Luggage Update for Travel

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climber2020
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by climber2020 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:22 pm

El Greco wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:05 pm
PPS: Oh yeah, and doing laundry on vacation? What's that all about?
It's the only way you can travel super light. If you don't mind taking a big bag, then no need to worry about washing clothes.

I've done both, and I much prefer traveling around with what is basically a daypack for most people. No way I would ever go back to packing like a normal person after doing it this way for several years. But that's just me, and we're all different people with different preferences.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:32 pm

El Greco wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:05 pm
I fail to see what the big deal is about checking a bag. I've never had one lost in dozens of business trips, and in most cases,it only takes an extra 5 minutes or so to retrieve.

On a recent vacation trip to Barcelona, however, DW convinced me to go all carry-on. So I bought a new spinning roller bag sized for overhead bins from Costco (very nice bag, BTW, only $99) plus I carried on a soft bag for my electronics, prescriptions, books etc. It was a crowded flight, so I could only put one bag in the overhead. The soft bag I had to tuck under the seat in front.

Being that we were flying Coach (we are not as fabulously wealthy as some other Bogleheads), I spent a very uncomfortable 8.5 hours not being able to fully stretch out my legs. When we landed in Barcelona at 7:00 AM in the dark–surprise! No jetway when we disembarked. That meant DW and I had to struggle with 2 fairly heavy bags that we had to carry down the steep airplane steps onto the tarmac. Not fun, or comfortable.

P.S, on the way home I insisted on checking 1 bag apiece leaving us with one light carry-on bag each which we could stow in the overheads. A much more pleasant trip by far and both bags waiting for us on the carousel after clearing Customs.

PPS: Oh yeah, and doing laundry on vacation? What's that all about?
Although I usually go the carry-on route, I’m not religious about the idea and you make some excellent points. Another reason to check bags may come down to economy. If airlines adopt á la carte pricing one should do the math before assuming carry-ons will save money. I recently priced out a flight on Spirit and it would be cheaper for DW and me to combine our clothes and toiletries into one big checked bag and carry-on small, personal bags for electronics, food, etc, than it would be for both of us to bring carry-ons. So... cheaper, we can bring more clothes on the trip, and have a more pleasant flight not having to drag bags on and off crowded planes. In the negative column, bag could be lost, delays to collect it after flight.

peseta
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by peseta » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:34 pm

Taking a carry-on bag on international flights can cause complications. Many international airlines have maximum specs smaller than US airlines. Even if they don't size the bag at the counter or gate, sometime their bins are too small length-wise to accommodate US-spec carry-ons.

When I did a lot of int'l travel, I had great luck with Briggs & Riley's international carry-on. The one I bought is no longer made, but they do have what appears to be a similar model now as a "spinner":

https://www.briggs-riley.com/kinzie-str ... er-zu121sp

Don't get their "wide-body" international bag. These are not to int'l specs.

B&R bags are not cheap, but they have a lifetime warranty. I've had my same bag for 6 years and it's held up going all around the world. I also think they're much better made than Tumi and a better value.

peseta

killjoy2012
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by killjoy2012 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:44 pm

+1 on Travelpro. There's a reason you see many pilots/flight attendants using them. Good quality for someone who travels a decent amount, but not outrageously priced. I got mine at Macy's when there was a significant sale.

rjbraun
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by rjbraun » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:01 pm

climber2020 wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:50 pm
rjbraun wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:34 pm


Edit - For people who carry on their bags (and fly coach): Are you really able to stay strictly within airlines' weight limits for carry-ons?

Easily. Light travel is an obsession of mine, and if I really keep things to a minimum, I can fit everything I need into a small pack and still have half the pack empty. What exactly are you traveling with that weighs so much?

I did a write up on this subject not long ago. If you want to see what I've got in my own bag, check it out.
Not sure if your question is rhetorical, but I take a few more changes of clothes than the three I believe you recommend. I do try to travel light and I think that I can fit everything into a 30-litre says something. We loaded up on travel clothes during an REI sale and will push SO to also limit clothes to 3-4 sets.

