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GaleKnits2
03-01-2019, 06:10 AM
I’m thinking about an Aeronaut 30, using it in the backpack orientation. But I’m wondering if the airlines will allow me to do that as my “personal item” and in addition use my 20” rolling carryon. Or is this bag just a tad too big for that? Right now I’m carrying a SA for my personal item, but have an upcoming trip that requires a bit more room in the bag.
Opinions? Experiences?

Kaadk
03-01-2019, 06:21 AM
I'm sure the enablers will try to talk you into buying a new bag, but really, is the difference from an SA to an A30 going to make that much of a difference? I don't have either bag, but spec wise, they seem to be similarly sized. You'll probably get a bigger bang for your buck replacing the 20" roller instead. Switching from a roller to a duffle can make a huge difference in volume, as you don't have the handles, frame, wheels, etc... taking up room. And, they tend to be a light lighter. Some people want the roller because they worry about carrying that kind of weight, but don't realize how much the roller adds to that weight. My fully packed WF for a standard consulting week is lighter than my Briggs & Riley roller empty.

Lia
03-01-2019, 06:38 AM
My A30 fits -- BARELY -- under every airplane seat where I've tried it. Takes up all the space for your feet. I don't recommend it.

I heartily recommend the A30 as a main bag, though.

And now I want to know where you're going and what you're doing that you need a 20" roller AND 30 liters of backpack??? I did that when I was going to work from the US to the UK for a month with a bunch of music equipment -- ukulele, MIDI keyboard, etc.-- and it was amazing!

G42
03-01-2019, 06:54 AM
I also going be a non-enabler and not recommend an A30 under the seat. It doesn't fit the size requirements of some (most?) airlines and takes up all the space as mentioned above. It's great for car trips and as a main bag in the overhead though.

Amy
03-01-2019, 07:21 AM
I would say continue to use the Smart Alec as your personal item, as it has the capacity to strap things on it to increase its volume, yet it still looks/fits like a personal item. I like to clip my Side Effect to the top for extra capacity, and strap jacket or ukulele to the outside when I need. You can even clip larger bags like the Side Kick to the outside. I always feel secure when I carry my Smart Alec that I will be able to fit extra stuff in it since it has all those outer straps and loops. That brings its actual 26l capacity very close (even exceeding) the capacity of the A30.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

TRD
03-01-2019, 08:06 AM
Stick with the SA. I have both and adore both but but the shape of the SA makes it less obvious and easier to smoosh into tight spaces.

backpack
03-01-2019, 09:07 AM
I don't have either the SA or the A30.

In my experience, choosing a bag depend on the airline(s) you usually use or, are planning to fly with; your home and destination(s) airport(s) configuration and level of busyness and/or delays, as well as, access to any of the special security lines and speedier boarding categories.

Check the website of the airline(s) you plan on using, seatguru.com to see your airplanes configuration.

https://www.flyertalk.com/ to find out the latest airlines news, the forum is great for real life experience with airlines and hotels from the perspective of frequent flyers, who are not shy about voicing the good, the bad and the ugly.


Flyertalk has also a subforum for destinations where people ask questions and share their experiences, it is organized by continents, then countries, then regions/states/places of interest.
Europe has a subforum about railways.

pammy
03-01-2019, 09:19 AM
But I’m wondering if the airlines will allow me to do that as my “personal item” and in addition use my 20” rolling carryon.

The answer is it depends on the gate agent. I confess I have done this and the gate agent never questioned it, but I was prepared to gate-check the roller if necessary. Since I am short, 4'11", I used the A30 as a foot stool during the flight. Though I will say that the A30 looks like a duffel when in backpack mode and, in my opinion, is more likely to be questioned whether it qualifies as a personal item. Whereas the SA is a backpack and probably the gate agent won't give it a second thought. Although both bags are close in capacity size with the UMP on the SA, I find that I can fit a lot more in my A30 than my Smart Alec. My advice is if you decide to go with the A30, have a plan B just in case you aren't able to use it as a personal item.

aedifica
03-01-2019, 09:45 AM
The SA looks more like a personal item than the A30 does, despite being nearly as big. I think gate agents are more likely to challenge an A30 as personal item than they are to challenge a Smart Alec, just because the A30 looks like luggage (which it is).

Can you check your rolling bag, then carry on your SA (or an A30, I won't try to stop you from buying an A30 if you want one!) as your carry-on and use an additional small bag as your personal item? That seems like it would give you the extra space you need for your upcoming trip.

moriond
03-01-2019, 11:03 AM
I have both A30 and Smart Alec, and I concur with the general comments that the Smart Alec is more likely to pass as a “personal” item, although that depends on the rules of the individual airline.

On many airlines, the more constraining issue is the weight. But I’ve found that they generally weigh the bags that “look like luggage”, and when I came back from over 2 Weeks combined personal and work travel in Asia and Europe in September, the only item the Lufthansa folks checked weight on was my Tri-Star (7.3 kg). They didn’t pay any attention to the Synapse on my back, or weigh it, but just passed it as a personal item.

moriond

bouncing
03-01-2019, 03:49 PM
On many airlines, the more constraining issue is the weight.

That's especially true in Europe.

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GaleKnits2
03-01-2019, 06:56 PM
Sounds like I should stick with my current set-up with my SA and roller carry-on then. Thanks all for the advice. I’m planning a trip to Indonesia. We have worked there for many many years and our daughter and her family are there now. I’ll be going from Jakarta to be with the daughter (think GRANDKIDS! and the need to take them goodies) to the far East portion of the country to see our village friends. Lots of different living situations while there will require a bit more than I normally carry when I travel. And I need to be able to carry it all myself. I’ll just have to plan wisely!

G42
03-02-2019, 01:10 PM
Sounds like I should stick with my current set-up with my SA and roller carry-on then. Thanks all for the advice. I’m planning a trip to Indonesia. We have worked there for many many years and our daughter and her family are there now. I’ll be going from Jakarta to be with the daughter (think GRANDKIDS! and the need to take them goodies) to the far East portion of the country to see our village friends. Lots of different living situations while there will require a bit more than I normally carry when I travel. And I need to be able to carry it all myself. I’ll just have to plan wisely!

It's hard when you're trying to bring lots of gifts... depending on your plane tix/costs, it might be worth buying an inexpensive rolling duffel from TJMaxx/Marshall's/Target, checking that packed with the gifts, and leaving it with the family when you fly back...

TRD
03-10-2019, 05:35 PM
Sounds like I should stick with my current set-up with my SA and roller carry-on then. Thanks all for the advice. I’m planning a trip to Indonesia. We have worked there for many many years and our daughter and her family are there now. I’ll be going from Jakarta to be with the daughter (think GRANDKIDS! and the need to take them goodies) to the far East portion of the country to see our village friends. Lots of different living situations while there will require a bit more than I normally carry when I travel. And I need to be able to carry it all myself. I’ll just have to plan wisely!

What an awesome trip! I concur with @G42. I’m a minimalist as often as possible but there are definite moments where I just buy a cheapo bag to fill with gifts and leave behind guilt-free.

Well...unless you want to bring it back filled with delicious coffee. Lol.

spcanf
03-10-2019, 05:52 PM
IF you do want another bag, the western flyer has worked for me a personal item and has fit under the seat of all the airlines I have flown

bbcamp
03-24-2019, 02:53 AM
Have a great trip!

I have often used the A30 as a personal item on flights between the US and Europe. As some have already said, I wouldn’t want to put it under the seat in front of me, but never had a problem fitting it into an overhead bin.