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Lufthansa personal bag size is very small

We will be flying Lufthansa from SFO to Rome. I noticed on Lufthansa website that the personal bag size is 16"x12"x4". Does anyone know if they actually enforce that size? A backpack that is only 4" deep is very small! Most backpacks are at least 6" or more. According to their size limitations, I will only be able to take a purse (an not a backpack to hold the heavy stuff) in addition to my carryon luggage.

Posted by
18860 posts

It is stupid small. I flew them a few months ago and it took a while to find a bag that size; basically a large laptop bag is all you can carry.

Do they enforce it? No ....... until they do ........ or Yes ....... until they dont ....... but the point is that its part of the contract you have with the airline and I sort of do things by the rules.

Like I said, I found a bag on Amazon for about $25. Then I found a plastic box the same size on Amazon. I packed the box and put it in the bag. Why? Well the bag is so small that every time I packed it it got too big so the plastic box was the control on size.

Last time I fly Lufthansa if there is any other option.

Every airline is a different challenge and on Saturday I fly KLM which has a good size personal item but a combined carry-on / personal item weight limit of 12kg.

The third carrier i use a lot is Turkish Air, again a good size personal item with no weight limit and 8kg for the carry-on; and this works best for me. NO LONGER TRUE

Posted by
28 posts

Last October they measured and weighed our carry ons and personal items on Lufthansa.

Posted by
8664 posts

Small is what personal items are supposed to be, not a second carryon-sized bag. It's supposed to go under the seat.

Posted by
18860 posts

No, a personal item is supposed to be whatever ever size the airline dictates and be put where the airline dictates (granted, that is under the seat).

The allowed size of that item varies as much as the sizes allowed for your carryon.

The largest I've seen is 18 x 14 x 8, most are 16 x 12 x either 6 or 8; but Lufthansa puts the small dimension at 4".

The personal item can really help facilitate "carryon only" travel as generally there is no weight limit (KLM is one exception to that rule) so you put all the heavy stuff in it when faced with a weight restriction on the carryon.

While I am a follow the rules sort of guy, the odds of being checked are reduced if you get your boarding passion line and don't check a bag thereby skipping the checking counter where you are more likely to have size and weight checked and if your carryon and personal item "look" in compliance at tge gate.

Final fall back on weight limits and a buldging carryon are cargo pants for phone battery and liquids bag (when crammed in the outside pocket of many soft carryon bags they tend to put the bag out of compliance)

Posted by
4704 posts

People abuse these rules, and that is why they have to be so strict. I have had my bag weighed, etc.
If you have a carryon going in the overhead bin, you need to fit your personal item under the seat. If a bag larger than 4" wide is not stuffed, it will be fine.

Posted by
16938 posts

Many daypacks do not meet that 16” height limit either; 18” is more common.

My Osprey Skimmer 22 does measure 16” in height, and can meet the British Airways personal item size requirement of 16 x 12 x 6 inches if I don’t pack it too full. Maybe you could pack your backpack in such a way that it is only 4” thick when pressed flat.

Posted by
7031 posts

Delta is the only airline I know of with no specific measurements for a personal - it just has to fit under the seat.

And FWIW, I would not try to flaunt the airline rules - as Mister E said, they sometimes enforce them and sometimes they don't. I wouldn't take the chance.

Posted by
121 posts

I've flown Lufthansa many times (most recently last month out of London), and have never had them question the size/weight of my carry on or personal item. This last trip, my personal item was a 30L daypack, which fit perfectly under the seat in front of me. If you do bring a larger item than their dimensions, don't fuss over it at the gate, and they will likely not even bat an eye.

Posted by
18860 posts

Nick, I checked, and you are correct. Last time I flew them was several years ago, and there was not a limit. Thanks for the heads up.

This bag question comes up every now and then. There are 2 bags I have seen online (note: do NOT own either) that fit the allowance. Tom Bihn Cadet and RedOxx Metro. Or, use a simple tote bag with packing cubes to control the depth. Good Luck!