The 12-15 lb limit is tough, even if I limited myself to 3 changes of clothes (and I'm not a large person :wink:). Okay, so we take a sound machine (necessary for decent sleep, and I don't like the phone app version), I take an electric toothbrush (for proper dental hygiene). Those two items add up to a couple of pounds. I think liquids add weight, but I try not to take more than I will need. Oh, I do take my own bar of bath soap (sensitive skin). Again, what's frustrating is that I can now manage the volume limit but the weight restriction is tough. I take it your packed bag comes in at only 12 or so lbs. Impressive.

What do you do for quick-dry socks? I read SmartWool socks dry quickly and bought a bunch on sale. SO especially likes them, but I'm not convinced they will dry so fast.

Thanks for the link to your article and site. Good stuff there.

rjbraun
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by rjbraun » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:04 pm

Ethelred wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:54 pm
It varies between airlines. United only has a size limit, not a weight limit, but we recently flew with Singapore Airlines, carry-on only in economy. Their weight limit is 7kg, and we were asked to weigh our bags at check-in, including traveling in both directions. We only managed to get under by stuffing the heavy stuff into a smaller backpack, which they didn't then weigh.
Yeah, we've done that as well. SO likes to travel with books, which will obviously tip the scales. Obviously, the agents can figure these tricks out, but I guess in the meantime we will just continue to stash stuff in coat pockets, hold books under our arm, etc.

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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by rjbraun » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:11 pm

chiseller wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:28 pm
I think having a small bag, and in particular a backpack bag, makes you less of a target, especially for being forced to check the bag at the gate.
I agree. Agents sometimes seem to kind of let my pack go if it's fully on my back. Of course, I also try to wear it so it doesn't seem onerous or anything. But, I'm pretty sure there have been times when they made me weigh it. It may have been earlier when the weight limit was more generous, though

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JupiterJones
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by JupiterJones » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:16 pm

Yeah, I get how some people who have always traveled heavy don't see that it's a big deal. As with most things in life, if you've never known any other way, the "other way" can seem weird. (Laundry during vacation! How plebeian!)

But consider this:

Lots of people have switched from traveling heavy to traveling light. However you seldom, if ever, hear about people voluntarily (i.e., not due to health/age reasons) going the other way around: From light traveling back to heavy traveling.

I suspect there's a reason for this. 8-)
Stay on target...

rjbraun
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by rjbraun » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:19 pm

JDCarpenter wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:13 am
lthenderson wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:03 am
...

I've also found that in many foreign countries, the price of just hiring someone to do laundry for you is quite reasonable and allows me to focus on other things.
+1. We did far less laundry than we expected on our trip because the prices were so low in those locations at which it was available. Only downside is that you need to be staying in the same location long enough to be there when it is finished.
Right, need to stay in a location long enough, but also in the handful of times we have had the hotel do some laundry there have issues on occasion, now that I think about it. In one case, the zipper on some pants got messed up (this was in Switzerland, fwiw), and in Instanbul the hotel couldn't locate a shirt for 1/2 day. I kind of forgot about these instances until this thread, as I too wonder if it's not worth splurging for laundry on vacation, after all. But with the risk of something getting lost or damaged, I'm now inclined to not dismiss the benefits of hand laundry, in addition to saving money.
Last edited by rjbraun on Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

michaeljc70
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:26 pm

The rolling duffel I had I didn't like because they fell over when trying to stand them up. When in line (like to check in for a flight) it was very annoying having to hold it or set it all the way down every 2 minutes.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:15 pm

El Greco wrote:I fail to see what the big deal is about checking a bag. I've never had one lost in dozens of business trips, and in most cases,it only takes an extra 5 minutes or so to retrieve.
I didn’t mind checking bags until a trip last winter. My bag was misplaced on a direct flight from Newark to Cayman Islands. We arrived on Xmas Day, and good luck finding swimming stuff on Xmas Day (I usually carry on clothing I will wear on arrival, but long story). The bag showed up 2 days later. On the way home from Cayman, my son’s bag was misplaced for 2 days. I don’t know what the odds are, but thanks United.

