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8kg Carryon Baggage Weight Limit

Hello All, I will be flying Turkish Airlines this summer for a 3 week trip and the airline has an 8kg (17.6lb) weight limit for their carryon bag. I have a connection and I am very worried a checked bag will be lost or delayed.

I have the Samsonite Lift 21" spinner weighing 3kg (6.5lbs), leaving me with 5kgs (11 lbs) of "stuff".

I normally never check a bag and pack with just a carryon, but have never had a weight restriction before. Size is not the problem- I feel stupid because the suitcase is half empty but I am over the weight limit. I don't bring a lot of unnecessary stuff, but do have a lot of formal/business clothes.

Does anyone have any suggestions? What would you pack in your carryon with a weight limit?

Posted by
41 posts

Check if you can bring a personal item as well. It would help you to bring more. Getting a lighter bag and packing less, of course. But if it starts getting too complicated, why not check the bag? Millions upon millions of bags arrive as scheduled every year. Sometimes you just have to have faith...and a stiff drink.

Posted by
5837 posts

This is where a non roller like the RS Classic Backpack (< 3 pound ~ <1.4 kg) is advantageous.

Since you have the heavy spinner, try and wear your heavy stuff including over garmets and stick heavy stuff in your jacket pockets.

Its also a good idea to cinch the bag tight so that it has the appearance of lightness.

And even if it's cabin baggage, mark it with your itinerary in the event it needs to be gate checked because of a full flight using up overhead space.

Posted by
5685 posts

Would it really be a crisis if your bag was delayed a day or two?

Get a light weight nylon duffel or use a daypack. Pack that as a carry on with your valuables and the things you need for the first couple of days. Check your wheeled case with the rest of your stuff. When you arrive, you can put the carry on stuff in your case if you want to consolidate back to one bag.

I'm one of the few people on this board who always checks my carry-on sized bag when I travel overseas. I put my electronics and a couple days of clothes in a daypack to carry on and check the rest. I have had my bag delayed several times (although not in the last 14 years) and except for one time, It was delivered to me the next day. Odds are that your bag won't be delayed ... but you can prepare in case it is.

Posted by
4174 posts

Is the connection in Istanbul? We flew from Athens to Rome via Istanbul on Turkish airlines and checked our bags without a hitch. We stayed airside between arriving at IST and departing for FCO.

We also checked them from FCO to IST (RS tour) and then from IST to ATH. Those were nonstops, but we had no luggage issues then either.

Posted by
1194 posts

Hi Maryam,
I've actually made a 6.5 kg limit. But you can't do that with a roller bag.

Part I
Would you consider going with a travelpack? Edgar mentioned the Rick Steves bag. I have traveled on Turkish Air using my LL Bean Quickload Convertible (1 kg / 2.2 lb).
I was traveling into the African bush so had the bag packed to the gills. I had solar cells, water bottles, medical suppliess (for the camp) etc. I was truly at weight limit. I was worried. Here's the irony - the gate agent took one look at the (stealth) black pack on my back and said" "Oh, you're wearing a backpack, you can't possibly be near the limit. There's no need to weigh it." I kept my mouth shut.
My point is that spinners look heavy, just like black travel packs look light. Appearance counts. Think about cutting 4 pounds by buying a travel pack. If you're not willing to do that then think about a lighter European sized roller bag. Spinners are some of the heaviest bags around.

Part II
Other ways to cut weight. As others said, divert weight into your jacket and your personal item. Put your shoes in your personal item if they fit. Other heavy items are:
Jewelry, Electronics, Books, Liquids
The jewelry, electronics, and liquids bag should fit in your coat pockets.

Other ways to reduce weight:

Take only 3 underpants, Take only 2 bras, Take only 2 socks.
Take everything out of the original container and put it in zip locks. Avoid packing cubes (unless they are ultra-sil)
Wear your suit coat, jeans, and heavy shoes.

