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Lifting Carry Ons

Rick has convinced me that carry on is the way to go vs checked…only thing is lifting close to 20lbs overhead might be difficult for me. I certainly don't want to begin my trip with a shoulder or back injury! I travel solo and I don't want to impose on/rely on others' assistance. So, I’m now thinking I will still pack lighter and smaller, but check the bag. Part of me is just as happy…I will have hassle checking in and waiting to pick up, but then, I'll be more mobile while in airport (eg bathrooms). I'll have with me good sized cross body tote and thinking maybe a small “crew” style bag (eg RS Euro) for emergency clothing in case checked suitcase gets lost. This bag will have a sleeve so I can carry on top of my roller case upon leaving airport and too, throughout relocations on trip.

My trip is to Italy and will last 3 weeks.

Would appreciate feedback about this plan and/or suggestions.

Posted by
2018 posts

I think it’s an excellent plan because that’s exactly my thinking and now what I do when I travel. Of course, essentials with you.

Posted by
8401 posts

I always check my suitcase, even a rolling 22" carry on. I prefer to be unencumbered and waiting ten minutes after going through passport control isn't a big deal. I agree that it's wise to travel light, but I don't agree that not checking luggage should be religiously followed.

Posted by
1249 posts

I so agree with your decision. Most times now I check my Rick Steves' rollaboard and just carry on my Euro bag, which BTW is my favorite bag. It is amazing how much I can get in there (meds, a change of clothes, my travel pillow, my Kindle and travel documents, etc.) I will admit though it has taken some getting used to having to wait for my bag to come down the ramp since I never used to check. And now it is so much easier in the bathroom not having to drag my luggage into the stall.

Posted by
429 posts

I usually check my main bag, too, especially when I am flying solo. I would rather have the hassle of waiting at the baggage carousel than the hassle of hauling a bag around the airport. (Of course, I live in Atlanta. I don't have to make connections very often, and my bag usually gets to the carousel before I do.)

Posted by
5 posts

Yea! Always good to hear feedback that confirms my thought process. 😊

@Laurie: yes, the Euro looks to be a good choice for the intended purpose. My latest thought is perhaps instead use the Civita Backpack - which also holds a lot - but once on site, can be folded down to next to nothing vs always dealing with a second bag on my roller case. i'm thinking it won't be very heavy since it'll contain mostly clothes and a few toiletries. Valuables, iPad, etc will go in my Pacsafe Cross Body Messenger...the bag I'll use during days while traveling. Will study up and make a decision.

Posted by
5 posts

@Marie, lucky you having Atlanta as your home airport. Mine is Orlando. I haven't yet made travel reservations, but since I'll be flying into Genoa, I'm doubting there'll be a direct flight - LOL. I have heard though that if possible, better to make connection stateside vs in Europe to avoid having to go through immigration during layover time.

Posted by
1422 posts

I'm sure an attendant or fellow passenger will help with stowing your bag. In fact, grab an attendant as you board just in case.

Posted by
1249 posts

jdamanti, yes my Civita day pack is my 2nd choice for carryon. It usually depends on how much stuff I have which I choose.

Posted by
1249 posts

FastEddie I have found fellow passengers to be more helpful than flight attendants in getting my bag up in the overhead. In fact, I quit asking the FAs after one told me when I asked "That is not my job. If you bring something aboard you need to be able to stow it yourself." She did help me, but she wasn't very pleasant about it.

Posted by
1286 posts

We used to bring our 21 inch carryons on board when we were younger and could lift them over our heads. For the last several years we have checked them as it just got too difficult to lift them. And we also have been told by flight attendants that it's not their job to put our suitcases in the overhead. We have seen passengers with more than one carry-on asking for help lifting their heavy cases and rearranging the luggage in the overheads. It makes sense the flight attendants don't lift the suitcases because they could get injured helping people who should have checked their luggage.