PS. We jump through hoops now to fly Jet Blue.

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climber2020
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by climber2020 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:34 pm

rjbraun wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:01 pm
climber2020 wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:50 pm
rjbraun wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:34 pm


Edit - For people who carry on their bags (and fly coach): Are you really able to stay strictly within airlines' weight limits for carry-ons?

Easily. Light travel is an obsession of mine, and if I really keep things to a minimum, I can fit everything I need into a small pack and still have half the pack empty. What exactly are you traveling with that weighs so much?

I did a write up on this subject not long ago. If you want to see what I've got in my own bag, check it out.
Not sure if your question is rhetorical, but I take a few more changes of clothes than the three I believe you recommend. I do try to travel light and I think that I can fit everything into a 30-litre says something. We loaded up on travel clothes during an REI sale and will push SO to also limit clothes to 3-4 sets.

The 12-15 lb limit is tough, even if I limited myself to 3 changes of clothes (and I'm not a large person :wink:). Okay, so we take a sound machine (necessary for decent sleep, and I don't like the phone app version), I take an electric toothbrush (for proper dental hygiene). Those two items add up to a couple of pounds. I think liquids add weight, but I try not to take more than I will need. Oh, I do take my own bar of bath soap (sensitive skin). Again, what's frustrating is that I can now manage the volume limit but the weight restriction is tough. I take it your packed bag comes in at only 12 or so lbs. Impressive.

What do you do for quick-dry socks? I read SmartWool socks dry quickly and bought a bunch on sale. SO especially likes them, but I'm not convinced they will dry so fast.

Thanks for the link to your article and site. Good stuff there.
Definitely not a rhetorical question. I find it fascinating what people pack when they go on trips. When I went to Vegas for a weekend bachelor party a few years ago, one guy brought a massive checked bag for a 2 night stay, and half of it was filled with snack foods. I don't think he ate any of it other than a few crackers.

My current socks are Wigwam Ironmans. They don't dry quite as fast as my shirts, but still reasonably quickly. Most of the time I just wear my Chacos sandals, so unless I'm planning on doing some serious hiking or attending a social situation that requires real shoes (uncommon; it is vacation after all), I don't even take regular shoes.

Hockey10
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by Hockey10 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:00 pm

El Greco wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:05 pm
I fail to see what the big deal is about checking a bag. I've never had one lost in dozens of business trips, and in most cases,it only takes an extra 5 minutes or so to retrieve.
On my first trip to Europe, my wife and I landed in Rome. Our checked bags landed in Mexico City. :annoyed

From that moment on, we used carry-ons only.

Hockey10
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by Hockey10 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:09 pm

rjbraun wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:34 pm
chiseller wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:40 am
I won't ever check a bag again. I travel carry on only and I highly recommend backback bags that easily fit in the smallest overhead bin and have comfortable padded backpack straps and a waist belt. When you get off the plane and walk up and down stairs in the airport or train station or along the sidewalk in the city it is so much easier not to have a roller bag. This past weekend I returned from Europe and the ease of carrying a backpack through train stations and in the city was priceless. When I arrived back in the states I flew through without having to wait to pick up a checked back to go through customs. Check out the Osprey Farpoint 40, Tortuga Outbreaker, and Tortuga Setout.

If you can't carry a bag on your back I'd recommend a small european carry on size roller. By traveling carry on only you'll never pay for a checked bag and you'll never risk your luggage getting lost on the way to your destination (happened to my dad last year flying internationally on Virgin Atlantic business class).

