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  1. #1

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    Baggage question on international flights

    I am really fed up with United and Continental airlines. Their websites don't tell me what is the baggage allowance for carry on. They only tell the charges for 1st & second bag, and don't mention the carry on allowance at all. I found out about it because I called the airlines (Continental/Austrian/Lufthansa) last week and I got lucky because after holding for long periods, I got to talk to a person that gave me some information. The problem is there is a huge discrepancy among airlines when it comes to baggage allowance. BTW I am flying economy.

    I am flying Continental (but operated by United) within the USA and on to Euorpe, connecting with Lufthansa in Frankfurt to go to Asia. Lufthansa allows just 18 lbs for the carry on. I am supposed to follow the baggage limits for Continental, which is 40 lbs, but the allowances are so different that I am worried that I may be told something else at the airport. I no longer trust the airlines when their website says to follow the baggage allowance for the first airline you board. I don't want to end up paying just because I exceeded 18 lbs (which is an outrageously low allowance, IMO).

    On the way back, Austrian airlines also allows only 18 lbs. Last week when I got lucky and got a person to talk to when I called Continental. I was told 40 lbs for the carry on (for the first suitcase they were pretty consistent- no charge for 1st bag if it's less than 50 lbs; $70-$83 for the second bag, so I will not be carrying a second bag). The Continental flight will be operated by United, so I called United to find out the baggage allowance because of the discrepancy between Continental & the European airlines. I can't get the right person when I called United's 800 number. They kept giving me a run around, transferring from one person to another, but not giving me an answer. I finally gave up and hung up. So far I have found United to be the worst airline in customer service, but may be there are others that are even worse.

    Why is it so difficult to get the information? I am VERY frustrated. I would really like to have that 40 lbs limit for the carry on, on my way. On the way back I can arrange to put all the heavy things in the checked bag. As it is, I don't like heavy carry ons, but I am used to checking two bags free of charge, and here are airlines that want to milk every dollar out of me.

    Why must travel be so painful?

    Please let me know if you have experience connecting on one of the US carriers with a European airline to go to Asia. What was the baggage allowance? Is it the same (40 lbs) on Continental and United? I already know the European airlines allow only 18 lbs.

    At least here on fsu I am sure to get an answer, and you don't even get paid for it.

  2. #2

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    I don't think it's 18 pounds in Europe, it's 18 kg, which is about....40 pounds. I've never had any trouble with my carry-ons in Europe.

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    For the carry-on in Europe, it's often between 10-12 kilos, but they never weigh it. 10-12 kilos is pretty generous anyway.
    The problem comes with the check-in bags...

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    According to Lufthansa's carry-on policies, the weight limit is 8kg, which is roughly 18lbs.

    Here is Continental's carry-on policies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    I don't think it's 18 pounds in Europe, it's 18 kg, which is about....40 pounds. I've never had any trouble with my carry-ons in Europe.

    Airlines do change their rules/allowances. The latest is 8 kilos which is 18 pounds. (18 kg is actually around 45 lbs- mulitply the kg by 2.2 to get the lbs, but it's not 18 kg; I have verified it to be pounds when I talked to both Austrian and Lufthansa).

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    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.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fridge_Break View Post
    According to Lufthansa's carry-on policies, the weight limit is 8kg, which is roughly 18lbs.

    Here is Continental's carry-on policies.
    It gives the dimensions but not the weight, unless I missed it.

    Thanks for the link.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millyskate View Post
    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.
    Once I had seen a passenger at San Francisco airport being charged for a carry on that was too heavy. That was a few years ago.

    With the new regulations it's hard to tell what they are doing these days. May be they are required to weigh? The real problem as I see it is the discrepancy in weight- 40 lbs vs 18 lbs. Why can't there be international agreements on the size/weight etc.? I have heard it's different for different airline alliances. For example, Delta and Air France don't charge for the second checked bag (when traveling internationally), but the Star alliance (Lufthansa, United, Austrian, etc. are a part of this) airlines charge a lot.

    I wish Southwest airline would fly abroad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    It gives the dimensions but not the weight, unless I missed it.