Posted by
795 posts

You are flying Turkish Airlines? You have my deepest sympathy. Carry-on luggage will be the least of your worries. Good luck. That was the worst airline I have ever flown (and I have flown on what seems like all of them). My most helpful suggestions would be (1) Try to book the trip on another airline even if you take a loss and (2) If you do go with them do not check any bags. They'll likely lose it and then refuse to pay for it. Also, if you have a connection and they decide to cancel your first leg, good luck with customer service. You'll likely be stranded at your own expense. Even many Turks are ashamed of this airline.

Posted by
11613 posts

I have used the RS 22" rolling carryon and kept to the weight limit, this year I am downsizing to the 20". Can you bring fewer changes of business/formal clothing that will coordinate for more options?

I also use the RS Civita daybag which holds amost as much as the 20" carryon, you might try putting heavier stuff in a lightweight daybag if you can bring a personal item as well as a carryon.

Posted by
524 posts

I'm with the posters that say to check one suitcase, and then bring a small carryon for essentials like one or two outfits in case your luggage is delayed and things you have to have.

Posted by
1068 posts

How long is your layover? I have flown Turkish airlines twice and they were great (for me.) They may lose luggage, but don't have that reputation. While I support packing light etc., you may be fine with a checked bag.

Posted by
23464 posts

Now I am curious, Terri Lynn, what exactly was your experience with Turkish Airline because it is very contrary to what I have recently learned about Turkish Airline. I posted a question about the quality of Turkish airline on Fodor's about a month ago because we are headed to Istanbul in September. Not one negative response in 20 responses. In fact, several posted that Turkish Air was rated as one of the best European airlines. Many gave positive personal responses based on recent travels. Nothing like what you suggested.

Posted by
19166 posts

If you were to take the spinner @ 6½ #, you could take only 11 # of stuff, so take that 11 # of stuff and put it in a 1¾ # Essential Carryon bag. Your bag, packed, will weigh less than 13 #. (You've probably carried a bag weighing more than that out of a grocery store.) With less than 13 # you won't need rollers. And if you want to carry the full 17.6 # (it's not hard with the backpack straps), you can take over 15½ # of stuff.

I really wish Rick would sell a convertible bag (no rollers) with the capacity (1960 ci) of the Rolling Backpack bag for those of us who follow his advice to pack light.

Turkish Airlines is a 4-star rated airline, same as Air Canada, Air France, British Airways, and Lufthansa. In the US, only Virgin American and JetBlue are 4-star rated.

Posted by
5837 posts

...really wish Rick would sell a convertible bag (no rollers) with the capacity (1960 ci)....

What I like about the RS Classic Backpack (9" thick x 21" tall x 14" wide) is its cinch straps. You don't have to pack to max capacity. Pack to 6.67" thick and you have your 1960 ci bag. And it's less than 3# empty, so Rick says and with no wheels to jam you in your back when carrying to the top floor of a no-lift B&B hotel.

PS. And if on a regional aircraft with a 20" (50 cm) length limit, the Classic will squash into the space if you pack reasonable light.

Posted by
1878 posts

I think it's common for foreign airlines to have lower limits. A lot of times the space for carry ons is really small, too - no matter how light you pack it might not fit. But, they might check it upon boarding.

Airlines have taken to scheduling much tighter connections and your bags are probably more likely to miss the connection than you are. However, on routes where the flights are frequent this does not need to be a big problem. They are pretty good at putting it on the next plane, which works great if you take the long hop to Europe and switch one or even two times over there. Harder if you are changing at a U.S. airport. We always try and connect in a European hub so that if something gets messed up, at least we are 80% of the way there with more options for catching a different flight if we miss the connection. It also saves flight time from the west coast quite a lot to do a long hop rather than two shorter ones connecting on the east coast of the U.S.

Last year my wife and I did a river cruise starting in Budapest, and our baggage did not make the connection in Frankfurt. I was freaked out because we were getting on the ship less than 48 hours after arrival. The bags showed up about 3 a.m. the day after our arrival but it would have been a disaster if they had not.

