The New Carry-On Strategies
(January 3, 2002)
The days of bringing everything
but the kitchen sink onboard an aircraft are officially over, as the
FAA and airlines are permitting only one carry-on bag per passenger.
So, with limited packing space, what are the essentials to bring?
Well, consider what you would never fly without. For me, it's a bag
with overnight supplies, even if I travel out and back the same
Ask yourself this question: If I became stranded, what
would I really want to have with me? Here's some advice on what to
bring, and what not to bring, on your flights.
Pack in Your Carry-On
Be ready for random searches of
carry-ons, and carefully consider what you put inside. If searched,
security personnel will go through your bag by hand, and items of
personal nature could be in full view of others.
- Hotel, cruise, and/or car rental reservation numbers or
- Passports and visas
- Credit cards
- Travelerís checks
- Medicine (Vitamins and over-the-counter remedies must be
packed in their original containers, as customs officials will
confiscate unlabeled medicines of any kind.)
- Change of clothes
- Basic toiletries (These items tend to leak because the
aircraft is pressurized, so make sure to store them in a sealed
- Some cosmetics
Donít try to
anticipate every contingency. Travel light and know that unless
youíre in the most remote corner of the globe, youíll find shops
where you can buy extra supplies you need.
Along with one carry-on, you are also allowed to
bring an additional "personal" item, which may include a purse,
laptop computer, briefcase, small backpack, diaper bag, or crutches.
However, you can squeeze a few more items onboard that don't count
in the allowance, including books, magazines, umbrellas, and
Make sure you have
all your electronic devices within reach before you reach security
screening. You can still carry-on cell phones, pagers, and other
electronic devices, but prepare for a little extra scrutiny. Laptops
will be thoroughly examined and must be taken out of their cases to
go through x-ray. Label the outside of your laptop with your name,
as there have been numerous instances of people picking up the wrong
What Not to Pack in Your Carry-On
especially those attending the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake
City, it is necessary to adapt to the new rules by checking athletic
equipment. To make things easier, some airlines are offering
priority handling of equipment. However, consider breaking in an
extra set of equipment, as some figure skaters are doing with their
ice skates, just in case checked baggage gets lost.
- Cutting instruments such as straight razors and scissors
(Safety razors and disposable razors are allowed.)
- Cigar cutters
- Metal nail files
- Envelope openers
- Crochet needles
- Lighter fluid
- Mace and pepper spray
- Large hairspray cans
- Perfume (if the container holds more than 16 ounces)
- Golf clubs, hockey sticks, baseball bats, pool cues, ski
poles, and figure and hockey skates.
planning to take some gifts along, hold off wrapping them until you
get where you're going. Security officials may have to unwrap them
if they can't detect what's inside.
Picking the right size carry-on is essential. It must
fit under the seat in front of you, or in the overhead bin. Airlines
have very strict rules about the dimensions of carry-on luggage.
Bags cannot exceed 45 linear inches (the length, plus the depth,
plus the height) or (22" x 14" x 9"). If the wheels or handles don't
retract or lay flush against the bag, the distance they protrude
will be counted in the total dimensions of the bag.
carriers don't weigh carry-ons, but some foreign airlines do. And
weight limits vary among carriers, so check with the airline if you
have any concerns.
As always, be sure to tag your baggage
with your name and address. And, since so many bags look alike these
days, place a bright colored ribbon or tag on your bag. That way you
can help avoid someone taking your bag by
limiting the amount of bags is aimed at improving security and
speeding up the screening process. And following carry-on rules is
essential to make the travel experience go smoother.
who choose to bring a carry-on aboard need to stick to the size and
weight guidelines. Carry-on etiquette also should be observed
onboard, especially during the winter months when overhead bins are
full of bulky winter coats. Never place items on top of coats
because these items shift during flight. Many passengers and flight
attendants have been hurt from falling bags that were improperly
placed in the overheads.
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