Posted by
2230 posts

The easiest solution might be to gate check your suitcase when you get to the end of the jetway as you're boarding. There's no charge for the service and your suitcase will be waiting for you upon arrival as you exit the aircraft.
Sort of the best of both worlds actually.

Posted by
721 posts

"better to make connection stateside vs in Europe to avoid having to go through immigration during layover time"

You'll always have to go through Passport Control at your first entry point into Europe.

Posted by
3204 posts

Sorry to be blunt, but if you can't lift the bag yourself you need to either pack lighter or check in the bag.

Posted by
8767 posts

I think the concern was having to go through immigration and passport control and having time to make the connecting flight.

Posted by
53 posts

Flight attendants have also said (September 2021) that they were not allowed to touch bags/rollaboards in order to prevent possible virus spread among passengers via personal belongings and to keep themselves safe. I’ve flown only twice since March 2020 and the attendants put gloves on to close the overhead bins.

Posted by
740 posts

I'll only carry on for a long weekend, but a week or more, and I'm checking a bag.

I find "Carry On Only" to be like an evangelical sect—the followers are very vocal about a minority belief system driven more by emotion than logic or facts and they are usually judgemental of non-believers.

"You pack it, you stack it" became the standard when lifting passengers' heavy bags was identified as a leading cause of workplace injuries for Flight Attendants. I've seen FA's help those most truly in need, but I don't blame them for not risking their health as a sacrifice for someone else's poor choices.

Posted by
619 posts

I think that is a smart plan. You don't want to take a chance. Having a lighter bag will also be nice while you are traveling around.

We do carryon only, and I am very short. I have always been able to manage my bag and lifting it overhead, except for one time. The overhead was different. A bit higher then I was used to and it sat further back from the aisle, so with the aisle seat I couldn't get to it. Thankfully my husband was with me, but that really threw me off. I would not have been able to even put my purse up there, it was just too far for a short person;)

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
843 posts

I find "Carry On Only" to be like an evangelical sect—the followers are very vocal about a minority belief system driven more by emotion than logic or facts and they are usually judgemental of non-believers.

I travel carryon-only based on solid research, my refined packing skills, and my few but negative experiences, which were totally avoidable. If someone on the forum asks, "Carryon or check?" I might explain my thoroughly valid suggestions but I don't give a fig what you or anyone else does with their luggage or how many bags they take.

Posted by
5 posts

@Andrea...that's exactly what I meant. To go through at final destination vs at connection.

@Badger...you're right, which is exactly why I'll likely be checking my main bag.

Posted by
3620 posts

I have heard though that if possible, better to make connection stateside vs in Europe to avoid having to go through immigration during layover time.

On the other hand, if the connection is made in Europe, and it's missed due to late arrival, mechanical problems, etc., at least one will already be in Europe. If push comes to shove one can usually take a train or another airline to the final destination if needed.

If a direct flght is not available, try to build in plenty of connection time stateside.

Just food for thought.

Posted by
18302 posts

You'll always have to go through Passport Control at your first entry
point into Europe.

You're missing the point, Periscope. For a lot , if not most, of us, there is only one connection on a flight to almost anywhere in Europe. For me, it's at a major hub in the US, like Chicago, or one in Europe, like Frankfurt. So, by arranging the itinerary so that the one connection is in the US, there will only be my final destination in Europe, where I will have lots of time to go through immigration.

Posted by
6633 posts

Except for a very recent change by Delta, flight attendants are not on the clock until the cabin door is shut. So helping lift your bags is on their time. Which they might do just to get you moving and out of the aisle, and get the doors shut. I've helped people occasionally too, but its kind of like that seat-switching thing: I resent being expected to help someone out who I judge to be taking advantage of the kindness of others.

Gate check sounds OK, unless its sometimes checked through to your final destination, not on the ramp at connecting airport.

If its an issue, I agree with just checking it in the first place, and not worry so much about the weight. And I recognize bigger people have bigger clothes, shoes, etc. But I think the "travel light" thing is not just about the flight part of travel. Its as much a train, bus, hotel, etc., nuisance to carry too much.

