Please sign in to post.

Minimalist trip packers to Italy will love this!

Looks like Italy is banning the use of overhead bins on flights into, out of and in-country. I haven't read the provision itself yet but the tall and short of it appears to be that if it doesn't fit under the seat, it must be checked. We'll see how long this lasts?

https://www.wantedinrome.com/news/cabin-luggage-ban-on-flights-to-and-from-italy.html

From the Alitalia website:
https://www.alitalia.com/en_en/fly-alitalia/news-and-activities/news/info-flights/flying-safely.html

"From 26 June, following the provision of the Ministry of Health (prot. 21870 of 23 June 2020) and implemented by ENAC, to protect the health of passengers, the use of overhead bins for the storage of hand baggage will no longer be allowed on all flights operated in Italy. Passengers will only be permitted to bring on board small baggage, that can be placed under their seat such as, for example, handbags, backpacks, laptop cases not exceeding 36x45x20 cm. (editing to add: that's roughly 14"x17"x8") We invite passengers to deliver their baggage to the airport at the Check-in / Drop-off counter, to be placed in the hold, free of charge."

Posted by
5164 posts

I think some American Airlines are considering this as well. But the key words here are at the end: ". . . to be placed in the hold, free of charge." Maybe this will be the end of baggage fees.

Posted by
5602 posts

maximalist packers will really love this as now they can check their bag for free!

Posted by
316 posts

Interesting. I wonder (and hope) that exceptions will be made for medical devices such as C-PAP machines. I think they'd almost have to allow those since the manufacturers state not to check them on airplanes.

Posted by
1999 posts

This is possibly the stupidest thing I have heard today, but it is early.

Here is the rationale: "The measure has been taken to prevent people from gathering when they have to store their luggage on board the aircraft whilst boarding or disembarking. The intent is to prevent pontential spreading of covid-19. "

So, to stop people from "gathering" to put the luggage up, they will ban carryon luggage. Of course, this takes maybe 1 minute, 2 at most. You then spend 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours in close contact with the same people.

I've heard of lame and idiotic reasoning, but this is right up there.

Posted by
1235 posts

It's a good idea. I hope they keep it once the other restrictions are lifted - it might prove to be one of that small handful of positive things resulting from this otherwise tiresome virus.

Note for those planning on flying on other airlines - or in other countries - this extends beyond just Italy and is, at least, guidance in many European countries and in Britain. I'm booking some flights at the moment and have seen something similar on Iberia and BA - but in those cases only as a "request", though hopefully one they'll enforce at the airport on the self-regarding, entitled types who try not to comply.

Posted by
17720 posts

Hopefully they will add that it has to fit in the carry-on sizer to be checked free of charge.

But I have to agree with Paul. They'll save a little on people congregating in the aisle putting their carry-on in the overhead bin, but with more luggage checked, there will be more people congregating around the carousel, and with more luggage, it will take longer for all the luggage to come out, so the crowd around the carousel will be there for longer.

Posted by
2484 posts

This will greatly improve the speed of deplaning, IMO. I'm all for it!

Posted by
1999 posts

Maybe they will add that it has to fit in the carry-on sizer to be checked free of charge.

But I have to agree with Paul. They'll save a little on people congregating in the aisle putting their carry-on in the overhead bin, but with more luggage checked, there will be more people congregating around the carousel, and with more luggage, it will take longer for all the luggage to come out, so the crowd around the carousel will be there for longer.

It's important to beware of creeping rule-making. They make the use of carryons in the overhead compartment illegal, and say that checking baggage is free. Later, the "free" is removed, and you are required to pay for the checked baggage.

I see this as a back-door attempt to add more fees in the long run.

Posted by
2244 posts

Aah, the cable-TV school of profit maximization.

Yup, they have the opportunity for a full reset on pricing. And, as stan points out above, "Maybe this will be the end of baggage fees."
And sure, they'll pull back that $50 fee to check a bag, after raising the fare $70. That's how it works, until competition begins to do some sharpening again.

The concept of no overhead storage is good on a few fronts-in particular, I love the idea of nobody standing in the aisle for ten minutes during flight to find this or that, as they empty then refill the contents of their bag for all to see, and breathe.

Posted by
1468 posts

My take is a little different. I had to fly early May. The airport was pretty deserted, people observed social distancing in the boarding area, 85-90% wore masks, the airline boarded people in small groups and people sat quickly.....plane lands and everyone is jammed together in the aisle trying to get their bags out of the bins.