    Thanks for the link.
    "A piece of hand luggage may not be larger than 55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm and may not weigh more than 8 kg."

    From the Lufthansa link.

    ETA: Oops, just realized you probably meant the Continental link. I don't see it there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millyskate View Post
    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.
    I've never had my carry-on(s) weighed, and I'm sure they're usually over the limit because I often travel with a lot of camera and computer equipment too. Most of the traveling I do is within Canada, or Canada-USA.

    I always just try to make it look like I'm not struggling to lift the bags.

    I believe with Air Canada and WestJet the carry-on weight limit is about 22lbs. The odd time I take a carry-on suitcase, I'm always amazed at how much stuff you can actually fit within that limit. I can't believe there are carry-on limits of 40lbs! On WestJet you get charged if your checked bag is over 50lbs. And my suitcase that holds 50lbs worth of stuff is huge.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by luna_skater View Post
    I've never had my carry-on(s) weighed, and I'm sure they're usually over the limit because I often travel with a lot of camera and computer equipment too. Most of the traveling I do is within Canada, or Canada-USA.

    I always just try to make it look like I'm not struggling to lift the bags.
    I should start lifting some weights to make it look easy

    OOPS! Not enough time....I am leaving Nov.9th.

    Somehow I have a feeling that on the way back Austrian airline will weigh everyone's carry on.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by millyskate View Post
    For the carry-on in Europe, it's often between 10-12 kilos, but they never weigh it. 10-12 kilos is pretty generous anyway.
    The problem comes with the check-in bags...
    It depends on the airline...the cheaper airlines only allow 8-10kgs and they weigh them every single time and charge a fortune for even a gram over

    I also fly around Europe a lot and while Easyjet don't weigh carry ons (or even impose a limit), others most definitely do. I've had my carry on weighed more often than not.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by *Jen* View Post
    It depends on the airline...the cheaper airlines only allow 8-10kgs and they weigh them every single time and charge a fortune for even a gram over

    I also fly around Europe a lot and while Easyjet don't weigh carry ons (or even impose a limit), others most definitely do. I've had my carry on weighed more often than not.
    Lufthansa and Austrian can hardly be considered 'cheaper airlines' and they are the ones limiting the carry on to 8 kg (18 lbs)!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I am really fed up with United and Continental airlines. Their websites don't tell me what is the baggage allowance for carry on. They only tell the charges for 1st & second bag, and don't mention the carry on allowance at all.

    I am flying Continental (but operated by United) within the USA and on to Euorpe, connecting with Lufthansa in Frankfurt to go to Asia. Lufthansa allows just 18 lbs for the carry on. I am supposed to follow the baggage limits for Continental, which is 40 lbs, but the allowances are so different that I am worried that I may be told something else at the airport. I no longer trust the airlines when their website says to follow the baggage allowance for the first airline you board. I don't want to end up paying just because I exceeded 18 lbs (which is an outrageously low allowance, IMO)
    LH
    http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Lufthansa/baggage.php

    Continental
    http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Con...es/baggage.php

    United
    http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Uni...es/baggage.php

    This has carry on info and more.

    If you have any questions after you read all the details, let me know. I’ll check this email later on this evening.

    Allow me to say one thing…. You are flying a very long distance, on a rather expensive trip (even if you plan to stay “economy”). The worst thing that can happen if you miscalculate your luggage situation are few payments amounting to no more than 200 USD, maybe 300 USD.

    At the same time, sounds like you’ve spent many hours on the telephone to figure out how to hypothetically avoid paying extra few hundred dollars. Why not use the time you spent researching the luggage fee to perhaps work over-time or extra time/day and make maybe 2x or 3x more money than the amount you’d save in extra luggage fees?

    Consider the time it will take you to figure out how to “save money”, compare it to how you can use it to work more or do something to “make money”. In some cases the 2nd choice gives you more returns and not just in actual dollar amount.

  15. #15
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    Funny this question is asked now - just last week I was on a flight and for the first time that I've seen, they were weighing carry on bags.