I can't imagine being so set on not checking a bag that I would choose to pack that light. But, I always check a bag when traveling overseas.

Posted by
19166 posts

VS: "I can't imagine being so set on not checking a bag that I would choose to pack that light"

Am I set on not checking a bag? You bet. For good reason.

On my first business trip to Belgium in 1987, my bags almost stayed in Boston. On my second trip, on a flight from Frankfurt to Paris, my bags almost went to So. America, never, I'm sure, to be seen again. When, in around 2000, I first read of Rick's idea of carrying on, I realized that it was the solution to the problems of lost bags.

On my first trip with a carry-on bag, I had a one hour connection in an eastern city, but we left Denver an hour late due to aircraft deicing. I mentioned it to the FA and they met us (13) at the gate with a van and took us to the connecting flight in the international terminal, where we just made the flight. I doubt that any checked luggage could have made that connection. I was sure glad to have my carry-on bag sitting on my lap in the van.

Since then, I have always made sure I was under the 17.6# limit for carry-on. Then, after accepting that I didn't need to pack clean clothes for the entire trip, that I could wash as I go, I limited myself to only 3-4 days of clothes, and I got my load down to 9-10 #, plus bag. It's so liberating to carry a bag that only weighs 10-12 #.

You pack a carry-on bag with the things you "absolutely" have to have. You can live with just what you put in your carry-on bag. You put every thing else that you might want in a second bag, to check. Then, assuming that the checked bag will be lost anyway, you leave it at home.

Posted by
32264 posts

I've never flown with Turkish Airlines but had a look at the reviews on SkyTrax. They were a bit "mixed" but overall about 65% favourable. My perception of the trend after reading a number of the reviews was that business and premium economy passengers were generally happy with the service, while many economy passengers were not.

Posted by
1994 posts

If you want a lighter weight wheeled carry-on, you might want to look at the Osprey Ozone. If I remember correctly, it's less than half the weight of the one you have. I typically carry my luggage on, but I have had to check it a few times and it survived well.

Posted by
2651 posts

Just FYI, I flew Turkish in October and they weighed my carryon at both LAX and Istanbul to make sure it was under 17.6 before they put a little sticker on it indicating it could be cabin baggage. I brought the lightest suitcase I have ever owned - it's a terribly shabby thing I bought at KMart last year for about ten dollars. It weighs about 4 pounds and worked out just fine. Surely it's not the best-constructed luggage in the world, but it doesn't matter because I never check it so it's not subject to much abuse.

Posted by
19166 posts

"... it's less than half the weight of the one you have"

Sherry, according to the official site, the Osprey Ozone 22 weighs 4 lb 7 oz. That's more than 2/3 (68%) of 6½#, what she says her old bag weighs.

The Rick Steves Convertible Carry-on and Classic Back Door Bag both weigh under 3 #, less than half of what her old bag weighs.

Posted by
66 posts

Well, if you are really concerned about weight why not go with the Campmor Essential Carryon for $30? It can be carried with a shoulder strap, or as a backpack with backpack straps. And it weighs less than 2 lbs. plenty big to hold whatever you need.

Campmor Carryon:

Posted by
19166 posts

Ops! No wonder that 19" bag is so roomy; it's 22" long. You linked to the full sized, 22", Weekender Convertible. I'm sure you meant the 19" Weekender Convertible Junior, @ 19" x 13.8" x 9".

I like this bag (and if you've read some of my posts on bags, you know I'm not easy to please). It's a little bigger (2360 ci) than I would like (more like 2000 ci), and, at 2.7#, weighs almost a pound more than my Essential Carryon bag, but it has cinch straps to tighten the load when only part-way filled, and it has a sternum strap and waist strap.