Posted by
154 posts

I have long been disgusted with the airlines' handling of how passengers board and disembark on international flights, in fact, on all flights. All they have to do is set up a reasonable, orderly protocol. For example, continue to pre-board the elderly and/or disabled coach passengers. People are generally not very understanding if you walk slowly or are disabled in some way. Seat them safely out of the way. First class and business class would have to come next, I suppose. Then, they could call people in order, filling in from the back of the plane to the front. Same thing on disembarking. First off, people with connections. But you'd have to prove it. Cabin staff should know who those travelers are easily enough. Then I suppose first and business class would come next. But, then empty from the back to the front. First on in coach, first off. Nobody tripping over other people trying to find a seat and stow your carry-ons. Elderly and disabled get off last so they don't get trampled This is not rocket science, and perhaps someone would have a better plan, but we've got to start somewhere. If things were more orderly, perhaps use of the overhead bins wouldn't be such a big deal.

Posted by
31055 posts

This is going to make air travel into Italy even more cumbersome and annoying, and I'm not sure it will really accomplish anything. If I'm sitting beside two other passengers for 14 hours and all of us are wearing face masks, I fail to see why there would be increased risk for this same "bubble of people" to be standing up and accessing the overhead bins.

If this measure is only adopted by Italy, one could always fly into Switzerland, Germany or France and take the train to Italy. International air travel is getting to the point where the annoyance is becoming so great that I may not want to travel there until things improve.

Posted by
5164 posts

They must have some evidence to support their decision. But I wonder if airlines really wanted to prevent the scrum that occurs due to carryon bags, they would start by enforcing their existing carryon rules, and change the boarding process so the more orderly back-to-front boarding was the norm.

Posted by
2426 posts

Agree with Lee and Paul.
Coming into close contact with your fellow passengers is unavoidable, whether it's while putting items in an overhead bin, sitting on the flight crammed in like sardines, or claiming checked bags at the carousel after the flight.

Agree with Stan,
"But I wonder if airlines really wanted to prevent the scrum that occurs due to carry-on bags, they would start by enforcing their existing carry-on rules, and change the boarding process so the more orderly back-to-front boarding was the norm."

Posted by
6439 posts

So when everyone goes to baggage claim they will magically be immune in that crowd????

Paul O-T-F-N is correct. This is a DUMB idea

Posted by
31055 posts

A few additional comments to add to my previous post......

The airlines here don't seem to be overly worried about the "close proximity" in flights - https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/westjet-ends-physcial-distancing-covid-1.5628838 . This move is approved by the IATA and fits with their guidelines, so it looks like "sardine class" is back in full operation. I wonder if Italian airlines will be following this same practice?

The airlines maintain that due to their rigourous cleaning and sanitizing, the new HEPA filters they've installed and the fact that masks are mandatory in flight, the risk of contracting COVID-19 on a flight is extremely unlikely.

For those scofflaws who think they'll get away without a mask, they're in for a rude (and expensive) awakening - https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/winnipeg-man-facing-up-to-5k-fine-for-refusing-to-wear-mask-on-flight-rcmp-1.4998224 . The government carries a big stick and they're not afraid to use it!

Posted by
3838 posts

Yeah - nah. Banning carry on luggage? If I have a connecting flight in Heathrow that isn't on the same ticket (which have been ALL my connecting flights in LHR) I don't want to have to go thru passport control then wait god knows how long for my bags to come out, hope they didn't get lost, then sprint for my connecting.

(Why don't I just get connecting flights all on one ticket? Because where I live we don't have a lot of choices - especially slightly off season - of flights to Europe, and I don't really want to fly west to Montreal or Toronto only to fly east again. I guess I'd rather cool my heels at LHR.)

When I arrive at my destination I just want to take my bags and go, not stand around a luggage carousel (with hundreds of other people) for what feels like forever for my bag to come out.

Posted by
2484 posts

One can still do carryon only with these rules, just make sure your personal item fits under the seat. One either wastes time doing laundry (carryon in PI) or you waste less time at the carousel.

Heathrow is the European airport I fly into and then off again to my destination. I usually have found the bags are at or arriving at the carousel when I reach the carousel after immigration. I pull my bag and continue walking. I believe the worst timing has allowed me to make a bathroom pit stop first, which I always do on the way out anyway. As for crowds...wide open space, more area to disperse, etc. and you don't have to wait for everyone else to get their bag before you can leave.

Charles deGaulle Airport is the only airport I've ever had to wait for any length of time.

Edit: Disclosure: I always use British Airways for my international and inter-European flight...so I check my bag thru if I continue on without an overnight. However, now I tend to just stay overnight at Heathrow between flights so I pick up my bag before going to the hotel. If I were to be on separate tickets...well, I'd stay overnight, definitely, to be sure to make the connection and for less hassle. There are so many differences, which is why we all fly differently.

Posted by
31055 posts

"One can still do carryon only with these rules, just make sure your personal item fits under the seat. One either wastes time doing laundry (carryon in PI) or you waste less time at the carousel."

I normally check one bag on all trips, but still require two carry-on items - one for expensive camera gear and prescription med's and one for a CPAP unit. One of those carry-on items will have to go into the overhead bin as both won't fit under the seat. I will NOT be checking either of those carry-on bags (for obvious reasons) so this new policy won't work for me.

