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Air France Personal Item Suggestions

We are flying Air France (ticketed by Delta, with Delta flight sign but operated by Air France) from Detroit to Paris, with a layover in Amsterdam in a few weeks. We have a 1 hour 15 min layover in Amsterdam, so it's extra important that we pack carry on only.

A few questions:
1.) Are flights ticketed by Delta but operated by Air France held to Air France or Delta luggage standards? (My understanding is that it's Air France standards.)
2.) Do you have any suggestions for personal item bags (16 x 12 x 6 inches), especially those that pass muster with teenagers?
3.) Are there any Air France personal size item bags that will fit a 17" laptop?

Posted by
11297 posts

Are there any Air France personal size item bags that will fit a 17" laptop?

The 17" is a diagonal measurement. The actual length is likely less and has a good chance of fitting a 16" bag

Now the 'off topic' comment/question-- Is a 17" laptop really necessary?

Posted by
1131 posts

It will be Air France standard. Most teenagers I've seen on the planes just bring the backpacks they use for school. My daughter used a small Fjallraven backpack.

Posted by
6698 posts

Someone asked this question the other day on another thread. Basically, you must follow the baggage guideline rules for the airline that you are flying with at that time. Delta even says this on their website. So look at the Air France guidelines and see if yours will fit.

I will say that if yours is close, you’re probably in good shape, but I wouldn’t get too far from their measurements.

Posted by
1401 posts

I recently used a Fjalraven 17" laptop Kanken backpack as my personal item on Lufthansa, which has similar personal item size restrictions. It is technically 2cm too tall and 1cm too deep but is squishable and was not filled to bulging. It was not challenged and was not a problem. I was in Milan and surrounding areas and saw plenty of university students and young adults using the same Kanken bags in different sizes.

Posted by
729 posts

We're metro Detroiters who have experience with both Delta and Air France RT Paris flights.

We've found on our Air France return trips from Paris that the weight compliance is enforced more tightly. They have weighed our 2 carry-ons and 2 personal bags together and scolded us when we've gone over the combined limit even if just several ounces. We now carry a small scale with us when we travel to avoid that.

The Delta flights in either direction have never really caused any issues as our carry ons are size compliant and never draw attention. They have never weighed our carry ons or personal bags except when we're checking something.

When you use two or more airlines on a combined ticket the least forgiving rules apply. However, we have not had any issue when our Delta compliant carry ons are taken on a KLM connecting flight. So far they have just waved us through. I suppose the carry ons look compliant but I know the personal bags definitely aren't.

This is basically zip-top tote range or smaller backpack. Look at Wandf bags on Amazon. Or, Vera Bradley totes, ll bean totes.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you for all the feedback!

Would a bag 16 x 11.5 x 7" be too risky to take? I found the Mother Lode EVD backpack from eBags, and it's 16 x 11.5 x 7", so it's within the Air France personal item limits except for the depth. Another option is the Timbuk2 Spirit laptop bag, which is 15.4 x 9.8 x 5.51".

I think the Mother Lode would get more use after our trip than the Timbuk2 bag, but I'm unsure whether the extra 1 inch would cause Air France to switch it to carry on. What would you all recommend?

Here's the link to the Mother Lode EVD

Posted by
6698 posts

That's a nice bag--I do like the Mother Lode bags. At any rate, I think you would be okay with that, although I would not stuff it to the max. Just keep it on your back and you should be fine. Of course, there is always a risk but I would probably chance it myself.

Posted by
838 posts

I will say this - in the middle of Covid (Oct 21), I had Air France, at CDG, make me put my little Delsey 15" carryon IN THE SIZER, to ensure compliance, even though the plane was less than half full (i had my own row).... So they can be very strict with sizing.