Minimize what you carry by bringing clothes you can wear more than once like merino wool items. Wear stylish comfortable walking shoes that can also be worn in a restaurant. Dress in layers that you can mix and match. Always pack for one week and if you travel for a longer period bring the same bag and do laundry on the trip.
I generally agree with what you wrote (have an Osprey Porter 30 myself), but I have found it increasingly difficult to stay within an airline's weight limits. For example, we will fly Alitalia to Italy in a couple of months. In coach, you can take one carry-on of up to 8 kg (<18 lbs). The Porter 30 is relatively light at under 2-1/2 lbs, but I'm already down to about 15 lbs, tops, for all the clothes, etc. I will pack in my bag. Even with layering (of clothes), hand washing, etc. I find it almost impossible to be assured that I will meet the weight restrictions and be able to take a carry-on on-board. Yes, we take our chances and so far have been able to get pass the airline personnel, but it's tough and unclear to me that at some point the idea of traveling light won't help one to avoid checking bags (unless one simply flies business or first class).

ymmv :wink:

https://www.alitalia.com/en_us/fly-alit ... ggage.html

Edit - For people who carry on their bags (and fly coach): Are you really able to stay strictly within airlines' weight limits for carry-ons?

And, yes, in case anyone is wondering we have had airlines weigh our bags (and they weren't obviously heavy-looking bags or anything).
I have flown on 4 separate Alitalia flights in recent years, and they never weighed my carry-on. I too was concerned about the <18 lbs limit, so I bought a small scale to weigh the bag (both at home and before my return trip). The good news is that I was able to have everything I needed in a bag that weighed about 15 lbs.

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Will do good
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by Will do good » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:48 pm

climber2020 wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:50 pm
rjbraun wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:34 pm


Edit - For people who carry on their bags (and fly coach): Are you really able to stay strictly within airlines' weight limits for carry-ons?

Easily. Light travel is an obsession of mine, and if I really keep things to a minimum, I can fit everything I need into a small pack and still have half the pack empty. What exactly are you traveling with that weighs so much?

I did a write up on this subject not long ago. If you want to see what I've got in my own bag, check it out.
Good read. Thanks!

avalpert
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by avalpert » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:21 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:15 pm
El Greco wrote:I fail to see what the big deal is about checking a bag. I've never had one lost in dozens of business trips, and in most cases,it only takes an extra 5 minutes or so to retrieve.
I didn’t mind checking bags until a trip last winter. My bag was misplaced on a direct flight from Newark to Cayman Islands. We arrived on Xmas Day, and good luck finding swimming stuff on Xmas Day (I usually carry on clothing I will wear on arrival, but long story). The bag showed up 2 days later. On the way home from Cayman, my son’s bag was misplaced for 2 days. I don’t know what the odds are, but thanks United.

PS. We jump through hoops now to fly Jet Blue.
At the tail end of a 6 month trip we were flying Sri Lanka-Dubai-Amsterdam-Aruba and then spending our last few days there. We packed a checked box of some last souvenirs we hadn't shipped home and other gear we would no longer be needing and didn't want to deal with during the layovers. Box never showed up in Aruba, we checked at the airport every day and they had no trace of it - we were pissed and it definitely colored our view of the country and our last few days.

We fly back to the States to Newark were my parents had left our car they had borrowed. We see family in New York, drive down to see my parents and Philly and eventually back to our home in DC area - and there waiting at our door was the untraceable box. Somehow found it's way to DCA and couriered to our address.

I try to avoid checking when I can - at the very least it reduces risks, sometimes cost and usually is a big time saver on the arrival end.

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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by radiowave » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:35 pm

I've used my Travelpro 21in Suiter carryon on since 1990 now. Been to every continent except Antarctica, been dragged, dropped and generally abused for 27 years now. Original zippers still holding up and just put new handles on it last year. The suiter is nice because there is a separate compartment for suits and shirts then another compartment for everything else. I have not been able to find this design in any modern carryon even the new TravelPro's don't have this anymore. I always travel carryon with the Travelpro and a medium size Targa computer backpack that fits under the seat.

Some lessons learned over the years:
- REI Merion wool socks keep your feet warm, dry, and comfortable (I have some smartwool ones I also use) Easy to rinse in the sink and dry overnight
- Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap is a joy to use on the road not only for personal use but can double as shampoo, laundry soap etc.
- I carry a good thermos that fits in the side of the backpack, always need to be sure it's empty going through TSA.
- I buy a size larger underwear and that tends to shrink a little but still be very comfortable while travelling
- I split some clothes out for the backpack and have a small personal kit to tide me over for a couple days if I every get separated from my Travelpro. It only happened once coming back to the US from New Zealand where they insisted the carryon be checked. (yeah it missed the connecting flight).