Posted by
843 posts

Rick has convinced me that carry on is the way to go vs checked…only thing is lifting close to 20lbs overhead might be difficult for me. ... I'll have with me good sized cross body tote and thinking maybe a small “crew” style bag (eg RS Euro) for emergency clothing in case checked suitcase gets lost.

How and what you pack and what you do with your bags is totally up to you. You've thought this through completely and made practical decisions. Hope you have a wonderful time in Italy.

Not that it matters since you're checking, but twenty pounds is still a bit much. Many international airlines have a carryon limit of 7-8kg, closer to 15-17#. My 45 liter carryon bag masses 14.5# but there is a future in which I can no longer safely raise it to the overhead bins and at that time I will need to rethink my entire travel planning and packing methods.

Posted by
72 posts

On recent flights I’ve taken they have been full and we’ve been advised to check carryon bags, I would pack absolute essentials in a bag that will fit under seat and be prepared to check the other bag.

Posted by
2474 posts

"Sorry to be blunt, but if you can't lift the bag yourself you need to either pack lighter or check in the bag."

I have a problem with this. Are you saying SHORT people cannot do carry-on? ADA would have something to say. My wife is just under 5'2". She can carry Lufthansa's 8kg, or other airlines' 23+ pounds, in a backpack on her back that fits the sizer and the overhead without any issue. But at under 5-2 (and shrinking), she can't always reach to put it in the overhead. Is she, or other short people, to be banned from carry-on? And BTW, our SOP is I board directly ahead of her, find our seat and overhead, throw my bag in, and throw hers in for her in almost the same motions she comes up behind me. Always. Same for deplaning, I do the work.

Posted by
18302 posts

I had two business trip to Europe in the 80s. Both times my luggage was nearly sent to South America (1x) or certainly would have been delayed (1x), so when I discovered Rick and his carryon philosophy, I embraced it enthusiastically. All the other features, like having a light bag and not having to wait at the carousel were just bonuses on top of not worrying about losing my luggage.

For a two week trip with just a carryon, you can't possible take enough clothing, so you have to plan on washing clothes somewhere. My first few trips, I tried to find laundromats, but only once found one, and it was in a different town, 10 minutes away by train. So I started sink washing, and that allowed me to take just 3-5 changes of clothes. Because of needing so few clothes, my carryon is just over 12# and easy to lift.

Posted by
230 posts

We always check our main bags (24 inch rolling duffle bags that we pack as light as possible), and although I traveled abroad with carry-ons for everything 20+ years ago, we no longer do that. I hate having to handle, watch over, or lug around a carry on in the airport. We do carry on very light backpacks for medicines, to hold phones and keys, but nothing more than that.

To the OP: the length of the trip has nothing to do with the amount of stuff you pack. Even if you check your bag, do not overpack - expect to wash and dry clothes during your trip about once a week. So anything you would need for a one week trip would work for a 3 week trip or longer. Also, on a 3 week trip, if you time it right, you will only have to do a wash twice.

And as for trouble lifting some of these bags I see people struggle with, I no longer help anyone because I don't want to injure myself - I had shoulder surgery a couple of years ago - and I am in my mid 60s, otherwise healthy and capable, but I am not taking that risk anymore. My days of lifting 20+ pounds overhead are in the rear view...and as someone else pointed out, I see people carrying on huge suitcases that easily weigh 50 pounds. Good luck with that...no help coming from me.

Posted by
13079 posts

“ I'm sure an attendant or fellow passenger will help with stowing your bag. In fact, grab an attendant as you board just in case.”

Flight attendants are generally not allowed to assist passengers in lifting the bag overhead. They can help you find a spot if the bins are full, but their work rules say they cannot help with lifting.

“ better to make connection stateside vs in Europe to avoid having to go through immigration during layover time"
—-You'll always have to go through Passport Control at your first entry point into Europe.”

