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Aer Lingus personal item

Panic has just set in.
I am flying Aer Lingus to London next month. I'm taking a 22" roller bag, which I will check, and an LL Bean tote bag as my carryon/cabin luggage. I just carefully read the specs for the personal item, and man are they small: 10" x 13" x 8". I bought an LL Bean Stowaway backpack for walking around London, and thought perhaps I could use it on the way home for whatever small souvenirs I get. I'm not really planning on buying a lot of them and what I want to get is small (jewelry, scarves, postcards/cards).
However, I said the same thing last year and I ended up using an Eagle Creek foldaway bag for souvenirs.
This seems terribly small for a personal item, IMHO.
That said, and my good intentions etc., can anyone advise on whether Aer Lingus is really strict about the personal item?
Any advice (other than pack light, pack light, pack light)? ;)

Thanks!

Posted by
27416 posts

That is small, Sandra. I have no experience with Aer Lingus and have never taken a flight that didn't allow both a purse and a personal tiem, but it's only safe to assume that they may enforce the limit. I don't think you'll have a problem on the outbound trip, because an under-packed backpack should fit into their sizer (if they use one).

What I'd do is figure out what items I could discard before the return flight. Try to take just the amount of each toiletry you expect to use. Decant liquids into discardable bottles (not the expensive sort you buy in a store). Maybe make one or two of your tops a garment you're already sort of tired of and would be OK with leaving behind. Discard your guidebook pages as you leave each area. That sort of thing. Now, rethink the clothes you're planning to take. You probably could manage with less, which would start you out with a less-than-full suitcase. And shoes. Anything comfortable enough for a European vacation (with the exception of beach flip-flops) is very bulky.

Posted by
692 posts

Great advice! I will be going for 10 days and bring three pair of pants (one to wear on the plane), four tops, and a very small amount of underwear and socks. I will be doing sink-washing for the small items, and if necessary, can go to the laundromat. I definitely do have a shirt in mind that I would not care if I never saw again.

Posted by
692 posts

gerri--not sure what you mean. With this airline, in economy class, you get to check one bag, you get to carry one one (cabin bag) and you get one personal item. My personal item is too large.

Posted by
73 posts

If you're American, it sounds like you're flying across the Atlantic to London, right? If so, Gerri's link explains that you get a larger carry on plus a personal item so if you're checking your roller, your tote would be your carry on, or am I missing something?

When we flew Aer Lingus last summer, no one paid much attention to carry on size, number, or weight. But of course, having said that, I wouldn't want to count on that being the case on your trip. You just never know!

Posted by
4000 posts

We flew aer Lingus twice. This past February, one of our group had a average size carry on rolling bag. She went right through in NY. On the way back from Rome, they had her check the carryon, with her other, suitcase, and did not charge for a second bag. No measuring or weighing either way. Same thing from Amsterdam 2 years ago. Going over nothing, coming home we checked our bags and the other couple had carry on rolling bags too. They gate checked them in Amsterdam, no extra charge. BUT, there is always the chance they will weigh/measure. We are the type that worry, then there are others (our traveling companions) who never give it a second thought and always get through.

Posted by
6374 posts

Gerri, she already has a carry on bag, the LL Bean tote, in addition to the Stowaway backpack. I was confused, too, and had to go back and reread it.

Posted by
20460 posts

We did not find Aer Lingus looking over carry-on items when we used them 2 years ago going to Germany and back changing in Dublin. We went over with one large suitcase. a 22" roller board and smallish back packs and personal items. We bought some big souvenirs in the Black Forest, so bought another large suitcase in a shop at Cologne Hbf, repacked everything so we checked two large suitcases on the way back and carried on the roller board, another backpack, (the other backpack on went inside the "souvenir" suitcase) and our personal items. No problems.

Posted by
692 posts

The airlines do seem to be rather capricious. I noticed Aer Lingus charges $100 for an extra checked bag in Economy.
I've heard other stories of people who had stuff confiscated, not confiscated, charged, not charged. Oy vey!

Posted by
15688 posts

If you fill the stowaway it will be way too large to use as a personal item. Last year, I had the RS Euro as a personal item and they didn't give it a second look. But that is a lot less than a full stowaway.

The personal item is supposed to be for a purse, laptop bag, or items similar. Not another carry on sized bag.

However, no one can tell what they will or won't allow. It's always up to the gate agent. Don't forget, the personal item is supposed to go under the seat in front of you. You're not supposed to have two large items in the overhead.

Posted by
20460 posts

OK, take a bigger suitcase to check. There is no law that says you have to fill it, and it will be nice and light, just a little bulkier at the start.

Posted by
692 posts

Sam, that certainly is something I will consider. I might be able to borrow a 25" bag from a family member.