Posted by
1728 posts

If enacted, and it stays that way, it's going to be very tough for me as like Ken I have a CPAP. Not sure if I can stuff my meds within it. And, for a transatlantic flight, frankly I need my 'stuff' to keep me sane--books, snacks, iPad, etc.--during the 8+ hours in-flight. Anxiety will be heightened enough as it is, you know?

If this were for a good reason, that'd be one thing. But to avoid congregation (if that's the near or long term goal)? Uh, uh, I don't buy it. As has been stated upthread, a few extra minutes on top of the last however-many hours together on the flight itself?! And there's this as well--over the course of 3 trips to Italy between 2010 and 2017, my desire to visit the homeland superseded a lifelong case of claustrophobia, and by our last trip I was doing pretty good. And no, I don't take meds for it.

We have a trip thought about for next April, but the legitimate restrictions (or lack thereof with some carriers) are difficult enough to absorb. This just makes it harder.

Posted by
3838 posts

Flew into Naples airport and my mom had a big bag that she checked - it was a good 10 min coming out - we got thru passport so fast - but arriving around 10pm at night I would've rather just been on the way to our room - that 10 min felt like forever.

At Heathrow because we have carry on only, we can use the secure connections route and bypass the extra long walk to passport/baggage claim - getting us to the next terminal for our connection that much faster - since we are arriving in the morning, that extra time is great to refresh and have a proper breakfast.

And coming home we always check our bags and it's usually at least a 10 min wait. The last few times my mom and a friend have come to get us so we stand on opposite sides of the 'fence' chatting but again - I just want to get home!

Posted by
17720 posts

I just checked several European airline websites. Alitalia seems like the only airline that is saying you can't use the overhead bins, but their P/I limit is almost 2000 ci, about the same as American. (Last year I flew domestic on American, and my "carry-on" bag, packed as I do for three weeks in Europe, fit in American's P/I sizer.) Lufthansa does not explicitly say that you can't use the overhead; it just encourages you to keep your carry-on small enough to fit under the seat.

Lufthansa's P/I limit is only ~740 ci, but that was for when they also allowed a 50L carry-on in the overhead bin. I don't know what their limit would be today for an under-the-seat P/I.

Both airlines say that if your carry-on meets the regulation size limit they will check it for free.

Posted by
6439 posts

Please note that as of June 11, 2020, the rules on carry-on baggage have temporarily changed. Passengers are only allowed to take one item on board, which must fit under the seat. Your carry-on bag will have to be placed in hold during check-in or at the gate (no extra charge). Duty-free goods bought at the airport are allowed on board in addition to one item.
https://www.icelandair.com/support/baggage/allowance/

Iceland Air also has the 'no bin' policy

Posted by
17720 posts

The Icelandair quote doesn't explicitly say that to be checked free of charge, the carry-on HAS to be within the size limit, but I imagine it does.

What nobody seems to be saying is, what is their under-the-seat size limit. Is it the same personal item size from before. Airlines like Alitalia and American allowed about 2000 ci, while others like Lufthansa had limits around 750 ci. Is the space under American Airline really big enough for a 2000 ci bag? Is the space under the seats on Lufthansa really that much smaller than on American, or did Lufthansa arbitrarily limit the size of a P/I because they were allowing such a big carry-on (50L)? Now that Lufthansa is encouraging you to use use the under-the-seat space instead of the overhead bins, will they allow you more volume?

Posted by
5378 posts

And what happens if your item meets the stated PI size limits ... but your seat has the foot area blocked by the airplane's electrical equipment ??

Like Wray, I always check one bag and build in the luggage-pickup time. Life is too short to rush.

Posted by
6439 posts

Is the space under American Airline (seat) really big enough for a 2000 ci bag?

2000 cubic inches is 32 liters. My personal item is a 20 liter Eddie Bauer back pack ( 18x10x9). It easily fits under the center seat; and as long as its only partially full will mash in under an aisle seat. Cannot imagine my bag being full fitting under the aisle seat, much less a 32 liter bag fitting.

Sometimes, "free of charge" luggage happens when airlines are hurting and trying to attract passengers.

Once on Alitalia - I had a seat with no underseat space due to an electronic box for the in-flight seat movies. I really needed some overhead storage.

I don't think luggage will affect corona virus much. But, accidents happen when luggage is dropped trying to get it in the overhead bin. My husband almost ended up with a broken nose this way. (good news - no broken bones). An older lady was trying to get her luggage in the bin and dropped the bag with the wheels hitting my husband's face. (My suggestion is for my husband to help out instead of letting someone struggle. He didn't like my idea. He also will not get up to snag a ketchup bottle off a table at a restaurant (pre-Covid-19) and insists on waiting for the server to bring it to him.)