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Flying and suitcase weight

(35 Posts)
numberplease Mon 05-Aug-13 23:27:11

We haven`t travelled by plane for a good few years, before all the new rules and regulations came about, but are thinking of it for next year. What I`d like to know is, if we take one large suitcase between the two of us, will it be classed as just with one of us, or will they divide the weight between us? Hope it doesn`t sound a daft question!

Tegan Mon 05-Aug-13 23:37:18

number; I don't even know what you can take in your hand luggage these days. I do reckon, though, that it's better to have two smaller suitcases and split everything between the two in case one goes missing [although, I suppose that increases the risk of one going missing by somethingorother % [maths not my strong point]]....where are you planning to go to? We're thinking of flying somewhere next year as well, not having flown anywhere for years.

numberplease Tue 06-Aug-13 00:21:42

Tegan, we haven`t decided on anywhere yet, but as we`re selling the caravan, and downsizing the car (due to advancing age and decreasing fitness!) we thought we`d have, next year, what will probably have to be our last good holiday. We`re considering a cruise, albeit one of the less expensive ones, but are also looking at Cruise and Stay holidays as well, which is where the flying question comes from. The reason I asked was that we don`t really want to buy new cases now, but all we have are 2 large ones, and were hoping to fit everything in one.

tiggypiro Tue 06-Aug-13 00:52:23

Sorry Number but one case is classed as belonging to one person so if your hold allowance is the usual 23kg you cannot put more than that and say it is for 2 people. All airlines have different rules regarding luggage allowances and sizes of cases therefore please check carefully when you book your ticket.
I totally agree with Tegan about taking 2 cases and putting a mix of clothing from both passengers in each then at least if one does go missing you have a fighting chance of having something else to wear ! And ALWAYS carry spare knickers in your hand luggage. I speak from experience and know that my friend is much smaller than me in the knicker dept ! Another very useful tip is to take some photos of your cases before you set off so that if you ever have to fill in a missing luggage form you can at least remember what they look like !
Have a very good holiday !

absent Tue 06-Aug-13 02:13:13

Even if you're allowance is 40 kg or more, most airlines are pretty unenthusiastic about one bag of that weight and prefer it to be split between two. (It's impossible to lift and a real pain in the shoulders to wheel along anyway.) You can usually find out about the baggage allowance on the airline website before booking – different airlines and even different routes vary. These days the airlines tend to be very strict about the maximum weight allowed, even for short haul fllights.

tiggypiro Tue 06-Aug-13 03:37:35

If you are going with a budget airline - Ryanair, Easyjet. Jet2 etc they are becoming increasingly mean regarding luggage. I made a "Sod off Ryanair" jacket last year as so far they do not weigh what you are wearing. I bought a sleeveless mans zip up jacket with lots of pockets on the outside for 4 pounds from a jumble sale. Needs to be sleeveless with deep-ish armholes so it can be carried on one shoulder if need be. On the inside I added some deep pockets zipped along the top - the back one divided down the middle. I managed, by squashing all my clothes into zip lock bags (I do travel light ) to get almost all my clothes into the jacket (I think it weighed about 5kg)leaving room in the carry on case for such things as a fabric screen castle for the boys bunk-beds,English story books etc etc. I have 3 DGS in Spain as well as the 2 here in Beijing ! A bit of a multinational family !

Another Ryanair TIP !!
Never pay for priority boarding etc unless you really want to sit with family etc, especially if you like me mostly travel alone. Never join the queue which seems to start before the plane is on the tarmac. Sit back and wait and try and get on last. I have had back row seats (so first off the plane and through customs - 5 mins to the arrivals lounge is my record), Front row seats (ditto off first but also lots of leg room) and exit aisle seats (more leg room)
Just remember that if you are on the same flight as me then I get on last !!

moomin Tue 06-Aug-13 08:11:22

The last couple of years OH and I have travelled to Europe with both EasyJet and Jet2 (Jet2 have 2kg more baggage allowance - 22kg) and we have no problem with one suitcase, usually weighing in at around 18kg or so. We were away for 2 weeks in June and found we had plenty of clothes, shoes etc for us both in one case.

We put books, Kindles, etc in our hand luggage.

So far, thankfully, our case has not been lost in transit!

Butty Tue 06-Aug-13 08:28:34

Number. As others have said, baggage allowance differs with each airline, but it's mostly 40kg per person for long haul, and 20/22kg. for short-haul. Carry on cases/bags are almost all limited to the same size - 114 linear cms. There are also a lot of restrictions with what you can pack in carry on.
If I were in your position, I'd divide what you need to take between the two cases. Much easier to manage.

