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Backpacks as carry-ons

Toronto
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Backpacks as carry-ons

Hi,

For our trip to Peru we would like to take our backpacks as carry-ons on the plane in order to avoid any lost luggage or delay which could cause some problems for our scheduled trips (mainly because of our trekking equipment). As we have only light hiking gear I am not worried about the airlines' weight allowance. I am concerned about the size of the backpack and whether or not the airline will accept it on board. (We will also have one checked luggage with the trekking poles and other items that cannot be taken on board but which could be replaced if needed.) I should also mention that we will be flying with Air Canada and LAN Peru.

Does anybody have any input on this?

Thank you.

MaineUSA
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835 posts
129 reviews
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1. Re: Backpacks as carry-ons

I think most airlines, and it was the case with LAN in Lima, have a measuring device near the check in counter. If your carry on fits within the parameters then it's OK. I suspect that the backpack would need to be of small to medium size.

That being said, I didn't see a lot of enforcement going on and the usual assortment of large carry ons made their way into the overheads.

Los Angeles
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829 posts
18 reviews
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2. Re: Backpacks as carry-ons

Be extra careful with LAN. If you're flying in economy/coach class then they only allow 8kg for your carry on. That's roughly 17lbs and they will actually weigh your carry on bags!!! Their littlze sizer things at the gates have scales built into them too. We recently took eight flights with them and were weighed twice. Once they forced us to check our carry ons and the other time, their scale must have been broken because it put us each at just over 7kg when I know the bags were closer to 9kg so we got lucky there.

A couple key things to remember with LAN:

Keep your carry-on on the floor behind the counter when checking in, not in the view of the agent. We had small backpacks on and just showed them and said we had carry on only and that got us by a couple times without being weighed.

In Cuzco, they had a woman going through the line weighing bags before you got to the counter and putting tags on ones that were approved to carry-on. Not much you can do to avoid that if you are checking in international and still need a boarding pass. Whenever possible, get your boarding passes in advance to avoid the counter all together.

When in the gate area, stay away from the gate until after boarding starts. They actually have agents walking around trolling for bags that could weigh too much. They will actually approach you while you're sitting there waiting for the flight just to weigh and measure your bag!! We just stayed in the bar until we saw our flights boarding.

Happy travels!

Edited: 17 May 2012, 04:38
Canberra
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565 posts
35 reviews
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3. Re: Backpacks as carry-ons

At the risk of being flamed, I find it really annoying to have passengers (usually around me worst luck) who have oversized and overweight carryon and who then fill up all the available space with their stuff. My mantra is play by the rules - if it's too big, do the right thing and check it. I know it can be inconvenient but thems is the rules. If it is within size range by all means carry it on.

Edited: 17 May 2012, 07:02
Holland
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99 posts
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4. Re: Backpacks as carry-ons

We flew with LAN last ear. They weighed our carry-ons and we were over 8 kg (around 11 kg). We took out some stuff in front of the counter and got the tag. Away from the counter we just put it back and were OK. Cheating? Sure, but we liked our stuff too much to throw it out!

Canberra
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565 posts
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5. Re: Backpacks as carry-ons

I can cope with weight - it would be on any way but it is the size which really gets up my nose when i cannot fit my stuff in the overhead storage because someone else has taken up all the room with their oversize bags. I don't say anything - much too genteel (ha) but I do fume inwardly. Cheat if you will but I always live in hope... Why don't people just check their bags in if they are large?

Lima, Peru
Destination Expert
for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
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18,524 posts
509 reviews
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6. Re: Backpacks as carry-ons

A travelling back pack will not be allowed as carry on as it exceeds size and most probably the 8 kg weight allowance.

It will also bring you many problems when going through security.

Bicester, United...
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7. Re: Backpacks as carry-ons

We travel with 35lt daypacks as carry on luggage. Mine is normally fine for size,husband's has to be pulled down tight to fit in regulation size.

Yorktown, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Machu Picchu
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8. Re: Backpacks as carry-ons

The size & weight are the measurements to keep in mind.

Small backpacks will do as carry-ons -- but bigger ones do not fit the measurement standards & need to be checked.

And, Love_the_life, I will not flame you. I am in total agreement. The last flight I was on (domestic U.S., Delta), probably 75% of the carry-ons were oversized and/or wrong shape, or too many per person (some had 3 or more). A big duffel bag that is too long to go straight into the overhead bin (has to go sideways) is just wrong, IMO. Domestic U.S. airlines have gotten very lax about carry-on luggage sizes, but international airlines are a different matter.

We flew AA/LAN from Washington, DC, via Miami, to Lima. All our luggage was there when we arrived. However, after having missing luggage for hiking trips to both Italy & France, I now *wear* my hiking clothes & hiking BOOTS, plus carry on the absolute essentials in a daypack & small tote, so that I could manage if my luggage didn't arrive at all.

Toronto
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9. Re: Backpacks as carry-ons

Thank you everyone for your input.

Love_the_life, I agree with you. Oversized luggage needs to be checked in. I was thinking about a smaller backpack.

Readhead_47, we already decided to wear out hiking clothes (boots included) on our flight to Peru and have all the essentials with us on the plane. We may have to rething the backpack issue.

I am mainly concerned about our flight to Lima. Even though it is a direct flight mistakes can happen and it is not unheard about luggage left behind at the point of departure; the next Air Canada flight out of Toronto is three days later so that won't be good for us.

10. Re: Backpacks as carry-ons

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