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Tinami Amori
11-08-2011, 07:43 AM
How much time and energy must people be spending to go to the station that sells their gas for 5 cents a gallon less than the closer place? :lol: It's kind of the same freakout over increasing postage stamp prices.

Paying an extra 20 cents for a pack of stamps never hurt anyone. ;)

Yes, but then (since you said "never hurt anyone") in certain countries 20 cents is a lot of money..... ;)

Itís often not the money but the principle. People donít like to feel being taken advantage of. Itís understandable. Ö.. StillÖ it is a good idea to weigh the pros and cons and be selective at picking fights and pursuits.

Back to travel issues.... many travel guide books suggest "buy localy as many items as you can, if you can, and only take minimum to hold you over for 2 days. tooth-paste and hand creams are pretty much the same in many parts of the world".

Vash01
11-08-2011, 07:48 AM
I appreciate all the responses and helpful suggestions. Just to clarify, I did check the web sites of the airlines before I posted. Websites don't always give ALL the information that is needed, so phone calls were essential and it was a very frustrating experience. Even though it did not cost me too much work time, it was very inconvenient to have the phone on one shoulder while I was doing my work.

The one little detail that is missing from the whole thing is- what happens to the carry on when I board Lufthansa? Continental told me 40 lbs. Lufthansa (& Austrian on the way back) has 18 lbs limit. What if my carry on weighed 25 lbs in Phoenix, but in Frankfurt I had to pay 7 times 10 Euros (my estimate is close to $100) for exceeding the limit? That's the situation I am trying to avoid. The airlines- even when I get a live person on line- don't want to give me information on what another air line would do (may be fair enough, if everyone has a different rule), so I have to guess, and I am going to assume the worst possible scenario, as a precaution. It means making sure that my carry on does not weigh more than 17 lbs in either direction (I believe in erring on the side of caution- it may be the engineering mind that makes me do so). I decided on a bag that is light, so I can pack more stuff in it.

The checked baggage is not a problem, because that will be booked to the final destination, using what Continental told me about the baggage (even though United is the operating airline upto Frankfurt, Continental seemed pretty comfortable about giving me the info on the checked baggage). My carry on is small enough that anyone can tell it's lighter than most carry ons (which tend to be somewhat heavy these days). When I tried lifting my carry on tonight, it weighted just 16 lbs, I thought 17.5 lbs would probably my physical limit.:lol: I will only carry what I can fit in the checked bag. The 50 lbs for the 1st checked bag seems pretty standard, if the dimensions are within the 62 inch limit, and in the past none of my bags came even close to 50 lbs. Again, I am likely to pack it light so that I can at least drag it around. The advantage of two checked bags is that neither is very heavy, but I don't have that option this time.

So I think I am fairly relaxed about the bags now. Will need to finish packing Tues.night. I have learned a lesson though. Do some research on the airlines (unless it's one of those I am familiar with) LATEST policy on bags, food, etc. before buying the ticket. As a side note, although the Continental agent could not tell me if United would serve food on the domestic portion of the flight, I am assuming that they will charge for the food and it will not be something I like, so I am going to carry my lunch. It is an almost 6 hour flight to DC, so I can't depend on what the airlines provide. International portion is not a problem at all. At least on those flights they are still serving food, and it's usually good.

KCC
11-08-2011, 08:16 AM
One time, I mailed some extra hiking stuff from Europe back to my home because I didn't need it and didn't want to lug it around through the rest of my vacation. Mailing the package was pretty reasonable, so that may be an option for you if you need to lighten up your bags by 20 pounds or so for the return trip. Have fun!

I wonder if the airlines will ever start charging people based on their weight (and not just the weight of their bags).

millyskate
11-08-2011, 08:28 AM
Vash01, I've used luftansa often and my carry-on has never been weighed.

*Jen*, what airlines do you fly with? It's true I haven't used ryanair in the past few years, because they don't cover my normal destinations, and they're reputed to be the worst, but I'm certainly not flying on Emirates airlines ;)

antmanb
11-08-2011, 09:27 AM
Has anyone's carry-on ever been weighed? They sometimes, albeit rarely, check the dimensions, but I fly around Europe all the time and I've never ever seen anybody's carry-on being weighed. It's an important point for me because I have a lot of heavy computer and camera equipment I bring on board, and I've come to realise as long as you pack it small enough, it can weigh a ton and still be ok.

