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Old 02.08.2019, 13:52
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Hand luggage vs. checked bags

Another poster inquired about the high prices of checking through luggage which got me thinking about my own recent experiences with check luggage.

Flying used to be more expensive but at least one piece of luggage was always included in the price. Nowadays, passengers think twice about checked bags leading many to bring hand luggage only. Once here, they wash clothes every second/third day and some even end up buying luggage for all their purchases and subsequently have to check it through.

If my trip is more than a few days, I personally have no qualms about paying for one piece of luggage because it offers me the convenience of taking liquids and a larger selection of clothes. I realize there's always the danger of lost luggage or delays waiting for my luggage at the carousal but it's a risk I'm willing to take.

Just wondering what your views are....
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Old 02.08.2019, 14:01
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

We always only have tickets that allow for 1 checked-in piece of luggage. Never even realised one could buy tickets without such

Even if my suitcase is small enough to take into the plane I'll be happy to just check it in and have my hands free while roaming the airport.
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Old 02.08.2019, 14:05
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

I usually pay for the checked bag. Easier.
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Old 02.08.2019, 14:07
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

Unless it’s just a quick overnight trip I always have a checked bag.
I’s just much easier as far as I’m concerned.
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Old 02.08.2019, 14:23
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

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We always only have tickets that allow for 1 checked-in piece of luggage. Never even realised one could buy tickets without such
It's becoming more and more common, so take care when you are searching and booking. For U.S. carriers like United, American, and Delta they offer basic economy fares even for international flights and then you have to pay extra for checked luggage. Lufthansa also has a basic economy fare, so watch out for that.

I also prefer to check one bag, even if it's not a huge bag. Never know how much shopping you'll do at your destination, right?

If we fly EasyJet, we check one bag between the two of us and then have our hand luggage allowance as well.
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Old 02.08.2019, 14:25
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

Cabin luggage. Life is too short to waste it on shopping and waiting for checked bags to show up. It is amazing how little one acquires when travelling and you can always just wear it, thankgod planes are so airconditioned. Stuffing a cabin bag with books gets harder.
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Old 02.08.2019, 14:45
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

Longest I've done with just hand luggage was a 10 day trip, but I knew I'd have access to a washing machine or be living in swimwear. Having said that, you still need to check the weight of the hand luggage by airline. Some have massively increased this with BA allowing 23kg and others dropping their allowance down to as little as 6kg.

Personally, I don't like BA's weight policy because many people would seriously struggle lifting 23kg into an overhead locker, and I'd hate to be the person who gets that kind of weight dropped on them in their seat. On the plus side, BA also allow a bag up to 23kg, a laptop bag and a handbag on many routes.

I hate 2-wheel pull along hand luggage cases (OH calls them 'puppy luggage'). I have a thin crossbody bag which is just big enough for passports, bank cards, travel docs, phone and cash, plus a rucksack for my tablet and camera equipment. If I'm going hand luggage only, I just pack a smaller camera, ram all my clothes into the rucksack and buy toiletries when I arrive. On any big trips where I expect to bring a lot of stuff back with me (which happened a few times last year), I have three cases that fit inside one another and just wedge my clothes inbetween them, so that I only get charged for one bag flying out, but can come back with 2 cases plus puppy luggage.
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Old 02.08.2019, 14:49
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

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I also prefer to check one bag, even if it's not a huge bag. Never know how much shopping you'll do at your destination, right?
Now with a kid we prefer to pay some extra and have embraced online shops for our nostalgic needs (tho with 60,- for a suitcase one could wonder what is more expensive) And as for taxfree shopping, besides Cigarettes and the occasional limited whisky (airport editions Glenmorangie hmmm ) I see no need to shop such since local supermarkets always seem to be cheaper.
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Old 02.08.2019, 14:59
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

There are methods of traveling with an adequate amount of clothes but avoiding high fees for checked-in baggage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD_dbrIfP34
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Old 04.08.2019, 10:17
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

I do my best to travel with hand luggage only.

I prefer to travel light and don't enjoy waiting at the carousel and dragging suitcases around with me.


I may get flamed for this. In my view, there's a gender divide when it comes to how much stuff needs to come with us when we travel.
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Old 04.08.2019, 10:24
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

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Longest I've done with just hand luggage was a 10 day trip, but I knew I'd have access to a washing machine or be living in swimwear. Having said that, you still need to check the weight of the hand luggage by airline. Some have massively increased this with BA allowing 23kg and others dropping their allowance down to as little as 6kg.

Personally, I don't like BA's weight policy because many people would seriously struggle lifting 23kg into an overhead locker, and I'd hate to be the person who gets that kind of weight dropped on them in their seat. On the plus side, BA also allow a bag up to 23kg, a laptop bag and a handbag on many routes.

I hate 2-wheel pull along hand luggage cases (OH calls them 'puppy luggage'). I have a thin crossbody bag which is just big enough for passports, bank cards, travel docs, phone and cash, plus a rucksack for my tablet and camera equipment. If I'm going hand luggage only, I just pack a smaller camera, ram all my clothes into the rucksack and buy toiletries when I arrive. On any big trips where I expect to bring a lot of stuff back with me (which happened a few times last year), I have three cases that fit inside one another and just wedge my clothes inbetween them, so that I only get charged for one bag flying out, but can come back with 2 cases plus puppy luggage.
Yeah, I found that weight for hand luggage a bit odd when we took a trip to the States this year. I certainly wouldn't want to try and lift that much over my head!

