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Should I send my baggage through or carryon?

Should I send my baggage through or carryon?

Sep 3rd, 2001, 12:31 AM
  #1  
Ann
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Should I send my baggage through or carryon?

I'm traveling on United to Europe, and am undecided about what I should do with my luggage. I would like to carryon my luggage, but United only allows 1 bag, and I've heard they have gotten alot stricter about carryon's. How safe is it to check my baggage in?
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 05:24 AM
  #2  
Rex
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I'm not sure I understand your question, Ann - - it sounds a little bit like "if I have no choice, what should I do?" Surely you are not asking if you should cancel your trip, nor incur the high cost of finding another airline. Maybe you are asking if you should force yourself to pack down to one carry-on, and take less stuff than you want to.

I don't think you have to do that. I pack one carry-on ("roll-aboard") as my "bigger" bag - - and it contains NOTHING essential for the first few days there. My second bag is (only slightly) smaller, and it contains EVERYTHING I would need during the first few days there.

Then I hope for the best that the airline will let me carry both on. And if I have to check the carry-on, that's ok. There IS some chance of your lugggage not arriving - - hard to understand why it happens as often as it does, but it does happen. Probably less than 1 per 100, but perhaps more than 1 per 1000. If I count passengers accompanying me on trips, I now have been on (or been associated with) close to 200 air travel "experiences" (segments to, from or within Europe), and I have twice had to deal with lost or delayed baggage.

Does this answer your question?

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 07:53 AM
  #3  
janis
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Ann: It depends on how long your trip is. If it is 3 weeks or less you should easily be able to get everything you need in a 21 inch rollaboard plus a "largish" handbag. I don't mean another carry-on, but a hobo type or satchel purse. A ladies handbag does not count against the carry-on limits.

If you are going for a longer period and really want to take more stuff (which you probably won't need in the long run anyway), then Rex's idea of two rollaboard types - one for the cabin and

one to check if necessary would work. What you don't want to do is take a gargantuan suitcase you will have to lug up and down steps, on / off buses, on to trains, etc.

But most folks take waaaaay too much - a single rollabaord should be all you need. I do it all the time - haven't checked a bag in over 10 years. And I dress nicely and don't wear the same things day after day. For a description of a packing system that lets you get 3 weeks of clothing in a carry-on look at PackingLight.com. I use a slightly easier system but the one described on that site is pretty good.
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 07:57 AM
  #4  
Christina
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the Dept of Transportation issues periodic reports on this subject but I think they only show statistics for domestic flights. United is one of the worst in the country on that regard, but losing it abroad would have more to do with the baggage handling personnel and system they have in the foreign airport, I would guess. I'm not sure exactly what all affects this, but I do think it's the airline's staffing and management of employees, even if subcontractors, which they may be. The odds are obviously not very high in real terms, in the US, United has a rate of about 5 complaints for lost baggage per 1000 passengers which is 0.5% (less than 1 pct). That's pretty high, though, considering. I would worry more if there were a connecction somewhere than if it's a nonstop flight. I would not change my wardrobe and packing plans based on that, if that's what you are considering, unless I were very close to the edge of being able to manage with only one carryon for my entire trip. What might be more important is how well they resolve lost luggage problems. I often travel Air France and have had my bags lost twice in last couple of years. However, they do seem to have a very good tracking system and they've always been able to figure out where they were and they are very efficient and helpful in delivering them to your local address when found. For example, this July my bags were delayed in transit from Paris to Marseille (not really exactly their fault, but it's a long story, I wasn't on original flight and my bags didn't get transferred quickly enough in CDG), yet they found out where they were and promised they'd be delivered to my hotel by that evening, even though it was in Aix about 30 miles away and out in the country perhaps a little tricky to find -- they did deliver perfectly by 9:30 pm to my hotel. So, even though AF seems to lose more baggage in CDG (I've heard that from others also), I still fly them and check bags as they resolve problems well when it happens (in my experience). I would still check my bags if it would seriously affect my wardrobe or convenience, just making sure to have valuables and some essentials with me as carryon.
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 07:58 AM
  #5  
Christina
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oh I forgot to tell you, if you want to read DOT's latest report on baggage mishandling, go to www.dot.gov/airconsumer/index1.htm
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 08:30 AM
  #6  
Jayelle
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I've flown United abroad quite a few times and have only had problems with a piece of checked luggage once. I was flying to Paris with a transfer in Chicago. The luggage tag got torn off of my bag, so the bag did not get transferred to the Chicago-Paris flight. When I arrived at CDG and reported the missing bag, the United baggage desk was already aware of the problem and told me that the bag would be on the next flight and would arrive the next day and would be delivered to my hotel in Paris, which it was. They also gave me a claim form and told me that I could spend up to a certain amount (I think it was about $200) if I needed to buy anything until my bag arrived. I had to keep the receipts and submit them with the claim form when I returned home to get a refund.

