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Follow Rick’s advice- carry on

if you’re traveling this summer, I would strongly recommend you plan to carry on your luggage at least to your destination. Baggage handling has become a nightmare everywhere. Here are just a few places you can look to see some of the recent horror stories

If you must check luggage, make sure that any valuables, required medications etc. are in your personal carryon bag.

I know that people are going to tell you to get an airtag and that’s good to help. I was in London a week ago and there was an article in the paper about all these people with “lost luggage.” Several of them knew from the AirTag their luggage was in Heathrow. You are not allowed to go walking around in the secure area and just look for it however. You still won’t have your clothes and other personal items. It’s basically lost

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/2086326-lhr-t3-baggage-meltdown-9-july.html

https://dutchreview.com/news/huge-piles-of-suitcases-lying-unattended-at-schiphol/

https://wap.business-standard.com/article-amp/international/half-of-passengers-baggages-stuck-at-paris-airport-due-to-tech-failure-122070300043_1.html

Posted by
1294 posts

I was so disappointed when our flight from Seattle to Munich via Heathrow was canceled three months ago. We are now routed through Charlotte NC. With all that is going on, it looks like that change is a blessing. Heathrow is overcrowded and troublesome even without all these problems. They may have it cleared up by the time we would have gone is September, but it's nice to not have to wonder about it. We flew through Charlotte last October, and it was great. They have had a few blips recently, but hopefully the summer crowds will have dropped by the middle of September!

Posted by
1259 posts

Carol, I have been watching the horror stories coming in from all over the world to Apple News. Oe of the underlying issues is, of course, understaffing The lost luggage operations have no one actually doing the work. Lost luggage is no longer temporarily misplaced, it's GONE.

My endlessly repeatable advice: Luggage arrival is a binary event. The event is completely unaffected by the outcome of previous events and the arrival event is not influenced by the experience of others. Once your luggage leaves your sight, its destiny is utterly unpredictable. Your luggage arrives or it does not. Period.

Posted by
2765 posts

I’ve gone to Europe 2x this year. both times I have carried on going over and checked coming back. And luckily living in Atlanta both of my returns were nonstop switch made things slightly less risky

now obviously there’s still a risk but my theory is if coming back my luggage is lost I actually have a wardrobe at home, I will be fine until it eventually shows up. I have to check coming back because I have this thing about European cosmetics and have way too many liquids to coming home. 😂

Posted by
16 posts

Our family of four flew open jaw to Venice and home from Rome last month. We did all carry-ons flying out. Our flight from Toronto to Venice (third of the day) was cancelled, and we were so glad to have all of our bags with us while waiting for our rebooked flight the next day (checked bags were held and inaccessible). Flying home we had two checked bags, and a 24 hour delay with rebooked flight due to weather. One bag made it home, and the second bag just arrived intact 2.5 weeks later. Just watch what you check. We realized too late that our extra shoes and rain jackets should have been with us in carry-ons, as we had to buy new ones for our kids when we thought the bag was gone.

Posted by
10403 posts

I would like to follow the advice to carry on, but flying Aer Lingus we just can’t manage their size allowance. I think the suitcases would work, but their personal item allowance is tiny. My husband and I both use backpacks as our personal bags. For a shorter trip in warm weather we could possibly do it, but we will be traveling for 10 weeks, from August - late October. My plan is to check our bags to Dublin and carry on our backpacks and a small packable duffle bag with changes of clothes for us both and other necessities that will fit and still be in the size range. We will put AirTags in the suitcases and hope for the best. At least we will be in Dublin for a few days if we need to buy anything.

Carol,
That’s great advice from what I’m seeing on the news. Also, plain black suitcases are the hardest to recover. So, not only have a luggage tag, but make your case more distinctive by adding something bright to it like colored tape or wrap paracord on the handle. Also, know the brand of case you have, size, and style (spinner, 2 wheel, etc.)

If you need to check a bag, try to pack your most important items into the maximum allowed carry on - just in case!

Posted by
14288 posts

Sigh...I think you are right. I've been packing in carry-on size for years but have been checking it for at least 8 years, lol. I'm going in Sept and am going to do some trial packs to see if I can get down to under 20#. Italy in late Fall should not require more than a waterproof jacket and a long sleeve layer for me, so no cold weather layers needed. Clothes I can get down to the basics, it's the other stuff....I'll not take N95s for every day this time, but will take about 10 - 7 labeled the days of the week which I will wear a few times each and then some extras for air travel days which I will dispose of after my flights are complete and I am in the hotel or back home.

I'm going to start by weighing my packing cubes and may go back to the Eagle Creek sil-nylon cubes from the Compass Rose one's I've used for 4-5 years.

Frontier Airline underseat bag allows 18” x 14” x 8” or 33 liters - rectangle. This makes a good comparison or reference size for underseat bag sizes. So, check your airline’s allowances first. Bags that work well in this range are the RS Appenzell backpack, the Patagonia lightweight tote pack, etc..

I found that I can get about 3 days worth of clothes and toiletries into this size of bag. (No shoes, no bulky jackets). So, if you need to check a bag - think about a just-in-case bag to carry on the plane. (27 liter - 33 liter).

Posted by
2238 posts

Another suggestion is to take a quick picture with your phone of your open & packed suitcase. I’m sure everyone’s memory is better than mine but, even though I pack off a list I take with me, it’s easy to forget if asked to provide such info for the airlines and insurance.