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View Full Version : European Budget Carry-on limits



Fat Crip
02-20-2011, 05:09 PM
Before I bought my Aeronaut recently, I researched the four budget airlines that I fly with most often, and one more that I may use, in order to see which of the three principle Tom Bihn travel bags were compatible with the allowances. I thought that this might be interesting for others who may be contemplating some European travel in the near future.

I should say that, in the main, these are all similar to the 45" rule (115c.m.), but here they are very strict about the ratio of the lengths e.g. Ryanair's 55x45x20 is 115c.m., but if you turn up with a bag 50x50x15 or 55x35x25 they will make you check it - and charge you. Anything close will be tested and your bag may also be weighed and one kilo over will not go down well! All of these airlines limit you to 10kilos (22lb). And its strictly, absolutely one bag, nothing extra. A friend tried to get on a Ryanair flight in January with a cup of coffee in her hand. She had two options; ditch the coffee, or put it in her bag. She put it in her bag with inevitable consequences!

Note all of the airlines use those metal framed testers. Some, however are vertical in operation (e.g. Ryanair, Flybe) so height and depth are more critical, whereas others are horizontal (e.g. Easyjet, Jet2) so length and depth matter more. Always depth matters most so don't over pack.

On the plus side, and the reason I went for the Aeronaut, despite what you're just about to read, is that all Tom Bihn bags, and especially the Aeronaut are squash-able, and therefore I hope it can be squeezed it to the baggage testers so long as its not over stuffed. This wouldn't be the case with rigid cases. I'm flying with Easyjet on Wednesday, which should be fine, as they are the most generous, but while I'm at the airport, I intend to try all of the size testers out. I'll try to get photos, but I believe its frowned upon to take photos in the airport so we'll have to see.

Although Flybe is the most restrictive, to date they have been the least strict about enforcement. Last time I went with them, I had an overstuffed 30 ltr rucksack that wouldn't have gone near their tester simply because of its round section, plus I had my iPad Ristretto (a second bag is an absolute no-no here) and not only did no-one stop me, but the hostie put it in the bin for me.

Maria
02-20-2011, 05:36 PM
Looking forward to your research results. As so many airlines are strictly enforcing their own set of rules, it really helps to know what bag to pack and the true limits of one-bag and knowing if one can be able to sneak on a small purse, or even a cup of coffee! Yikes.

Also, I was not aware - or never clued in - that different airlines may use a vertical or a horizontal tester. That will certainly make a difference even if one's bag technically would fit the measurement restrictions.

I do hope they allow you to take a few photos!

jannilee
02-20-2011, 05:40 PM
Thanks, Eric. Since I fly only the budget airlines within Europe that is very helpful. Last time I was there they were very inconsistent about enforcing the one piece rule, but they DO love to charge extra. It is amazing how many people try to get away with ridiculous things by arguing. My favorite was a musician with an instrument case (fairly large) who tried to get a huge bag of music by them as well. Yelling didn't work to get it through but he gave it a good try!

Fat Crip
02-26-2011, 10:05 PM
Pics taken, story coming soon. Good news or bad? A bit of both? Wait and see!

Fat Crip
02-28-2011, 03:39 PM
Well I took a trip down to Bristol last Wednesday and got back yesterday. Whilst at the airport, I took the opportunity to try my new Aeronaut in a few of the hand luggage testers. I got spotted, and got a bit of chat, but I still have the snaps!

I was flying with Easyjet, but, very oddly, they won't let you near their tester till you're about to fly, when there is a big queue and so no chance for a pic. However, its the same size as British Airways, and the largest allowance. Also Easyjet has no weight restriction, so long as you can put it up in the overhead bin unaided.

Ryanair is 20% thinner and has a 10Kg (22lb) weight restriction and it takes the bags vertically, meaning that the length is less critical, but the height and thickness matter more.

Finally, Flybe. They are back to the full 25cm (10"), but only 50cm (20") length. A bit of a problem as the Aeronaut is 55.5cm long!

However, the Aeronaut passed all tests with flying colours! This was due totally to the non rigid nature of the bag. Granted, I hadn't stuffed it 100% full. It had a full 10Kg loaded, but there was a bit of space left. in the main compartment, I'd put in four shirts, four t-shirts, four pairs of sock, four pairs of under pants, one pair of trousers, a large organiser pouch with paperwork in it (1" thick), my ristretto (containing my iPod, 1 med, 2 small, 1 mini organiser pouches, an organiser wallet, my change purse, a small torch, and a pen), a woollen scarf, my flat cap and a shoe horn. The end pouches had a clear organiser cube, a small pouch containing my razor kit, a small padded pouch with computer dongles wires etc, a superdrive sized padded pouch containing my camera, an A5 Black & Red hardbound note book, a folding grabber and a well stuffed Filofax.

So, here's the pics. Apologies for the quality as I had to use my phone to be discreet. Also, there isn't much of the Aeronaut showing, which is a shame!