I think the chances that your bag would get lost is pretty slim. I've had bags delayed before but never lost outright. However, in line with Rex's suggestion, I would at least pack some essential items in a small tote bag in addition to a roll aboard suitcase. That way, if you have to check the suitcase and it does get delayed, you'll have your critical items for the day or so that you might be without your suitcase.
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 08:43 PM
  #7  
elvira
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Pack everything in a 21" rollaboard, but put all your essentials in some sort of soft tote on top. If the airline makes you check the rollaboard, take out the tote for a carry-on.

As far as I can tell on many flights to Europe, it's the whim of the check-in clerk, the gate keeper, flight attendant at the door...the same bag, same weight, sometimes goes on, sometimes it has to be checked.

And my bags (and those of my travel companions) have often gone astray - once for four days. Not fun on a 6 day trip to Milan.
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 09:24 PM
  #8  
Rex
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One clarification: with my two bag (recommended) "system" - - the smaller second bag might be close in size (if you wish) to the size of the "roll-aboard" - - but I do not suggest taking a second bag with a similar extension handle and wheels. In fact, I recommend that your second bag be totally without form or structure - - to comply with my "rule(s)" (suggestions) about the weight of each bag - - no more than eight POUNDS (empty) for the roll-aboard, and no more than eight OUNCES (empty) for the smaller bag (basically a nylon duffel bag). If the second bag is a bit "squishy" it rides nicely, "side-saddle" across the handle of the roll-aboard, even on cobblestone streets.
 
Sep 3rd, 2001, 09:40 PM
  #9  
Art
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It is impossible for me to get by with only a rollaboard. My shoes(dress and 2nd walking pair) alone would fill up my roll-on. I travel with one plus a duffle bag plus a camera case for my cameras. The only time a bag showed up late was a carrier change when I was rebooked from KLM to American to NY and Olympic to Athens. By bag showed up a day later.
 
Sep 4th, 2001, 01:05 AM
  #10  
Paige
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I never check bags unless I HAVE to, and then I make sure my essential stuff is in my carry on. A few weeks ago we flew Air France from Munich through Paris to Dallas and they left our checked bags in Paris for 3 days.
 
Sep 4th, 2001, 05:45 AM
  #11  
SICK
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Yeah I think you should pack a great big oversize bag, and take along a large tote as well. Then, even though you are seated in row 34, jump up at the first boarding call and run up to the gate and try to get on. Then when you finally do get on, drag those big bags down the aisle, hitting everyone that is already seated in the head and shoulders and then cram it into the overhead thus taking up all the space allocated to at least three people. Oh, and if you can't get in in then start bitching at the attendents and getting all huffy because you damn steamer trunk won't fit in the overhead.

Look, be considerate. Carry on ONLY ONE small bag, and check the rest of the crap. You have time to wait for the checked baggage at the airport. What makes you so damn important that you can not wait. Don't worry about losing the crap - seldom happens. Get a life and have some consideration for the rest of the passengers.

I for one would like to see the airlines strictly enforce the one bag carry on rule - one bag and only one and it can not be larger than a brief case...and PURSES count as one bag. In fact I would like to see the airlines remove the overhead bins altogether and the only place you could use is under the seat in front of you. This would solve the problem of all the piggish, inconsiderate, rude, arrogant and stupid people that insist on carrying the luggage for a three week trip.

In short, check it! Otherwise you are a rude pig.
 
Sep 4th, 2001, 06:01 AM
  #12  
Paige
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Hey SICK, your plan sounds great and I'd be all for everyone checking their bags IF airlines would take a bit more responsibility for lost luggage. Luggage insurance should be included in the price of tickets, and when they lose or misplace bags, the airlines should have to pay up on the spot. Many people think that the airlines have to pay replacement value if they lose your luggage and that's not the case. I believe most of them pay by the pound which is never enough to replace the lost luggage and stuff. Apparently your luggage has never been lost or you're more forgiving than I am.
My luggage was 'lost' for 3 days on my last trip and was a major pain in the rear. I went to the states (from Germany) on an emergency trip because I found out my grandmother died and I needed to get there asap for her funeral. We arrived late in the evening but our bags didn't. Early the next morning we had to drive 5 hours to get to the funeral in time and didn't have time to go shopping for new dress clothes. That sucked. The airline didn't offer us anything and said to contact our local Air France office when we got home. That is the sort of thing that inspires people to carry on all their luggage.
 
Sep 4th, 2001, 06:03 AM
  #13  
Escritora
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Sigh. And it's still SO early in the morning.

SICK, once you've posted anonymously in a tirade that includes the words bitching, crap, "get a life," and "rude pig," haven't you sort of forefeited your right to criticize anyone else's lack of consideration?