The key word is “entry point”. In many cases you can change planes in Europe airside, so you do not “enter” the country and you do not have to go through immigration, or customs until you reach your final destination. Checked bags are transferred directly from one flight to the other. This only works if you have both flights on one ticket.

Posted by
2913 posts

I check my carryon sized bag even though I can lift it into the overhead bin. I don’t like having it in the airport and I like to breeze onto the plane with no worry about bin space. I also believe if you can’t lift it on your own, you shouldn’t let or ask strangers to do it when there is clearly an option to check your bag. Having a husband do it is between you and your marriage. ;)

Posted by
230 posts

My first few trips, I tried to find laundromats, but only once found one

That can be a problem. Paris has self serve lavaries on every other street, and Paris is our favorite destination so we always plan on doing our laundry that way. On the other hand, on a trip to Finland, I could not find any laundromats, and I asked around. The common answer was that in Finland, everyone has a washer and dryer in their home, so there is no need for public laundromats. Umm, okay...sure.

We have also found laundromats plentiful in Budapest, Berlin, Edinburgh, and London, other favorite destinations. If we stay in "countryside" areas - like Provence - we book apartments with washers and dryers in the unit. At least a washer if there is a good place to hang clothes to dry...

Posted by
721 posts

"nearly always doing their immigration at their first European airport arrival"

In ALL of my long years of flying into FRA or MUC on Air Canada, I have always had to go through Passport Control regardless if that was my final destination or I was connecting onward. At least at MUC, you can stay airside after Passport Control whereas at FRA you get punted and have to re-enter through security to continue your journey. I haven't passed through FRA, inbound, in the last 6 or 7 years so maybe that has changed and you can now stay airside.

Posted by
2318 posts

Your plan sounds fine to me. I always check my suitcase and bring on board my purse and a RS tote that has a few essential toilet articles and a ziplock bag with clean top, socks and undies. The only time I was concerned about lifting my 28# suitcase—I’d already been to Amsterdam and Vienna and there was shopping!—onto the overhead rack was on the train to Budapest 2 months after I’d had major abdominal surgery-I managed but it wasn’t as difficult as on a plane.

Posted by
7597 posts

I am literally in Atlanta airport after arriving from Paris.
The girl in the row ahead of me had a rollaboard SO HEAVY there was no way she was ever going to be able to lift it. She asked another girl to help -- I don't know how she would have been able to lift it either. Luckily a big sturdy man was sitting a row behind and got up to help.

Posted by
5157 posts

I think your plan to check bags is wise.

Always fascinates me that this topic seems to bring out such emotion in people.

Posted by
4663 posts

I find this obsession with carry-on luggage a bit bizarre. People seem to spend so much time pondering how much clothing to bring and what type/material etc, washing in sinks, working out packing techniques to maximise space and so on and for what? To gain ten minutes or so that would have been spent at the luggage carousel. If I'm flying off for a weekend in Europe I'll take a small suitcase that will fit in the overhead locker as it is sufficient to carry all the clothes and toiletries I require without having to pack minimally. I have another suitcase which isn't that much bigger but is too large for the overhead bins and therefore has to be checked but it is usually sufficient for longer stays. The difference between the two is not great and both are equally as easy to wheel around, lift onto transport and so on.

The only time I take the big suitcases is when I'm travelling somewhere that I'm going to self cater (I've been known to pack a Nutribullet, knife set, herbs, spices and condiments, essential kitchen tools, collapsable chimney starter, bluetooth speaker and other luxuries) AND I've hired a car. Granted, these occasions are typically week long stays or longer in one location rather than the city exploration trip that many travellers here embark upon.