I haven't had any luggage weighted on European trips - maybe I'm lucky. I also carry one of those TSA straps with lock that I put around my Travelpro mostly as protection if I every pop the main zipper. It also helps get a couple inches down if I overpack so I can get it squeezed in overhead.
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DrGoogle2017
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:53 pm

I only use carry-on now, too impatient to wait in line for luggage. But I bought my Samsonite luggage from Costco, and use the small size luggage to travel. Last I checked with the Rick Steves forum, the small size seems to be under Ryan Air limits. So It should be ok.

travellight
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by travellight » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:16 am

My name is a clue to my preference for travelling light. I think I could even compete with livesoft's Hawaii story. I went for a weekend trip to Arizona wearing just my swimsuit and a skirt. I also went around the world by myself for 6 weeks with the equivalent of a gym bag.

I don't do such extreme light travel anymore but am still doing well. I usually pack my backpack and then put the backpack in an extremely light roller bag (about 3.5 lbs?) so that I can roll through the airport. This allows me room for fun shopping and I just wear the backpack for the flight home and have the empty suitcase for purchases. I have also flown Ryanair without having to pay by bringing my special very lightweight jacket with huge pockets that can hold 10 lbs of stuff. You are basically wearing your suitcase.

I get annoyed with myself when I brought clothes I never wore.

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chickadee
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by chickadee » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:35 am

Best travel socks for blister-free walking and they dry easily overnight are Wrightsock Coolmesh II. Men's and women's in different lengths. Sublime:

https://www.amazon.com/Wrightsock-Coolm ... ight+socks

I would be interested if someone knows of a good insulated, leak proof thermos/cup to take on the plane. Needs to have a wide enough neck to get ice into it. I don't like stainless steel inside as they make these taste weird (to me). Needs to be fairly skinny (like a standard water bottle) so that it fits in the side pocket of my travel Baggalini (this one):

https://www.amazon.com/Baggallini-Quilt ... llini+hobo

daveydoo
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by daveydoo » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:14 am

LuigiLikesPizza wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:10 am

Would appreciate brand, size, feature suggestions! Thanks
Whatever tiny, overhead-sized, clamshell polycarbonate roller that Costco has this week. Our last one was "Ciao!" No, it was not made in Italy :D . We've been through a bunch of these; luggage is disposable. Do not get nice luggage -- it's a target in baggage handling, on the carousel, and at your destination. If you buy Costco luggage, there will be ten more just like it on the carousel at any given time so make sure you mark it in some crazy-obvious fashion. I wanted to use spray paint but spouse wouldn't let me.

rjbraun
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by rjbraun » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:38 pm

Hockey10 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:09 pm
I have flown on 4 separate Alitalia flights in recent years, and they never weighed my carry-on. I too was concerned about the <18 lbs limit, so I bought a small scale to weigh the bag (both at home and before my return trip). The good news is that I was able to have everything I needed in a bag that weighed about 15 lbs.
Yeah, on reflection Alitalia may be relatively relaxed about the weight requirement. I think it was Emirates (to/from Milan) that seemed more diligent about weighing stuff. Either way, I guess the takeaway is to pack light unless you are prepared to have your luggage checked.

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FraggleRock
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by FraggleRock » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:36 pm

El Greco wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:05 pm
Oh yeah, and doing laundry on vacation? What's that all about?
If your vacation trip is 22 days.
And, you want to travel light, you will need to do laundry.
That is the main reason that I have decided no more hotels and AirBnB is the way to lodge.

flyingaway
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Re: Luggage Update for Travel

Post by flyingaway » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:18 pm

I rarely check in bags these days. I can remember that several times I did check in bags and missed my flights. There was once I was doing transferring in another country, they would have allowed me to check in if I did not have a bottle of wine in my bag (thus required check in). I missed the flight and the train at the other end.

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