Ann, as others have noted, it's anyone's guess when you might be forced to check a bag, no matter how compliant you thought you were with regulations. I opt for a 22" rollaboard and a small duffle, with essentials including a change of clothes in the latter just in case. A lost bag still wouldn't be fun (been there), but at least that way it's not a disaster.
 
Sep 4th, 2001, 07:55 AM
  #14  
SICK
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As I said, and the posts bear this out, you are a bunch of inconsiderate pigs that have no qualms about the major pain in the ass you and your friggin' carry on steamer trunks are to the rest of us. Check it. If you are so concerned about loss then carry a change of clothes in one small bag (brief case size remember!!) you will carry on so that in the EXTREMELY UNLIKELY event of the checked luggage not making it you will have something to change into. Hey folks this is not rocket science...any idiot knows to carry a change of clothes on in the VERY SMALL bag.

I know who you people are. You are the same ones that also use up the space at the front of the plane even though your seats are in the rear; you are the ones that insist on slamming your seats back in full recline and to hell with the person behind you; you are the ones that go to the toilet and stay for an hour "adjusting" your makeup just prior to landing so you will look presentable as you lug your steamer trunk off the plane. Well, folks, sorry, but you are inconsiderate pigs, and no matter how much makeup you put on you will always look like a pig, act like a pig, and smell like a pig. OINK OINK OINK!
 
Sep 4th, 2001, 08:17 AM
  #15  
RightOn
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I AGREE WITH SICK. HE/SHE HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD. THERE WOULD BE LESS TROUBLE ON THE AIRPLANES IF THE STUPID PEOPLE THAT HAVE TO DRAG ON THIER ENTIRE COLLECTION OF SUITCASES WOULD JUST STOP. YOU ALL CLAIM IT IS BECAUSE YOU ARE AFRAID THE AIRLINE WILL LOSE YOUR BAGS. THAT IS BS. THE REAL REASON IS BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU ARE SO IMPORTANT AND THAT YOUR TIME IS SO VALUABLE IT IS OK TO INCONVENIENCE THE REST OF THE PASSENGERS. I AM SICK TOO OF HAVING MY HEAD HIT BY SOME OBNOXIOUS ARSE THAT HAS TO DRAG ON THREE BAGS HANGING OFF THEIR BODY AND TRYING TO CRAM IT ALL IN THE OVERHEADS. NOT ONLY ARE YOU RUDE YOU ARE PIGGISH. GET A LIFE PEOPLE, CHECK YOUR DAMN BAGS AND LET THE REST OF US FLY IN PEACE.
 
Sep 4th, 2001, 08:23 AM
  #16  
tiredofadolescents
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I thought school started already. When will be rid of teenagers who think they're just too cool? Hate to tell you this, boys, but the cool kids don't bother with a site like this.
 
Sep 4th, 2001, 08:24 AM
  #17  
Chuck
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Well this really started something eh? However, I do have to agree with Sick and RightOn. I have never understood why people have to carry on so much stuff. Losing bags is a rarity. Seldom happens. I would also like to see the airlines really crack down on carry on bags and it would not break my heart to see the overhead bins just go away. There have been times where I have actually had bruises on my shoulder from being struck by the large bags some people carry down the aisles. And of course I have never heard an "oh so sorry" when that happens, since these people consider it their god given right to carry on these large bags and if they happen to hurt someone else what the hell. That is why I too consider these people to be pigs.
 
Sep 4th, 2001, 08:52 AM
  #18  
Karen
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Ann,

In my travels (business and pleasure), United or any other airline, has never lost my bag. I've had bags delayed twice; and those flights had two connections. I travel about twice a month for business and not nearly often enough for pleasure (maybe twice a year).

My recommendation is pretty much the same as others. Check your larger bag. And your carry-on should have essentials (bathroom stuff, etc.), valuables (camera, medicine, eyeglasses, travel info, etc.) and anything you'll need for the flight (books, snacks, etc.). We always put in our carry-on one change of undies and a clean shirt each.

Have a great time!! Remember you can always buy stuff there.
 
Sep 4th, 2001, 09:33 AM
  #19  
Annette
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Ann:

You might check their weight restrictions for carry-ons. I'm flying Northwest to London next week and their carry-on weight limit is 44 pounds. When I fly British Airways to Amsterdam from Gatwick they will only allow 13 pounds for a couch passanger. What a difference!
 
Sep 4th, 2001, 09:56 AM
  #20  
curious
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My advice would be to pack as lightly as possible and avoid checking your baggage. Unless you've experienced the horror of lost or destroyed luggage, it's very easy to be flip and tell people to check their bags. It really is possible to get by for quite a while with the 21" bag that everyone recommends. I take that and a small backpack and am set for a good 3 weeks.
 

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