Posted by
106 posts

It’s all personal preference and if you’re capable of living without several changes of clothing on the chance your bag doesn’t get there. After nine RS tours, we’ve had three tours where people’s bags have not been there when they got to Europe and taking a week to catch up to the owners. If you have a direct flight from the east coast, by all means check it, it leaves more space for those of us that use the overhead bins. If you’re coming from the west coast with multiple connections like we have, I’m not checking my carryon size luggage but then I also have a husband still capable of lifting it up into the overhead bin. And as everyone has already stated, flight attendants are not going to lift your luggage for you anymore. Also, it would be interesting to find out where people are flying to from the US where they haven’t had to go through passport control upon entering Europe. I don’t recall never having to have done this.

Posted by
18302 posts

at FRA you get punted and have to re-enter through security to
continue your journey. I haven't passed through FRA, inbound, in the
last 6 or 7 years so maybe that has changed and you can now stay
airside.

I've flown into FRA 7 times in 22 years, once in the last 5. Four times were non-stop flights from Denver; three times I had US connections (DTW twice, ORD once). FRA always been my final destination and my Schengen entry, so I've never had to worry about time for immigration.

I once flew to Stuttgart (STR). STR was my final destination and point of Schengen entry. Had I flow FRA to STR, I would have had to go through immigration in FRA and worry about connection times. That's why I connected in ATL on this country on my way to Stuttgart.

I've really tried to figure out the logistics of transferring at FRA, mostly by looking at You Tube videos made by people doing just that. I've also been airside (outside of Schengen) at FRA three times in the last 10 years, twice in Z, once in B. As near as I can tell, you can move between Z, B, C, & D/E and remain outside of Schengen, as long as you use the SkyLine train. However, to use the tunnel between A and out-of-Schengen B, you have to go through immigration at each end.

There seems to be three "sides" at FRA. There is the public side (Landside) that you can get to without going through security. You can use the SkyLine from Landside, but you have to go through security to get into any of the concourse. Then there are the gates in the concourses that are "airside", that is inside security but outside Schengen, and then there is what is called airside on the SkyLine, which is not inside Schengen (i.e., you do not have to go through immigration to use that side. However, to go from an airside car on the SkyLine to the non-Schengen gates of a concourse, I believe you still have to go through security.

The SkyLine has cars that are "landside", that is they go between the outside security areas of B and D/E, and it has "airside cars that go between the outside Schengen areas of B and D/E and the only-non-Schengen gates in the C and Z concourses. So it should be possible to make outside Schengen changes at FRA using any concourse.

Posted by
106 posts

And periscope, we just came thru Frankfurt three weeks ago, you deplane from your US flight, go through passport control then on to your connecting flight. They do not make you go thru security again.

Posted by
721 posts

Great news for FRA inbound passengers - I've come to love flying through MUC, so that's my inbound airport now. And I like the Lufthansa lounge in MUC more than the one in FRA (it's also a Star Alliance lounge) .

Posted by
61 posts

I'm on team "check your bag". One of my favorite things is that wonderful feeling of unincumberedness when I plonk my suitcase down at the check in desk. I carry a smallish tote bag onto the plane with my essentials and a packing cube with a change of clothes. I don't mind at all waiting for my bag at the end of the flight. It gives me time to stretch my legs and go to the bathroom, etc. before going out into the wide world again. And yes, I have had lost luggage before. About 30 years ago I went skiing with friends and was actually quite excited that they lost my bag because I got to rent ski clothes at the airline's expense instead of wearing the dorky set my mom made me borrow. They delivered the bag to me just a day after we arrived.

Posted by
8618 posts

Different strategies work for different people.

I have found that if there is some type of flight disruption and one has only carry-on it is easier to be re-accommodated as the airline does not have to retrieve a checked bag from the cargo bay..

I think OP did a logical analysis of the situation and made a wise choice.