The last three times I have travelled I have had my carry on luggage weighed. I have flown on Brussels Air and Air France in Europe and Virgin Atlantic to the US and on each I was asked to put my carry on luggage on the scales. Each time it was around 10Kg (i had a laptop) and they all did the suck air through their teeth, umming and ahhhing about whether it was ok and then each confirmed i had a laptop in the bag and said it was ok.

Lady Lorna
11-08-2011, 10:42 AM
Yes, I have seen carry-on bags weighed. Just yesterday, Lufthansa weighed my carry-on bag at the gate. It was overweight, and I was required to check it.

zaphyre14
11-08-2011, 12:46 PM
If the flights are "connecting" - meaning that there's no overnight break in the travel - then generally the rules for the major flight carry over to the rest of the trip. At least that's what I've found, when I do my hop-skip-and-jump flights Across the Atlantic. It's easier if all the flights are with one airline, but even if they're not, I've found the Euro ones to be decent about allowing transAtlantic baggage rules to prevail for the second and third European flights.

That said, I personally avoid flying Continental and American to Europe at all costs, no matter how cheap they are. I've had too many miserable trips on them to risk them again. United I use only for US flights when absolutely necessary. Lufthanza was fine the last time I flew them but it's been a few years. I'm giving Delta a shot this next time because they were cheap and their times were good. I haven't flown Delta in ages and ages so we'll see how it goes.

marbri
11-08-2011, 03:01 PM
Again it really depends on how full the flights are and how much weight they are carrying. I've seen people get through with carry-on that is clearly over the limit and I've seen people been made to check their luggage. The problem also with these cross atlantic flights is they have no way to control the amount of shopping that is done at the airports. It's :lol: at times to see someone coming on with a rolling bag, their "handbag" (huge totebags stuffed to capacity :D) and then all the crap they bought at dutyfree and then the poor sod who had to board later due to row number doesn't have anywhere to stick their little carryon because all the bins are full.

It's taken me a few years to admit I don't need loads of carry on but now I travel with a little rolling suitcase (proper size ;)). I stick my wallet (passport, cash and credit card) and book/magazine in the front zipped pocket, stick my laptop in the inside zipped pocket, change of underwear in a little ziplock bag should my luggage not arrive on time and leave the rest empty for all the duty free crap I like to buy .

Vash01
11-09-2011, 12:19 AM
If the flights are "connecting" - meaning that there's no overnight break in the travel - then generally the rules for the major flight carry over to the rest of the trip. At least that's what I've found, when I do my hop-skip-and-jump flights Across the Atlantic. It's easier if all the flights are with one airline, but even if they're not, I've found the Euro ones to be decent about allowing transAtlantic baggage rules to prevail for the second and third European flights.

That said, I personally avoid flying Continental and American to Europe at all costs, no matter how cheap they are. I've had too many miserable trips on them to risk them again. United I use only for US flights when absolutely necessary. Lufthanza was fine the last time I flew them but it's been a few years. I'm giving Delta a shot this next time because they were cheap and their times were good. I haven't flown Delta in ages and ages so we'll see how it goes.

That is true of the checked baggage. Since they have put such severe limitation on the carry on (18 lbs! Many carry on bags 22 in or less in length weigh half of that!), at least theoretically they could ask to weigh the carry on. I am not taking that risk. I will not go over 18 lbs even though Continental allows 40 lbs for the carry on.

I don't like most US airlines service- whether it's Continental/American/United. I could consider flying Delta. They were good last time I flew internationally on Delta. I like the Asian airlines (Singapore and Cathay) much better. Their service is much better even in economy. In the past when I flew Continental, it was by First class, so I am not sure what kind of service I will get in economy. I am not carrying any expectations with me, so hopefully I won't be too annoyed if the service is poor. Actually that flight will be operated by United, and I think they are about same. Domestically I prefer Southwest to any other airline.

Vash01
11-16-2011, 05:38 PM
Lufthansa did not weigh the carry on in Frunkfurt, where I had the connecting flight, so it means the limits of the originating airline (United) were applicable (40 lbs). To be safe, I had kept my carry on at 20 lbs so I could have easily brought it down to 18 if needed. On the way back I will have the 18 lb limit. I actually think it's a good thing. I don't like having to move heavy carry ons. Even for the checked baggage, I was happy in the end that I had just one suitcase to worry about. Traveling light definitely has its advantages.