    An announcement was made at the gate that because the flight was full, they were weighing carry on. Then, they called a whole bunch of passengers up by name in several groups and weighed their bags, insisting that some be gate checked. From what we could tell, they were all people who had not checked any bags - we did, and didn't get called up.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori
    Allow me to say one thing…. You are flying a very long distance, on a rather expensive trip (even if you plan to stay “economy”). The worst thing that can happen if you miscalculate your luggage situation are few payments amounting to no more than 200 USD, maybe 300 USD.

    At the same time, sounds like you’ve spent many hours on the telephone to figure out how to hypothetically avoid paying extra few hundred dollars. Why not use the time you spent researching the luggage fee to perhaps work over-time or extra time/day and make maybe 2x or 3x more money than the amount you’d save in extra luggage fees?

    Consider the time it will take you to figure out how to “save money”, compare it to how you can use it to work more or do something to “make money”. In some cases the 2nd choice gives you more returns and not just in actual dollar amount.
    Even if Vash did work overtime, why should she give her hard-earned money to the Airlines over something so trivial and useless?

    Maybe she wants to spend the day at the spa or have a wonderful meal with friends or sip lattes all day long at an Internet cafe with that hard-earned money instead of just handing it over to some airline with bad customer service.

    Your suggestion is ridiculous.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    LH
    http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Lufthansa/baggage.php

    Continental
    http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Con...es/baggage.php

    United
    http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Uni...es/baggage.php

    This has carry on info and more.

    If you have any questions after you read all the details, let me know. I’ll check this email later on this evening.

    Allow me to say one thing…. You are flying a very long distance, on a rather expensive trip (even if you plan to stay “economy”). The worst thing that can happen if you miscalculate your luggage situation are few payments amounting to no more than 200 USD, maybe 300 USD.

    At the same time, sounds like you’ve spent many hours on the telephone to figure out how to hypothetically avoid paying extra few hundred dollars. Why not use the time you spent researching the luggage fee to perhaps work over-time or extra time/day and make maybe 2x or 3x more money than the amount you’d save in extra luggage fees?

    Consider the time it will take you to figure out how to “save money”, compare it to how you can use it to work more or do something to “make money”. In some cases the 2nd choice gives you more returns and not just in actual dollar amount.
    You are kidding, right? I work for a salary. I don't get paid by the hour- there is no OT pay. I would get paid the same whether I work 40 hours or 400 hours in a week. I don't believe in wasting money either. At least I try to manage my money well. If an airline is going to charge me around $15 for every extra kg, that could add up to a lot....$200-$300 is a lot of money to me. May be it's pocket change for you.

    As I mentioned in my OP, I had already spent time on their websites, AND did not find the information for my specific situation. I have spent time on the phone, but I was multitasking. I was working on my computer while I was kept on hold (at one time it was a 50 minute wait time!- that's United airlines; the European airlines were relatively easy to reach, and I already know their baggage allowances. Perhaps you should read my post again. The doubt is really about the point of origination, which means Continental and United.

    I like to anticipate problems and have solutions ready, just in case. That's why asked those who had experience with similar situations & these airlines. May be if I had disposable income, I would not do that, but it is what it is.
    Last edited by Vash01; 11-07-2011 at 09:29 PM.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by millyskate View Post
    Has anyone's carry-on ever been weighed?
    I've seen Delta weigh other passengers' bags, although the only place I've ever seen them doing it is at the check-in counter. Anyone who would have checked in on-line could have gotten away with it though.

  19. #19
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    Vash,

    I work at a travel agency and was just able to use my special Magical Travel Agent Sekret Phone Numbers and Continental said the carry-on limit is 40lbs for both US domestic and international flights.

    I was going to look into this earlier when I posted, but ended up getting a bit swamped.

  20. #20
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    http://thetravelinsider.info/travela...allowances.htm

    See if that helps you.

    What I would tell you is if you go outside the guidelines just be prepared to pay extra and if you get away with it just consider yourself lucky. You have no way of knowing at this stage how full your flights are, how much luggage will be checked, all the things that determine how strict or lax they will be about baggage.

    Personally I find 40lbs VERY generous for carryon. If the flights I took allowed everyone to bring that much carry-on they would run out of room for all the passengers carry-on. That's more a first class/business class allowance on the flights I take.
    Tessa and Scott: Thank you

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