Posted by
2011 posts

For those who assume flight attendants are going to help you to get your bag in the bin, Why? The flight attendant is not your personal servant and grabbing one as you get on to help you with your luggage is totally inappropriate behavior. As a matter fact the airlines don’t want them lifting this nonsense because they’re tired of the Workmen’s Comp. claims I have seen flight attendants look at the passenger, smile, and say “let me check that to your final destination for you”

. The same thing is true of. your fellow passengers. I used to help. And then I met grandma. Grandma was apparently packing lead weights in her luggage- it was the heaviest thing I’ve ever tried to lift into an overhead bin. Now I don’t help. Sorry but it’s not worth the risk

Oh, and I am short . I’ve never found a plane that I have not been able to get my own luggage into the bin. As a matter fact if someone tries to help me I will tell them I can handle this. If I can’t lift it into the bin it’s time to check

Posted by
18302 posts

@Margie,

a little more information, please. You were coming from the US. Were you going on to a Schengen or non-Schengen country ? And, did you need to change concourse, like Z to B or Z to D? Or did you stay in the same concourse where you arrived?

Just to make things at FRA more complicated, it looks like there is a 4th zone, "dirty" non-Schengen (at least I think that's what they call it in Munich?). That's where you come in from a non-Schengen country where "we" don't quite trust their security, so the first thing you do, before passport control, is to go through security. The upper (of three) floor in the new A/Z concourse (the one parallel to the runways) is for arrivals from countries like Thailand (?). I saw a video made my a couple coming in from Bangkok to Z69. The come out of the jetway pylon into a hallway on the very top floor. There are no waiting rooms for the gates. It's arrival only, with doors only in from each pylon. Then they get to the root atrium of A/Z, they go through security down to the lower Z level, where there are departure waiting rooms (I think I came into this same level at gate Z69 on a flight from ORD in 2013).

I also think that the "airside" SkyLine station for the A/Z concourse leads into the same "dirty" zone, and if you come in on an "airside" car of the SkyLine, you still have to go through security to get to the Z gates.

If anyone knows more in detail about moving around in the Frankfurt airport, I would appreciate hearing about it (personal message?) so I can in the future advise people transferring at FRA.

Posted by
230 posts

Always fascinates me that this topic seems to bring out such emotion in people

I attribute the intensity of the debate to this site because it is the bedrock philosophy to pack light and carry-on that Rick Steves has spread since his first guide books back in the day (late 70s or early 80s). And this being the RS forum, well, you have his devoted disciples vs the less devoted, etc.

Posted by
6633 posts

jojorabbit, devoted disciples? No, more like travelers, many who are experienced, who have listened to the pros and cons, and seen the advantages for them, exceeding the negatives. Just because many people find RS's advice to be good, doesn't mean its a mindless cult.

Posted by
13542 posts

A1 Jojo Rabbit amazes me that this brings out a need to be judgmental, intolerant and a bit narcissistic.

A2 Pack to enjoy, if it isn't perfect then adjust a bit next trip; there really isn't any right or wrong.

A3 Personally I like my carry on routine, but it isn't perfect: hard shell spinner that totals 8kg when full (per my airline's weight limit), that's about 17 1/2 pounds which is a bit lighter than your 20 pound fear.

A4 Since two relatively light items are easier to lift than one heavy one, I bring a "personal item" (within size limitations published by my airline) which has no weight limit so all the heavy stuff, anything that is not fabric, goes in it which means you are less likely to need help lifting things, but if you do accept it when offered; the gift is as much in the giving as in the accepting.

A5 The hardsided spinner carry on means the personal item can go over the handle of the carry on, and the thing will not fall over and its a breeze to walk with it, especially on the cobble stone streets I encounter in the airport.

A6 But checking is fine too; and for al I know you might have a lot of time at the opera and some very nice restaurants planned and need the packing space so you can look good .... well done if that's the case .... I can always spot the 5kg carry on types at the opera (very disappointing).

Posted by
230 posts

jojorabbit, devoted disciples? No, more like travelers, many who are experienced, who have listened to the pros and cons, and seen the advantages for them, exceeding the negatives. Just because many people find RS's advice to be good, doesn't mean its a mindless cult.

