More United/Lufthansa carry-on questions

I'm trying to do a 17-day Italy trip with just carry-on for myself and my daughter. I booked all air travel via United. We go United between the US and Munich, and then transfer to Lufthansa to get to FCO (on the way back its via Frankfurt). I know that United only has size limitations for their carry-on with no weight restrictions, but Lufthansa has an 8kg weight restriction as well. We both have these cases, http://shop.eaglecreek.com/switchback-max-22/d/1021 (which are incredible, BTW, the best combo wheeled/backpack on the market, and it has a waist belt). There is a "daypack" that zips off the main pack, which is about the size of a computer case and works well for that function. The main pack meets carry-on size restrictions. On another thread, I read where with Lufthansa BOTH carry-on bags together must not weigh more than 8 kilos (which I think is rather absurd). However, I also have read that if the major part of your journey is via another airline (and ours is), then Lufthansa lets you go by the weight allowances for the other airline. I can't really get a confirmation of this on the Lufthansa site. Also, I'm not concerned about talking my way through this on the inbound flight, but since we will be starting our homeward journey via Lufthansa in the dreaded Rome FCO airport, am I going to be able to talk them into letting me carry-on my heavy (but size-compliant) case there? Many thanks for all help. -Bill

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10844 posts

This is not much help. Our experience with five European Lufthansa flights is that it depends on the check in people. On the three of the flights they were very strict with the size. Everything had to fit inside in the sizing box. While we were in line all of the rolling bags were rejected because the hand and wheels would not fit inside the box. Anything that looked heavy got weighed. We were over weight and knew it but our carry on bags look small so they just looked at them and nodded their heads. You will not talk you way pass them. It is what is.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6826 posts

All I can tell you is that in the past 12 months I have taken 5 Lufthansa EU flights, and not one time were the gates agents checking either the dimensions or weight of anyone's carry-ons. YMMV of course.

Posted by Bob
Minneapolis
589 posts

In my experience with Lufthansa, I agree with Frank's comments. It depends on size of plane, mood of person at check-in. And if they say no, then mean no. But Bill - does it really matter?
1. The main reason to carry on is so bag doesn't get lost at connection; which you will have accomplished by carrying on with your initial flight. On the short flight Munich to Rome, if they don't allow on board, they will just put it below deck, and you will have to wait 15 extra minutes after landing to pick up; not a big deal. 2. Coming home, just check it. 95% chance it will be waiting for you when land; if not, they will deliver it to your house in a day or two. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

I don't know if this will help. Last year we flew home Krakow->Munich->Dulles->Philly. First flight was an Augsburg flight for Lufthansa. Long haul was Lufthansa. Transfer in DC was to a United. We have two convertible carry-ons, full, but not stuffed. No one ever questioned anything. We know they fit in the sizer, but were not asked to do so.
We do not know their weight, but no one asked to check it. Now my question that I have been dying to post for a long time, although it might get me kicked off this board, is: When will they start weighing people combined with their gear, so that the 225 pound person boarding (with no luggage) has to pay a surcharge for weighing 40 pounds more than my total of 160 pounds of me and 25 pound pack - which would be due a surcharge since it is over that 8 kg?

Posted by Bill
Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
4 posts

Larry wrote: When will they start weighing people combined with their gear, so that the 225 pound person boarding (with no luggage) has to pay a surcharge for weighing 40 pounds more than my total of 160 pounds of me and 25 pound pack - which would be due a surcharge since it is over that 8 kg? ========
A-freaking-men! They ought to charge a base fee for the tickets and then $1/lb/500 miles over something reasonable, like 175lbs. If nothing else, it will get people to lose weight. Charge somebody who weighs 300 lbs an extra $250 for a 1000-mile flight, and a lot of people will start getting serious.

Posted by Teresa
Seattle
463 posts

Bill: I'm not completely sure this is what you're asking but, if it helps, this is from Lufthansa's website: MSC (Most Significant Carrier) rule effective since 1 April 2011
Effective since 1 April 2011: if the geographically longest or most significant stretch of your journey is not operated by Lufthansa, but by another airline, this airline's rules may also apply to Lufthansa flights or Lufthansa flight numbers. If Lufthansa operates the geographically longest or most significant stretch of the journey, then the rules and charges effective from 1 June 2011 will apply. Please note the free baggage allowance shown on your ticket.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11254 posts

Yea, 9#11oz (empty) sure is incredible!

Posted by Jill
Austin, TX, USA
532 posts

Wow Lee - I'm with you. I think I'd be worried about being able to lift it into the overhead bins fully loaded!

Posted by Bill
Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
4 posts

As per Bob's suggestions to check it for the return flight, www.roninrome.com says that far more luggage is lost going out of FCO than coming in, so I'd especially like to not check it on the way back home. I've managed to get the contents of both mine and my daughter's luggage under the 8-kilo limit. However, I'm still going to bring along one of my vests from back when I was a photojournalist and see how much I can pack into it before I leave. Also, I just got PacSafe wire mesh covers for both bags, and I'm sure those will put us over the limit if I don't compensate for them somehow. Many thanks for all the suggestions, -Bill