Ariadne Tue 06-Aug-13 11:23:01

I was just going to say that - check the measurements as well as the weight! Every airline has different requirements. And yes, two cases.

It is also interesting what passes as hand luggage, and what some people manage to take on board. (Not with Easyjet and co, though.) My smallish wheelie bag holds a lot, and is classified as hand luggage. BUT measure and weigh it!

JessM Tue 06-Aug-13 11:43:54

Travel light number is my advice. 20kg is a lot to lug and you won't use it all when you get there.
The strictest big airline I came across was Virgin Heathrow that had a limit of something like 6kg for carry on. "Go away and come back with a lighter bag"
Blooming bag weighed about 5kg.
Cue me stuffing books in my waistband, phone chargers in my pockets etc grin before returning with virtuous smile on face.

dustyangel Tue 06-Aug-13 11:57:00

Yes, be very aware of bargain deals. My GS visited recently arrived on one airline with 10Kgs hand luggage and then found that on his return flight with another (Thomas Cook), he was only allowed 5Kgs.

Nonu Tue 06-Aug-13 11:59:09

When we fly to the States , the luggage allowance is 23kg, PP , and they are quite strict these days , suppose it has to do with the cost of aviation fuel , so more weight more fuel used .

They say it is to help baggage handlers , I don"t really go along with I am afraid , as when we used to in the earlier days , we were allowed a large case each + a medium sized .

the thing is though I have just learned the Hard way ie being fined , to pack lighter .


granjura Tue 06-Aug-13 12:50:49

I once took an elderly neighbor and her husband to the airport, and thank goodness I stayed with them to help. She had put all their stuff in one suitcase, which weighed 28kg- and EasyJet said she had to leave stuff with me, or not travel. They were distraught - fortunately there was a shop that sold luggage at the airport, so I run there to buy another case so they could transfer enough in the new one. Due to his medical needs, and the fact they were going to a wedding, they didn't want to part with anything.

It was explained to us that the maximum weight is for health and safety/Union regs for luggage handlers -makes sense, really.

When we travel with EasyJet, we take one suitcase for the 2 of us, and 2 small wheelie cases for shoes, heavy stuff, so we only pay for one luggage fee.

Stansgran Tue 06-Aug-13 14:05:40

I've just come back on jet2 with two children. I paid for one suitcase which was shared between them. Jet2 used to be very strict with hand luggage, exactly one piece as many people consider a handbag not to be hand luggage and you would see them stuffing a chunky handbag into an already solid walk on case. As we unloaded the car my opposite numberGM unloaded carrier after carrier bag from the boot, a football ,riding kit,2 tennis racquets, several anoraks suitable for the English climate. As I'd travelled light I got a fair bit into the walk on case. The children stuffed their rucksacks and wore their raks(30degrees that day) and tied others round their middles. If I'd thought on they could have strapped the racquets to their feet and claimed it was snowing in England. For any holiday I budget for laundry either time to do laundry as extra days cost money or pay for hotel laundry .

GadaboutGran Tue 06-Aug-13 15:52:16

Check the weight & size restrictions for each airline every time - & each stage of long haul, not forgetting any internal flights at the end. We got caught out when flying to NZ as though we booked all with Emirates, we had a stop-over and the next flight counted as a new journey & Emirates had booked us on Jetstar who had much lower weight limits. Some airlines allow you to split the weight, others don't. Take a portable weighing device. Easyjet are generous on hand baggage as there is no weight limit. We found backpacks with the exact size limits so when we visit son & family in Germany we cram these with heavy things (like English food!) & things for GS & are just about fit enough to just about manage transfers to & changes on the train to their home.
Easyjet are now insisting that the largest allowed hand luggage be placed in the hold (as yet no charge). Large pockets are essential!

GillieB Tue 06-Aug-13 19:01:48

Nonu is right about the 23 kg weight limit when flying to the States (we usually pack a folded soft bag which we fill and bring back as hand luggage, leaving room for my handbag to slot into it!). Last September when flying from Phoenix to Minneapolis the plane actually couldn't take off as there was so much hand luggage that couldn't be stowed - the stewards kept on offering to put things in the hold, but very few people would take them up on the offer. The plane was 45 mins late leaving and we almost missed our connection in Minneapolis because of it!

