I really favor checking it rather than drag it around with me thru airports, bathrooms, restaurants, etc. while in transit, especially if you happen to be traveling solo. So I would still say pack light and have only one wheeled suitcase, just pack it knowing it may be checked.

I guess BA is the most strict from other threads on this topic. You can find the restrictions on any airline website, but difficult to say how it will be enforced. My 22" was WAY over the weight limit, they didn't even put it on the scale merely picked it up and gave me an "oh brother" look and checked it thru.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 05:05 PM
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I find it interesting to note that you find BA the strictest. I always have heavy bags and they never comment on either the checked cases on handluggage. I once flew BMI (after their overhaul from the British Midland Diamond logo airline) and they made a terrible fuss about handbaggage, I will never fly with them again.
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