As for travelling with only hand luggage, our overnight cases are just that. Enough room for a change of clothes and that's it. Even though we only had a week in Boston I expect the cost of having clothes cleaned every other day by the hotel would have outweighed the cost of checking in a bigger bag - not that we had to since it was included in the price with BA.
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Old 04.08.2019, 10:40
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

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Cabin luggage. Life is too short to waste it on shopping and waiting for checked bags to show up. It is amazing how little one acquires when travelling and you can always just wear it, thankgod planes are so airconditioned. Stuffing a cabin bag with books gets harder.
As a percentage of the total time that a trip by airplane takes - getting to the airport, checking in, waiting, boarding, flying, disembarking, immigration etc etc - I find the time to wait for checked-in luggage pretty minimal in the grand scheme of things.
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Old 04.08.2019, 11:05
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

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As a percentage of the total time that a trip by airplane takes - getting to the airport, checking in, waiting, boarding, flying, disembarking, immigration etc etc - I find the time to wait for checked-in luggage pretty minimal in the grand scheme of things.
Yeah, that was certainly the case for us. 1.5 hours to even reach the immigration desk and then something screwed up on my fingerprints so another 1.5 hours waiting in a closed off section while they sorted it all out. Grabbing our bags off the carousel was a non-issue at that point.

Good thing about it was no one even queried me on all the chocolate I was bringing over for some special friends. Just walked through Customs and all done.
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Old 04.08.2019, 11:27
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

I fly with carry-on only whenever possible.

Flying Swiss long haul the carry-on allowance is pretty generous. Plus Global Entry gets me through Ohare immigration long before checked baggage arrives so why waste time hanging around?

On the flight over I rarely pack clothing, my cases are stuffed with Swiss chocolate. Instead I order things online to be shipped to family; my clothing for the trip is then waiting for me when i arrive.

I keep gardening/work clothes and a funeral-appropriate outfit at my mother's. I know I will always need the former, and these days I seem to increasingly need the latter. Saves lugging more stuff back and forth.

On the way back, sans kilos of chocolate, most stuff will fit into my carry on. If not I check the bag (no fees with our tickets) and picking up baggage only takes seconds in Zürich not ages like it does at Ohare.


(Biggest baggage headache lately: My mother is preparing to downsize. That big ol' house is chock-a-block with junk precious memories, every trip lately she insists I must take this-or-that-bulky-thing-I-have-no-use-for back to Switzerland. But if it makes her happy... )
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Old 04.08.2019, 12:13
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

Easyjet allows a far bigger carry on bag than normal & for Easyjet plus a second smaller bag. My trips are usually 2- 4 days or a couple of months for short trips just cabin bags when using Easyjet
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Old 04.08.2019, 13:27
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

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I do my best to travel with hand luggage only.

I prefer to travel light and don't enjoy waiting at the carousel and dragging suitcases around with me.


I may get flamed for this. In my view, there's a gender divide when it comes to how much stuff needs to come with us when we travel.
You think? Where would that put us then, we travel for experiences, not to log stuff around. Bad enough one has to have books and a comp.

One crappy thing about a cabin bag only is that I had knitting needles (plastic ) confiscated and one has to leave a pocket knife at home too.
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Old 04.08.2019, 14:29
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

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Longest I've done with just hand luggage was a 10 day trip, but I knew I'd have access to a washing machine or be living in swimwear. Having said that, you still need to check the weight of the hand luggage by airline. Some have massively increased this with BA allowing 23kg and others dropping their allowance down to as little as 6kg...
This is another important bit to check when booking flights. It's pretty tough for me to keep hand luggage to 6 kgs when the luggage itself weighs 3 and I still need basic clothes and toiletries. I can keep it under 10 pretty easily though.

Even when I check a bag, it might not be a huge one. Larger rental cars are expensive, so I prefer to take the fewest bags needed and of the smallest size I can get away with, so we can rent a small car.

One reason I prefer a checked bag, even if it's not full, is to be able to bring back spirits or wine from my vacation spot.
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Old 05.08.2019, 10:25
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

One thing to remember is that 'hand luggage' can include a lot more than just one suitcase ...
Most airlines, for example, allow you to take a handbag, laptop bag, or briefcase in addition to the 'main' hand luggage, as well as an overcoat (with lots of big internal pockets, perhaps?) and any medical supplies you need ...

Quite often I'll book carry-on only on the way there, and one piece of checked luggage on the way back. I then have a second bag in my carry-on which can expand to a decent size (to make it worthwhile checking!) in order to bring back dirty clothes and tough souvenirs, while the delicate souvenirs and essential items are in my carry-on on the way back.

That 23kg limit for carry-on, though - wow! I hope they have some strong cabin crew to help with those!
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Old 05.08.2019, 11:28
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

Easyjet has no weight limit on carry on but they say you need to be able to lift your bag yourself.
When i travel with easyjet, i book upfront seats that allow you to have a second carry on. I have a pretty big backpack that fits their dimensions. Never had a problem
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Old 05.08.2019, 11:42
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Re: Hand luggage vs. checked bags

There's a handy little cabin baggage comparison chart here

https://www.skyscanner.ie/news/tips/...t-restrictions

It doesn't cover every western airline, and I would always check directly on the airline's website. It appears that TUI have the smallest hand luggage allowance with a measly 5kg.
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