A couple other features it has that I like: like the Essential Carryon, it opens fully, like a book, for ease of packing; has hide-away-straps so they don't catch in airplane bins; minimum outside pockets,which add to dimensions without adding fully to volume.

Not very important to me, because I only take a little more than half of its capacity, but being straight sided with minimal rounded corners gives it the maximum capacity for the dimensions.

Update: I just ordered one from eBags. It was just over $50. I'll give you my review when it arrives.

Posted by
693 posts

For what it is worth, Turkish Airlines has won best airline in Europe the last four years. They also consistently outrank any US airline in the world airline awards. Their fleet is much newer than the main US carriers as well.

Amazing they have done so well considering Terri Lynn doesn't approve.

Posted by
5837 posts

In theory airlines have carry-on weight limits for aircraft safely. They are suppose to do weight and balance calculations. A chaterr pilot told me a story of a mistake loading passengers into a 6 seat tricycle gear plane. He loaded a heavy set woman into the back seat first. As she moved back the plane dropped onto its tail.

Look up FFA Aircraft Circular 120-27E:


  1. What should an operator consider while reading this AC? a. Accurately calculating an aircraft’s weight and CG before flight is essential to comply with the certification limits established for the aircraft. These limits include both weight and CG limits. By complying with these limits and operating under the procedures established by the manufacturer, an operator is able to meet the weight and balance requirements specified in the aircraft flight manual (AFM). Typically, an operator calculates takeoff weight by adding the operational empty weight (OEW) of the aircraft, the weight of the passenger, cargo payload, and the weight of fuel. The objective is to calculate the takeoff weight and CG of an aircraft as accurately as possible.

b. When using average weights for passengers and bags, the operator must be vigilant to ensure that the weight and balance control program reflects the reality of aircraft loading. The FAA will periodically review the guidance in this AC and update this AC if average weights ofthe traveling public should change or if regulatory requirements for carry-on bags or personal items should change. Ultimately, the operator is responsible for determining if the procedures described in this AC are appropriate for use in its type of operation.

  1. What standard average passenger weights should an operator use with an approved carry-on bag program? a. The standard average passenger weights provided in Table 2-1 were established based on data from U.S. Government health agency surveys. For more background information on the source of these weights, refer to Appendix 2. b. The standard average passenger weights in Table 2-1 include 5 pounds for summer clothing, 10 pounds for winter clothing, and a 16-pound allowance for personal items and carry-on bags. Where no gender is given, the standard average passenger weights are based on the assumption that 50 percent of passengers are male and 50 percent of passengers are female.
Posted by
5837 posts

AC 120-27E

Standard Average Passenger Weight Weight Per Passenger Summer Weights:
Average adult passenger weight 190 lb
Average adult male passenger weight 200 lb
Average adult female passenger weight 179 lb
Child weight (2 years to less than 13 years of age) 82 lb

Winter Weights:
Average adult passenger weight 195 lb
Average adult male passenger weight 205 lb
Average adult female passenger weight 184 lb
Child weight (2 years to less than 13 years of age) 87 lb

c. An operator may use summer weights from May 1 to October 31 and winter weights from November 1 to April 30.

Posted by
19166 posts

My Weekender Convertible Junior bag arrived today. I've started a new topic about it.

Posted by
106 posts

I love Turkish Air and will be flying in and out of Boston this summer for a Best of Italy trip. I plan to check my spinner carry on. I am actually allowed 2 checked bags (yes, economy). It will be a direct flight from Boston to Istanbul, then three days later to Milan. Flying Turkish Air saved me $800. Over Italia and gave me a long weekend in Istanbul. I plan to pack light and my hand luggage will be a Columbia day pack. Once I am on the ground I will use a Tom Bihn small cafe bag and a money belt. For days hiking in the Italian Dolomites I will gear up a bit with that Columbia day pack.
On my return from Istanbul a few summers ago, Turkish Air did weigh my Rick Steves convertible back pack and I did have to check it.
Have a great trip and let us know how you like Turkish Air.