I was told the other day that airlines do not weigh your carry-on luggage. It has been my experience that they do not, but checking online, it seems that there are in fact weight restrictions for carry-on.
This is a pretty helpful site, although I find the exclusion of American Airlines on their list odd and frustrating, as I will be flying American out of Mexico City.
I am trying my best to fit everything into my carry-on bag (a little rolling one, 45" overall). I have a large purse to carry as well.
My plan is also to use my kangaroo bag, which will give me faster access to tickets & passport. Will that be allowed?
Any input and tips, whether for my question or general stuff that will help everyone, are greatly appreciated!
One of the scandalous innovations is being done by Air France which now allows only one free checked bag for flights from France to North America in economy class. The maximum weight is 23kg. (Of course it must be admitted that in the old days, you were only allowed a total of 20kg for baggage in economy class.) But what is really riling people up is that the second bag costs US$50 when leaving from North America but EUR 50 when leaving from Europe -- and that is not at all the same amount.
As for carry on-bags, every airline has a different weight limit, so the main thing is to make your bag look like it weighs as much as a feather so that they won't officially weigh it. Most airlines allow 8kg for a carry-on bag (but don't forget that you are also allowed a purse, camera bag, etc.). Creative distribution of weight is the key.
Ryanair is notorious about gouging every penny out of you they can (which is fair enough since we are travelling to England next month for 12 euros each return all charges included). Their weight limit for carry-on is 10 kilos. Everything has to be in that bag - even a neck-pouch on a string. EasyJet says one bag with no weight restriction within limits.
Cristina, this is what I'm calling a kangaroo pack. It's a fanny pack, but vertical instead of horizontal -- a sporran for girls:
It would be so nice to be able to get to my tickets, passport, and immigration document without digging through a purse. The kangaroo pack has a nifty inside pocket and the way the top folds over gives added security. It could be stuffed inside the purse (commodious leather slouch bag) if I need to comply with pinhead directives. Baz's remark about the neck-pouch is making me nervous.
I just weighed my carry-on bag, which is packed with gifts. It's edging up to 20 pounds. The idea was to get all the gifts into carry-on, and if my clothes didn't fit in, I would check them separately.
Kerouac, you say: Most airlines allow 8kg for a carry-on bag (but don't forget that you are also allowed a purse, camera bag, etc.). I thought it was a carry-on bag plus one other item -- a purse or a laptop or a camera bag, etc. .... no?
Cristina, you said: If you are taking a coat, make sure you carry it (it doesn't count as carry on). Did you mean to say "make sure you wear it" ?
Bixa, You said your packed suitcase weighs close to 20 pounds (not kg)*? If so, you have room to pack more. I looked at AA's website and they are a little sketchy on International weight limits, but generally those are a bit more generous than the limits when flying within the US. Domestically, the limit is 40lbs or 18kg.
However, to be safe, I would call AA and clarify the weight limits before you leave, especially since they really don't address travel from Mexico to the US on their website.
If you wear your "sporran for girls" (cute, btw), I would wear it under your coat or jacket. Personally, its small enough that it would act more like a piece of clothing. However there is always the risk of a pinhead, as you so accurately call him or her, deciding that it is a carry-on so it would be good if you could stow it in your purse, even temporarily.
I will tell you that my method for keeping my travel documents within easy reach is to tuck them together inside the paperback book I plan to read on the plane. The book is in my purse and is always easy to grab. Once I'm on the plane, the passport goes into an interior pocket in my purse so it is still easy to get to when I need it again at immigration.
And you can carry your coat (which I imagine you would prefer on the Mexico side of your trip), without it counting as a carry-on.
* If that's the case, I applaud you. My empty suitcase weighs 8lbs. I can pack really light but I would get to 20 lbs in a hurry. ;D
Great, Cristina! I was obsessing about the coat, as I know I won't want to wear it the whole time.
What galls me about the suitcase is that I own a really great, sturdy metal suitcase with a combination lock. This is wonderful for really protecting the packed contents. I've taped over the lock and pasted the combination next to it so the airport thugs won't ruin the closure rummaging through it. However, with the new restrictive rules, I can't use it, as it weighs 18 or 19 pounds empty.
I pack very, very lightly -- everything in one color family and meant to be combined in different ways. Unless I know there will be something really dressy where I'm going, I take at most one other pair of shoes besides the ones I'm wearing. No hair dryer or any other hair paraphernalia besides a comb, and the bare minimum of makeup. If it weren't for the fact that I'm taking gifts, I would need only the little carry-on, and I would have it under-packed to save room for anything I might buy where I'm going.
My best friend flew to Natal, Brazil yesterday. Even though I told him that "When I fly to a hot place, I don't mind freezing going to the airport in Paris with a light jacket," he said "it was really cold this morning" (it was) and therefore he took his winter coat to Brazil.
Wow -- what a pain to have something that heavy to lug around, especially since one gets to the airport in a vehicle, as a rule.