Moose
02-28-2011, 04:09 PM
Hi Fat Crip,
The fact that we can't see much of the bag is a good thing. That means it fit in the sizer with some to spare. No bag checking required, works for me. Thanks for the photos.
Happy travels,
Moose

Maria
02-28-2011, 05:30 PM
Thank you very much for your research efforts, the detailed listings and photos of your results. Very grateful!

Surprised to learn that Easyjet won't let you try the tester until you are about to fly. So they can slap you with a fee at the last minute when you have no time to rearrange anything?

Fat Crip
02-28-2011, 05:54 PM
Surprised to learn that Easyjet won't let you try the tester until you are about to fly. So they can slap you with a fee at the last minute when you have no time to rearrange anything?

They, unlike most of the other airlines, lock them away as soon as the flight takes off. Actually, so does BMIbaby. Though I haven't flown with them for years.

Maria
03-01-2011, 04:21 AM
Maybe they are afraid someone will try to steal them?!;)

Fat Crip
03-24-2011, 03:06 PM
Just thought I'd add that another contributor, bchaplain, reports that Helvetic airlines have a 5Kg ( 11lb) weight limit. He didn't mention size, but, unless you're carrying a bag full of helium balloons, your 5Kg bag will never be big enough to cause much concern!

jannilee
03-24-2011, 08:18 PM
Icelandair has a 6kg carry on limit. Boohoo, I'll have to check a bag for the 2nd time in about 6 years. I will however take pics of my tom Bihn bag in Iceland.

Fat Crip
04-27-2011, 06:10 PM
I was in Alicante's new airport terminal today (total chaos for us wheelchair users!), and took a look at the hand-luggage testers for a couple of more airlines. Unfortunately I couldn't get any pictures as I was waiting for the Sin Bareras girl, but both BMIBaby.com and AirLingus both have the same size limits as EasyJet/British Airways, above i.e. what I would call 'full-size' Aeronaut size. Both have a 10Kg (22lb) allowance.

I was flying with RyanAir, and I noticed that everyone whose bag looked even close to the limit was put in the tester. If it failed they gate checked. Plus they were very, very strict on the one bag and nothing extra rule. No hand-bags, coats, carrier bags, food, cameras or anything got passed the gate staff, and many complained that they'd brought the same bag out without a problem! My Aeronaut was fine. They didn't even check it, despite their tester being 5c.m. (2") shallower than 'standard' i.e. 20c.m. (8") rather than 25 c.m. (10").

RipCurl
05-12-2011, 01:59 PM
I travel quite a lot within Europe (mostly UK, Ireland and Italy) always with low-cost companies. In my experience RyanAir is the most strict, they do try in the hand-luggage testers every bag before right before departure. I travel with my Aeronaut and usually manage to pass the flight assistant scrutiny without having to test the bag! A trick I have learned: they don't usually weight your hand baggage (if it looks ok), so if you manage to stay in the dimension limits you can sneak in a kilo or two more (those massive Toblerone you only find in the airport).

Fat Crip
05-13-2011, 10:31 AM
I travel quite a lot within Europe (mostly UK, Ireland and Italy) always with low-cost companies. In my experience RyanAir is the most strict, they do try in the hand-luggage testers every bag before right before departure. I travel with my Aeronaut and usually manage to pass the flight assistant scrutiny without having to test the bag! A trick I have learned: they don't usually weight your hand baggage (if it looks ok), so if you manage to stay in the dimension limits you can sneak in a kilo or two more (those massive Toblerone you only find in the airport).

It depends on the airport. I've never seen them weigh a bag in Edinburgh, for example, but in Alicante they frequently weigh hand luggage at the main check-in desk. This, of course is bizzar! You can add anything you like in the two hours between then and take-off as they don't have scales at the gate! You're quite right about the size checks though, anything dodgy and they test it.

pw1224
05-16-2011, 10:58 PM
Per Fat Crip's request, here's the picture I took of my Aeronaut in the Allegiant Air sizer. Allegiant is a US carrier so its restrictions are not nearly as stringent as those of the European airlines. I will say that I was surprised at how easily the Aeronaut slid in and out of the sizer. I was expecting to have to squeeze the bag to get it to fit but I didn't need to. Yay Aeronaut!


1375

aiethabell
05-17-2011, 11:40 AM
Now THAT was a sizer I'd expected it to fit, since Allegiant so nicely used an Aeronaut as its bag-sizer photo carry-on bag. It just wouldn't be fittin' (pardon the pun) if the Aeronaut DIDN'T fit that particular sizer!

roarmouse
06-18-2015, 05:50 PM
I hope to use Allegiant to visit relatives later this summer/fall..That pic gave me a chuckle. *crosses fingers* S25..You will be mine!

bradnd99
07-22-2015, 12:30 AM
I flew Norwegian Air a few days ago with my Aeronaut 45 and my NFTD. It was not a problem at all. I fly them again in 2 weeks so I'll update this if it is any different.

bradnd99
08-04-2015, 11:07 AM
FYI..my 2nd flight on Norwegian was not a problem at all. I saw many passengers with larger bags than the Aeronaut and the NFTD, so you should be good with those sized item. Great airline by the way.

