flight question

I don't have much experience packing for a flight. I know a laptop and a purse count as personal items and i know only one personal item is allowed and a carry-on. Would I be allowed to take my laptop with me inside my purse or in a laptop sleeve? would either of those be allowed? My purse would only carry my laptop and important documents like my passport, itinerary, boarding ticket, and money.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7682 posts

I put my netbook in the same bag with my purse items, things I need on the flight, and things like medications and an extra change of clothing. That bag goes under the seat. Are you checking another suitcase, or carrying it on? That bag would be your carryon and would go overhead.

Posted by Keilah
New Braunfels, TX, United States
10 posts

i would be taking my purse with my laptop and important things i need on the flight inside and then a carry on luggage bag as well.

Posted by Lesley
Sidney, BC, Canada
335 posts

Laptops, especially if they fit into a purse or similar are fine but check airline's website for verification.

Posted by Charlie
Honolulu/Seattle, HI/WA, USA
1841 posts

Check the specific airline's web site for details about just what they allow as carry ons. Some airlines only allow one item to be carried on be that a purse, laptop, or small suitcase.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7209 posts

I'll second what Charlie said. You need to read the rules for your specific airline for what is acceptable. Most domestic airlines (United, USAir, Southwest, etc.) allow a carry on (based on size, not weight) plus one personal item up to and including a large purse, briefcase, or laptop bag. Other airlines (Lufthansa, SAS, etc.) limit your carry on by both size and weight (18 lbs. is the Lufthansa, SAS limit). Also, one item means one item, not one item plus a personal item.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

I'll just third Brad and Charlie. I find luggage rules much more fluctuating and unpredictable than even 5 years ago. Not surprisingly, the fluctuation is always in one direction - they're getting stricter. Two other wrinkles to be aware of: 1. The same airline will often have different (more generous) rules for trans-Atlantic flights than for domestic or intra-European flights.
2. If you fly within Europe as part of a trans-Atlantic flight (all on one ticket), the trans-Atlantic rules usually apply. But, if you fly on separate tickets, the intra-European rules apply.

Posted by Charlie
Honolulu/Seattle, HI/WA, USA
1841 posts

And I will second Brad's post. We fly from Seattle non-stop to Europe on a European airline and then fly onward from our arrival airport to our final destination on one of the first airlines code-sharing local airlines. Our luggage has always been tagged thru to our final destination such that whatever rules applied at our departure from Seattle have always applied to our final destination and we have never been questioned about our carry-on that we brought from the first airline. This has always applied since we fly on all legs with one ticket from the first airline. I have never checked to see if we could get a less expensive trip by booking the second, European leg on a discount local airline. Having all of our travel on one ticket gives us some peace of mind if anything should get complicated with our air travel.

Posted by Keilah
New Braunfels, TX, United States
10 posts

Just to clarify, I will be flying with American Airlines. Does anyone know what American does for international flights in this situation? Thank you for all your help!

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7682 posts

Keilah, just check the American website under Baggage, and you will get the most current information. www.aa.com
Click on Travel Information, then Baggage, then Carryon Baggage.

Posted by Mira
Midwest
108 posts

Definitely check, but on my last American flight earlier this summer (it was domestic, which may be less or the same as international, not sure), I was allowed a purse and a carry-on size bag. My purse is decent size and fits a small laptop, but it fits under the seat. So I had the purse with wallet, book, money, and laptop, and a carry-on bag with a few days clothing and my 3oz toiletry bag. This has been pretty standard over years of travel on major airlines (I know the budget airlines are different). Basically, what I am used to one personal item bag that fits under the seat (purse, laptop bag) and one carry-on bag that fits size guidelines and goes in the overhead bin. Your laptop can go in whatever bag you want to put it in, as long as both your bags fit under size guidelines. The rule isn't to limit where the laptop goes - it is to limit overall size. Any allowed item can go anywhere you want within your size allotment. Laptops have been allowed on every airline I've seen, as long as they are working (sometimes you're asked to turn them on at security). But check with the airline, things do change.

Posted by Sarah
United States
162 posts

I've just experienced a wide variety of airlines. I used a Pacsafe bag for my laptop, and took a small pocketbook packed inside. No matter what, I qualified. When you check the websites, note that there's a rule about the major carrier's rules trumping the small flights (on a single ticket). For example, united, usairways (transatlantic), ryanair. If all three are bound by this rule, usairways wins. I've printed out the rule in the past. I only had to use it in Canada.
With so many changes, every flight is a first flight for something!

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8755 posts

You'd never have a through ticket including Ryanair. They don't do that. And they don't obey anybody else's rules. If your luggage exceeds their allowances (microscopic) you WILL pay. A lot.

Posted by Thomas
Snyder, Texas
503 posts

Hi Keilah, We just flew American to and from Europe. You can have 1 carry on and 1 personal item. For the personal item, if it will go under the seat in front of you, it is OK. If your computer fits inside one of the 2 bags you are carrying on, it will be fine. At Dallas, you have to take a computer out of the bag for security. An iPad can stay in the bag. Airport rules vary on that.
If you fly one of the small regional jets, you will have to gate check your carry on and possibly both bags if they are too big. You put them on a cart just as you enter the plane and pick them up as you leave. You will have to wait a few minutes upon exit for them to get the bags. This is true only for the small jets that American Express uses. If you fly from Austin to Dallas, you'll probably have one of these. That's why I mentioned it.