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Know the Carry on Luggage Rules and Have an Easier Flight

Jul 15, 2008
These days, airline travel is more complicated than ever. There are new size restrictions, new security requirements, and new rules about what may or may not be allowed in your carry on luggage. Although these rules can often seem like a pain, the restrictions and regulations are in place to protect travelers.

Be Aware of the Rules

This is not always easy and things seem to change from week to week which causes more and more confusion for the traveler. However, turning up at the airport and pleading ignorance is absolutely no excuse and you will no longer get away with it. By far the best way to avoid any bother at the airport as far as your luggage is concerned is to make sure you know and understand the rules before setting off on your journey.

A good way to educate yourself about the latest carry on luggage rules is to go to the website of the particular airport that you will be flying out of. Although all American airports share the same overarching set of rules, some tend to interpret the carry on luggage rules differently.

The carry on luggage rules are even more complicated on an international flight. International flights tend to be under stricter security regulations and may be subject in part to the laws and rules of the country that you are flying into. On your return journey, you will again need to be aware of the laws and rules of the airport you are leaving from.

Some of the various rules appear to be more of a request than a stipulation. For instance, you may be asked to bring the smallest piece of luggage you are traveling with onto the aircraft as carry on luggage. You are, however, allowed to take a piece of hand luggage onto the aircraft up to the maximum size and weight if you so wish.

In the same way, the Transportation Security Administration advises that you should stow away any electronic gear in your checked baggage, although it is permissible to carry them in your hand luggage.

Avoid the Headache

We have all seen the passenger who refuses to comply with the carry on luggage rules and tries to bring a larger bag or refuses to put something in their checked luggage. Avoid being that person by educating yourself about the carry on luggage rules before you get to the airport. Also remember that the airline and TSA personnel are only doing their jobs; arguing with them won't get them to change their minds.

Your trip will be faster, smoother and safer if you just take the time to check the current restrictions on your carry on luggage.
About the Author
Pat Lowe is a frequent flyer and knows the ins and outs of luggage . You can read more about baggage at The Luggage Carousel at http://yourluggageonline.com/.
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