Yokosmom
08-05-2015, 11:26 AM
Has anyone flown South African Airways? They have a weight limit, but I'm not sure whether they actually weigh hand luggage or not. I'll probably be flying them for several flight segments next year.

Yokosmom
08-05-2015, 01:37 PM
Whoops, just realized that this was a thread for European budget airlines--sorry.

ceb
08-07-2015, 06:40 AM
Whoops, just realized that this was a thread for European budget airlines--sorry. You're right. It should have gone into the "Americas" section :)

The last time I flew SAA they didn't weigh carry-ons. A few things to consider:

Boarding speed is of utmost importance. Does the carry-on "look" like it is heavy? Does the counter even have the capability of weighing bags? Can you take something heavy out and put it back once on the plane?

Yokosmom
08-07-2015, 07:29 AM
I'll be taking an Aeronaut 45 and probably a CP--it's a month long trip. I've even considered getting one of those "gadget" vests--you know, the kind with 35 pockets for every gizmo and camera under the sun. They just changed their weight limit in the past year or so, so I don't know how strict they are about weighing things. Like, do they weigh absolutely everything, or only carry ons that look over the limit. If the Aeronaut isn't stuffed, maybe I can get by with it.

bchaplin
08-07-2015, 07:55 AM
The one time I flew them, I don't remember my luggage being weighed. It was a few years ago, though. I think it was a Jo-burg to Lagos flight or something like that.

My general experience traveling different airlines, including European and African ones, is that reasonably-sized soft-sided bags, like the Tom Bihn ones, aren't usually at risk for being checked. The bigger concern, in my experience, is getting on the plane last and finding there is no overhead space. My policy is not to worry about it, but to have my most essential stuff in an internal bag or cube that I could pull out if needed, should my larger bag be gate-checked. The "essentials" bag contains a few changes of clothes, meds, basic toiletries and anything I feel I can't live without. For the price of a gadget vest, you could get a Daylight Backpack which would serve that function, and be a fun item to have besides.

And your tech stuff will probably be in your Co-Pilot anyway?

ceb
08-07-2015, 11:16 AM
The one time I flew them, I don't remember my luggage being weighed. It was a few years ago, though. I think it was a Jo-burg to Lagos flight or something like that.

My general experience traveling different airlines, including European and African ones, is that reasonably-sized soft-sided bags, like the Tom Bihn ones, aren't usually at risk for being checked. The bigger concern, in my experience, is getting on the plane last and finding there is no overhead space. My policy is not to worry about it, but to have my most essential stuff in an internal bag or cube that I could pull out if needed, should my larger bag be gate-checked. The "essentials" bag contains a few changes of clothes, meds, basic toiletries and anything I feel I can't live without. For the price of a gadget vest, you could get a Daylight Backpack which would serve that function, and be a fun item to have besides.

And your tech stuff will probably be in your Co-Pilot anyway? I actually knew someone who travelled for a week using only the pockets in his ScottEvest raincoat because he was flying airlines that charged for everything but the clothes on your back. I don't think I'd want to do that. He had clothing folded and in the lower pockets and was wearing double pants. His coat must have weighed 20 lbs

Frank II
08-07-2015, 01:15 PM
Travel writer Rolf Potts travelled around the world with nothing but Scottevest clothes.

No Baggage Challenge -- Around the World with no luggage (http://www.rtwblog.com/)

bb93fo57
08-08-2015, 11:04 AM
Last month, there was a story about a passenger trying to get around baggage fees by putting on 12 layers of clothes:

Singer from Glasgow boyband Rewind passes out during a flight after putting on 12 layers of clothes - Home News - UK - The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/singer-from-glasgow-boyband-rewind-passes-out-during-a-flight-after-putting-on-12-layers-of-clothes-10381496.html)

Spoiler alert: it didn't go so well.

"A singer in a boyband collapsed on a plane due to overheating, because he wore all his clothes at the same time in an effort to get around excess baggage charges... During the flight, he was wearing six t-shirts, five jumpers, three pairs of jeans, two pairs of jogging bottoms, two jackets and two hats."

Yokosmom
08-09-2015, 08:15 AM
For the price of a gadget vest, you could get a Daylight Backpack which would serve that function, and be a fun item to have besides.

And your tech stuff will probably be in your Co-Pilot anyway?

I was thinking of packing a Daylight Backpack, but was worried about the weight :) I was planning on putting my headphones and small tablet(s) in the Co-Pilot, but figure that my large camera and binoculars wouldn't fit. However, a Daylight Backpack is on my wish list for reasons outside of this trip, so thanks for giving me even more reason to pick one up.

I'm probably being a bit paranoid about the weight issue, but they changed the requirements just last January, I believe, so thought that they might be stricter, at least for a while. Some of the airports that I'll be flying through have a reputation for theft, so I am reluctant to check the Aeronaut.