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Carry-on Luggage on Alitalita -- can it be done?!

Hi everyone,

Have seen this addressed before, but frankly did not believe it. Haha to me. Went to Alitalia's website this a.m. Am I reading it correctly? (The conversions are mine):

"You are allowed to carry only one piece of hand luggage onboard which must not exceed the following dimensions (including handles, side pockets and wheels):

Weight: 5 kgs. 11 POUNDS ???!!!

Length: 55 cm 21.6 INCHES

Height: 25 cm 9.8

Depth: 35 cm 13.7Personal belongings such as briefcases and portable computers are considered to be hand luggage which you can take onboard in addition to the above...."So I do get the fact that you can have 2 carry-ons: 1 suitcase-ish and one pocket-bookish/computer-ish type of things,but 11 pounds for the main item??? I have ALWAYS done carry-on only, no checked luggage, but this seems impossible to me with these restrictions--esp the weight. I have an ultra-lite wheelie dealie, but when I weighed it today with ONLY my clothes and shoes in it, it weighed 24 lbs. Staying for 2 weeks, planning to do some laundry, so I guess I can take out some stuff.Have I overpacked? Can carry-on only still be done by you guys?? If you all can do, then by golly I am going to do it too! What do you pack it in if you do carry-on...duffles? And then take a sep. collapsible luggage carrier? Thanks for any ideas!

Posted by
505 posts

Yes. Many airlines have weight restrictions on carry-ons, though they don't always enforce them. It's a safety issue as heavy bags can be a problem with overhead compartments. I've no experience with Alitalia, but perhaps someone else does.

Remember also that you've got to stick to the one plastic bag/containers under 100mL rule for your liquids and creams, which can make it more - but not impossible - to carry it all on.
You are not overpacking - I've never gone all carry-on for more than a weekend trip other than a trip to India when it was just very light summer clothes. These days it's harder and harder to avoid checking something. Chances are by November, there will be a strict one bag (not one bag and one personal item) rule throughout the EU, so you will probably have to check something.

Posted by
576 posts

Samantha, on our recent trip to Italy, we were unprepared for the 11# limit since we'd flown American Airlines until the last leg, with much greater luggage weight allowances.Our carry-ons were taken away from us on our last 2 hour flight. We learned a VERY VALUABLE lesson from this!First, we need to put clothing in each other's suitcases (cross pack) so no one person is without most of their things. Secondly, we learned that we should have stuffed some clothing and medications into our purses or backpacks that we could have taken onto the plane with us. Having a 14 year old daughter's bag lost for 8 long days was a HUGE frustration during our trip.Carry on as much as you possibly can and only check things you can live without!

Posted by
18 posts

Find out whether your Alitalia flight is a code-share with any US airline (such as Delta). That's how I got around this problem last year: even though my ticket was bought from Alitalia, I chose to checked in at the Delta counter, where hardly anybody knew or cared about Alitalia's 5kg rule. (Believe it or not, on the SAME code-share flight, each airline sets its own rules for its own customers-- Delta allowed 40lbs, Alitalia 5kg).

Posted by
769 posts

I agree with the other posters to have some clothes in your day pack just incase (for a day extra). I like to use the Packing Cubes - RS or Eagle Creek. If you unexpectedly are asked to check a bigger carry on like the RS_Bag at the last min, you can take a cube out and stuff it in your day pack and move on - no repacking - just be prepared!

Posted by
705 posts

Just come back from Rome and flew with Alitalia twice. What they say and do is quite different. I had a wheelie carry on, a computer case and my handbag(purse) and no problems. Other passengers looked like they had packed for 6 months and had huge wheelies and briefcases. I was really surprised they got away with it. They were business men - don't know if that made any difference. I suppose you may be unlucky - just the luck of the draw. They did have one of those stands that your case has to fit into at the departure gate and once made an announcement about hand luggage but everyone just ignored them. So Italian.

Posted by
1 posts

Rick Steves has a bag that weighs only 3 lbs. We are going to try to do 3 weeks out of those bags in carry on mode only. (we also never check bags, and if the chatter on the web about Alitalia and checked baggage is correct, I think it's about the last thing we want to do)

Practice packing has us at 11.5 lbs.

Does anyone know if you are allowed the hand luggage PLUS a purse or bag(like a UK school bag/computer bag) or if the purse/bag counts as your one piece of hand luggage??? (we are NOT flying into the UK or through Heathrow- only Rome, Marseilles and Paris)

Samantha, I hope you had a great time!

Posted by
1455 posts

Samanta, its really hit and miss with the airlines. It depend on the agent, and how strict he/she is on the rules.

I agree with Tom and the packing cubes. They keep you organized and if such a situation occured where you need to check in the luggage, you have the option of grabbing a cube that has a few days' worth of clothes (providing you mix/match your cubes with pants/ tops).

In addition to R.S., has their version. I like theirs because it comes with a handle. If I needed to grab a cube, I can hold it by the handle.

Posted by
120 posts

Does anyone have any more recent experience with this topic? I'm flying Alitalia (Chicago-Italy) in a week & am curious if a carry on AND a personal item (such as my camera bag) are allowed?

Posted by
18230 posts

Have you thought of one of those cloth grocery bags people are now using instead of "paper or plastic". At 11 lb total it would be easy to carry; you don't even need a convertible bag, let alone a wheelie. Most wheelies weigh about 6-7# empty. That's only 5-6# of your own stuff.

But seriously, if you get a 1-3/4# Campmor Essential Carry-on, you'll have about 9# for stuff. That's almost as good as the grocery bag.