Bjd, it's been quite cool at night & in the morning for the past couple of days. Thus dressing for cold weather when I leave will be fine. The glop I use in my hair (wiry, curly) is baby oil, easily obtainable everywhere & cheap enough to jettison. The most dressy thing I'll probably have to do is to go to church with my mother. Not having to do dressy makes for more packing room. The color family for this outing is green: goldy striped wrap-around skirt, long apple green linen skirt, 3/4 sleeve chartreuse cotton sweater, hunter green cotton cardigan, mashed-worm green thermal cotton short-sleeved top, 3/4 sleeve black cotton pullover, &/or long-sleeved indigo Chiapas shirt with embroidery at top. I have a couple of pairs of tights and will hope for the best.
I was wondering whether to take my commodious barn coat or my attractive little wool jacket. Since I'm bringing a wool rebozo (subtle green stripes) to stand in for a winter scarf, I'm leaning toward the jacket.
The clothes listed above are the warmest things I own.
Cristina, I did call American Airlines -- all alarmed because I thought I'd have to pay for my checked luggage. I think calling & talking to a real person is the way to go, as there are many variables. Foreknowledge could wind up saving a good bit of money.
Got back on because I have something to say, and I believe I earned the right to say it. To wit: HA! That's right, ha ha ha and ha! I just got everything into one carry-on bag! Even I thought it couldn't be done. Not only did I cram in the list above (some of which will be worn tomorrow, + cardigan goes in purse), but I had to pack: pair of pjs, 4 gift blouses, 2 gift shirts, 1 over-sized tablecloth, 2 heavy woven wool rugs, ugly pair of sweat pants, 2 pinafores (don't ask), plus assorted doo-daddery. No checking a bag, which with three airplanes each way, is a very good thing.
Qantas (not that anyone asked) weighs every piece of luggage, including carry ons, and you must check any pieces that are too heavy to carry on. You can redistribute from one piece to another at the counter, to be able to carry on your smaller bag. But even our normal carryon size luggage that fits in the bins of every (non-commuter) airplane, were required to be checked in Australia.
On the US airlines we've taken lately, you can carry on two pieces, one "carryon" that fits in the overhead bin, plus a "personal item" (purse, camera case, laptop, daypack). I used to carry on a purse, but now use a roomy daypack into which I can fit my purse, along with the spillover from my carryon size soft luggage piece.
I believe that a garment bag would count as one of your two pieces...
In the US and Canada, you do need to remove your laptop from your bag and put it in a bin by itself to go through security. Otherwise, that policy seems to vary by country. I don't think anyone asks you to turn it on anymore. In any event, you can carry your laptop however you find most convenient; a laptop bag isn't a requirement. I usually carry mine in the large outside pocket of my rollerboard suitcase.
We carry our laptop in a large daypack with vertically divided compartments. Lots of room for books and magazines and newspapers and lunch, etc....
We do take it out and run it through screening in a provided plastic tub. No one ever asks for it to be turned on.
The thing I hate in the US is having to reorganize your toiletries bag so that all liquids, gels, creams, pastes, etc. are in a 1 Quart Zip-top plastic bag, which is separated from your luggage for screening. You are allowed nothing in a container larger than 3 oz. or it gets tossed on the spot. (Even if it's less than 3 oz. of liquid in a larger container.) And all of your liquids, gels, etc. must fit in that 1 qt. bag. (Or in your checked luggage, but we never check if we can help it.)
I was so pleased with myself for getting everything in the carry-on. I was bringing some of the Oaxacan tinware Christmas ornaments with me. (mine are nicer than the picture) I am sure the motto of the security team in the Oaxaca airport is "we must find something". They asked if I had tinware & I said yes. Thus it was that I wound up checking my bag for that leg of the trip because "they have sharp edeges and can be used as weapons".
kimby, I hate ALL the liquid stuff. Time was when, returning from Europe, I'd have the remains of a good bottle of wine in one of my water bottles to sip with the airline "food" and some real cheese, and of course I also had water.
kerouac, how are you liking the little netbook? I'm thinking of getting one I've seen that has a slightly larger screen and keyboard, but doesn't weigh any more.
Those lethal tin ornaments are very pretty. I'd like a green wardrobe - nice greens are hard to find, alas.
I like the netbook except that I don't use it enough to have become comfortable with the small keyboard. There is an up-arrow key near the shift that I hit far too often and which bumps me to the line above, where I suddenly discover that I am inserting the rest of the text into the middle of a pre-existing sentence. Drives me crazy! But if I used it more than 1 or 2 days a month, I would get used to it fast. I really really appreciate the small size while still being an almost real computer -- I know that it would easily fit into the inside pocket of my big winter coat from Montréal (that I never wear), along with the miniature mouse and even the AC outlet adaptor (but the 10-hour autonomy of the battery is fantastic, too).
What on earth are you planning to do with a coat for -25c? (It rarely gets that cold here, but it does happen). Return here? Head to Siberia? Sleep rough in solidarity with the homeless?
I bought that coat when I was in Montréal in the depth of winter one year, at Simpson's or something. The main reason that I couldn't pass it up was the gigantic discount. It was a London Fog priced well over C$200 and I think I got it for C$50.