JessM Tue 06-Aug-13 19:02:59

Internal flights in the States allow a crazy amount of hand luggage, to our well trained european eyes.

numberplease Wed 07-Aug-13 01:25:12

Flippin` `eck, I think we`d better stay at home! Thanks everyone, but I`m utterly flummoxed now!

jeanie99 Wed 07-Aug-13 02:29:26

weight of luggage depends on the airline you fly with and the class, 1st class you get to take more luggage than say economy.
Look on the airline website for hold luggage weight and hand luggage weight.
If say for instance your personal weight is 20 kilo no you cannot add the two together making 40 and put it in one suitcase. This is because the handlers for safety reason would not be allowed to lift it.
If you are taking one case you can only use the weight for one person.
You have an allowance for carry on luggage again this depends on the airline and there is a restriction for size of luggage as carry one.
Make sure you know what you cannot carry in hold and hand luggage, if you have scissors for instance in hand luggage they will be taken from you and disposed of.

Stansgran Wed 07-Aug-13 11:56:14

My rule is that if I need help to lift I need to cut down. 16 k is my limit as my DH once cracked a rib just before flying and I had to carry up a flight of stairs in a small hotel wit no porter. I also have to lift my hand luggage above my head unless flying from Leeds where there endless lovely Yorkshire lads who fall over themselves to help.

JessM Wed 07-Aug-13 18:35:33

great advice stansgran. You never know when you might have to lug it. e.g. last time i transitted in Sydney - blooming nightmare
Get off plane and join queue with passengers from several Chinese jumbos (slower going through immigration due to language barrier ... )
An hour and a half later, get to front of queue. In baggage hall my carousel has been cleared. Scan huge hall for a lonely RED suitcase (it was a good idea when I bought it - and it paid off at that moment.)
At this point there is less than an hour until connecting flight leaves from other terminal.
Fortunately the biosecurity people trust me and dont x ray bag or inspect boots (more interested in Chinese foodstuffs)
Go to transit desk. Ask 3 huge young Maori men if I can go in front of them.
Get told I cannot check my bag, too late, and have to take it on bus.
Have to lift bag on bus. Bus remain stationary for 20 mins. At other terminal heave bag off bus and run (it has wheels, another good choice) to the far corner of terminal and go to the business class channel. At which point he takes my bag and tells me to run to gate. It is 2 pm and I still havent had any breakfast.
Lessons learned: buy a bag in a lurid colour with wheels, remember you will have to do immigration at your first port of entry if you have an on-going internal flight, don't assume a couple of hours is long enough to transit in places like Sydney and LA (Hong Kong it will be fine, honest) and as Stansgran says... if you can't lift it...

Butty Wed 07-Aug-13 18:40:03

Wish I hadn't read that, Jess, with long haul and then further transit flights for next stage, on the horizon. Anxious grin grimace.

JessM Fri 09-Aug-13 12:01:49

just don't let a travel agent hassle you into thinking 2 hours is enough to immigrate to states or australia at first point of entry. 3 is more realistic. Once you are in, then things flow ok with internal flights. ANd have a wee before you get off the plane, because it is a long stand in immigration with no options on toilets sometimes. And don't tell yourself, as I did, there would be plenty of time for a cafe stop grin
Trailfinders are pretty helpful company to plan complex trips.

gillybob Fri 09-Aug-13 12:31:59

Some wise words about packing too much...

When you get back from your holiday make two piles.

Pile 1 for the stuff you actually used/have worn
Pile 2 for the stuff you didn't use or wear.

The amount in Pile 1 is what you need to take on our next trip !

Gally Fri 09-Aug-13 12:36:24

A Warning!
I went with a friend to Portugal in May. She booked the 2x single flights (with Ryanair) and ticked the box for one bag for the hold for me assuming it was for 20kg. We arrived at the check in desk, the bag weighed 19kg, and we were then told it was too heavy. She had, apparently, missed the (very) small print and ticked the box for 15 kgs not realising that there was an option for either 15 or 20, for which you pay more. As I had some of her stuff in the bag too, it was impossible to offload 4kg so we had to pay - wait for it - £20 per extra kilo = £80 which was almost 2x what we paid for each single flight. That's how Mr O'Whatsisname makes his millions. We had to go to a special pay-machine to pay this amount - there were 4 in a row and Edinburgh is not a big airport. Why would you need 4 machines if you weren't trying make a sly buck out of your customers. Unless it is the only option, I will try never to patronise this airline again. shock We returned with BA under the auspices of Thomas Cook, and had absolutely no problem with luggage weight, and it was a delight to fly with them - more comfortable, lovely helpful crew, and a much smoother ride all the way!