Wow, you are reading way too much into my comment. Mindless cult? Good grief, not what I wrote, and not my point at all. I first discovered Rick and his books in the mid 80s, and have valued his advice and followed much of it on packing light, too. In the 80s and 90s, I flew with carry-on, only, but as I have gotten older, I check a main bag and opt to carry only essential stuff in a small backpack onboard for reasons I gave above, namely that I hate lugging or rolling a bag through the airport anymore, especially on connecting flights. My shoulder surgery a few years ago convinced me to never again lift a bag into an overhead bin...nor to carry a heavy backpack, either.

Posted by
13542 posts

Do what you think will work best for you; dont worry about everyone else.
Experiment on each trip till you have something worked out that you enjoy.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help as most people are good and find reward in helping others (and it’s a good way to meet people)
Dont over stress the issue, it always works out just fine; go and enjoy.

Posted by
4663 posts

I'm with JoJo Rabbit on this, I have noticed a near obsession with travelling light and carry-on only which appears to be a RS philosophy. There's nothing wrong with that per se, if that's how you like to travel then that's fine but I have noticed a number of posts from people whoappear to fret over how to achieve it, almost as if if they're not travelling with carry-on only then they're not doing something right.

I think with today's luggage a moderately sized wheeled suitcase that is checked in because it's too large for carry-on is just as easy to transport as a wheeled carry-on that there really isn't much to gain in terms of convenience and ease. Personally I would love to see more checked in luggage as it would result in less delays due to passengers trying to cram their bags into the overhead bins.

Posted by
1817 posts

Everyone stay calm.
If you pack a heavy bag...check it.
If you like to travel with a light carryon...do that.
We are all different.
Please don't ask a flight attendant to lift your very heavy bag for you; I believe it contravenes their work safety policies.

Posted by
4462 posts

Whew, have a wonderful trip! Your plan is sound.

I carry on, only, but it’s my own decision, too. ; ). I’m on the single digit countdown now!!

Posted by
2011 posts

Well, Business Travelers doing weekly travel probably aren't ALL "Rick Steves" fans.

We carry on because wasting an hour waiting on AA to dig the luggage out of the bowels of the plane is a waste of time :)

Posted by
13079 posts

Carol, what business travelers are you talking about? I looked I back through posts but must have missed something.
I will confess that we are in the check bags group.. We travel to do some serious hiking, and I take my hiking poles, so we must check our bags. By the time we get through immigration at our destination, our bags are usually waiting for us on the carousel.

Posted by
325 posts

"Sorry to be blunt, but if you can't lift the bag yourself you need to either pack lighter or check in the bag."
I have a problem with this. Are you saying SHORT people cannot do carry-on? ADA would have something to say. My wife is just under 5'2". She can carry Lufthansa's 8kg, or other airlines' 23+ pounds, in a backpack on her back that fits the sizer and the overhead without any issue. But at under 5-2 (and shrinking), she can't always reach to put it in the overhead. Is she, or other short people, to be banned from carry-on?

Thanks, Larry, as a short person myself, I love this!

Posted by
619 posts

Larry--+1. I am shorter than your wife and haven't even started to shrink yet;)

Lola--We too have had to check our bags on occasion due to hiking poles and spikes. I always dread that though as I hate standing around the carousel waiting, and of course the people who shove in ahead of you, etc.

Posted by
721 posts

"I hate standing around the carousel waiting, and of course the people who shove in ahead of you"

I just stand back of the carousel until I see my bag, then I do the excuse mes to grab it.

Posted by
619 posts

periscope--Same here, but inevitably someone still tries to make sure they are head of you. It is also hard as some people don't pay enough attention and grab the wrong bag. My husband travels a lot for work and someone took his bag recently. It was days before he got his stuff, and was thankful that he did get it in the end. No matter if we check or carryon, there are always issues. It just depends on which ones you want to deal with;)

Posted by
2474 posts

And then there were the legendary problems American had with its baggage handlers at Philadelphia International (our home airport) a few years back and the amount stuff they were swiping from inside closed baggage, so as a matter of course as long as we can carry our belongings on our back and meet the carry-on requirements we will never risk checking a bag. Anywhere.

