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Old 04-13-2009, 04:16 PM   #1
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Default Carry-on Dimensions

I'm travelling to Europe this summer for about 2.5 weeks and I want to pack all my stuff in a bag small enough to carry on to planes because I don't really want to carry around a huge bag or waste time waiting for the bag to come on the carousel or dealing with lost luggage. I feel like alot of bags around 35 L should be big enough to carry all my stuff but they all seem to be a couple inches too big on certain dimensions in order to be able to carry them on to the plane.

I don't think it's a big deal in the U.S. but I was wondering about budget European airlines. Technically the bag is probably too big according to the written rules. Are they typically strict on every inch of your bag? What would happen if they told me the bag is too big? Do they make you check it and do the baggage pickup/conveyor belt deal or do they just take your bag and let you have it as soon as you get off the plane?
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:22 PM   #2
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Well I carry a 55L pack and I was able to fly with it as my carryon from US to Canada to Germany on AirCanada. I was also able to carry it on from Germany to Poland on Lufthansa. However, when it comes to some of the budget carriers like Easy Jet, it's going to definitely be a no-go. Easy Jet didn't care how big it was - it was the weight. I don't remember what the weight is exactly and it's likely changed since I went to Europe last summer (flew from Krakow, Poland to Dortmund, Germany) but I'm sure Easy Jet's website (or any of the carriers... WizzAir, RyanAir, etc) it will spell it out exactly.

My trick is, when I check in, I keep my pack on my back and when they say "would you like to check a bag?", you say no. Then you go through security, get to the gate, and if it won't fit into the overhead bin, then you can "sky check" it or whatever the airline calls it, where they tag it, keep it in a little thing up front, and it will be waiting for you as you get off the plane. Much better than paying the baggage fee.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:48 PM   #3
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Yeah, weight is going to be at least as much of a consideration as dimensions. A 35L pack should be fine, but if you've got bricks in there it won't happen. Also with some of the budget airlines they won't let you take any cabin baggage at all (only a small ladies' purse or maybe a camera bag at max).

It's good to pack light, but sometimes having a little extra room can be a good thing too.
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:48 AM   #4
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One word of caution is if you're flying through London, they are anal about carry on sizes. Actually I remember they had this little basket that put your carry on in to see if it fits... if it does it goes, if not, into the cargo hold it goes.

Check with the specific airport you are flying through.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:05 PM   #5
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that's a good point... the Frankfurt airport didn't give 2 shits, nor did the Munich, Montreal, or Toronto airport, but Krakow was where I had to weigh my bag.

if you can put on a few layers or fit a few things into your actual carry on, you can pull your pack tighter/smaller and then you can put it all back in your pack once you get to the gate. I don't know how many times I've done that.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:07 PM   #6
 
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i am going to be flying British airlines this coming May, and i have a 40L pack that i can take on the flight, as well as a messenger bag.
i think youll be fine, but as everyone said double check the websites and measure twice!
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:03 PM   #7
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From what I read on easyJet's and British Airway's websites, they don't care how heavy it is as long as you can lift it into the overhead cabin without assistance. Hopefully my bag won't be that heavy... Their web site made it seem like the care more about the size of the baggage.

I'm flying out on Continental out of Houston, and I don't think they'll have a problem with a bag that's perhaps a little too big. Then I have a connection with British Airways in London-Heathrow to Prague. The biggest problem I think would be if we choose to book a flight on one of the budget airlines. From what I've read, they seem to be more strict on the size of your baggage than a standard airline. I'm starting to think it would be worth the hassle to just check my bag for one of the short flights on the budget airlines so I don't have to deal with any surprises at the airport.
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