Posted by
18302 posts

Margie wrote,

you deplane from your US flight, go through passport control then on
to your connecting flight. They do not make you go thru security
again.

I assume you stayed in the same concourse building (A/Z, B, or D/E), like if you arrived on the Z level of A/Z, went through passport control (immigration) downstairs to the A an gate. The Skyline connects these buildings, but only on the outside-of-security Landside or the out-of-Schengen Airside. So you would either have to stay "airside" and take the Skyline from the Z level of A/Z to an Airside station in the other concourse. I believe that you have to go through security to get into the other concourse, even from Airside. At the othe concourse, you can go from the out-or-Schengen zone through immigration to the Schengen gates. Or, you can leave security and go into the Landside and take the Skytrain to the departure concourse where you would have to go through security to get to the gates.

No, you don't have to go through security if you change planes within the same building.

Posted by
349 posts

My wife is just under 5'2". She can carry Lufthansa's 8kg, or other airlines' 23+ pounds, in a backpack on her back that fits the sizer and the overhead without any issue. But at under 5-2 (and shrinking), she can't always reach to put it in the overhead. Is she, or other short people, to be banned from carry-on?

@ Larry I'm 5'2" and I can't reach the very back of some overhead compartments in the bigger planes. A nearby passenger couldn't reach something that had ended up at the back - and the 5' nothing flight attendant (it was an Asian carrier) taught me the solution of this. You stand on the arm rest! Its more stable than the seat and a better angle. And apparently they are designed for it. I've used the trick myself on a different occasion - it works!

Posted by
77 posts

As an older female traveler with a shoulder problem, I have been on both sides of this discussion. Here is my decision point these days:
How will I be traveling once I arrive in Europe?
If I am renting a car at the airport AND know that I will be staying at a hotel with elevators, then I check the bag and don't worry so much about bag size and weight. I always have a change of clothes and essentials in my under seat bag, so no worries if my bag is delayed.
HOWEVER, if traveling through Europe primarily by train or using small hotels with no elevator, packing light in a carry-on size bag is essential. Getting your bag into the overhead storage on the plane is easy compared to getting up the steep train steps or 2 flights up in the B&B! My shoulder injury happened getting on trains.
Less in to self: Think through baggage handling on the entire trip, not just the airline portion.

Posted by
5 posts

Yes, I will certainly be packing lighter AND smaller because I will be traveling on trains, etc. BUT, I'll likely be checking that smaller bag.

Posted by
2011 posts

My earlier comment about business travelers was a response talk to the people that were on here posting the only reason people do carry on was due to Rick.

I really don’t think your average business traveler is only packing carry on because Rick told them to. 😂

Posted by
1775 posts

Our recent trip was British Airways LAS-LHR-FCO with an overnight before flying to Palermo on a separate tickets. Because the stay in Rome was so short, we did carry-on. We do Club World to avoid needing the jaws-of-life to get out our seats on the other end. Our seats were in the middle and the bins on an A350-1000 are high and oddly situated for some rows. I had to stand on the seat to get anything in the bin. My husband was on the other aisle, so no help there. A young man offered to put my carry-on up on the outbound leg, but I was on my own on the way back. I had checked for that flight, but it was still an effort to get my hand bag in the bin. The bins for window seats are easy to each. It was something I was prepared for, so just a heads up.

Posted by
4 posts

Board the plane with the last few folks and it is very likely the overhead compartments will be full. Hence, they will check your bag at the gate for free (saves you ~$60 each way). As long as your tote will fit under the seat they will always let it on with you even if the compartments are full.

Posted by
2011 posts

If you’re flying Delta there’s no need to wait to board last. They’ll gate check your luggage for free at any point.