Baggage Claim: Checking Bags During Travel

Baggage Claim: Checking Bags During TravelWhen I travel, I always try to get all my belongings in a carryon. I HATE checking luggage. I really hate checking luggage when I fly anyone besides Southwest. They are the only airlines where bags fly free. (The first two bags fly free, and each bag must be 50 pounds or lighter.) Delta offers you your first bag free if you buy the plane ticket(s) with their Delta SkyMiles credit card. I’m sure other airlines offer the same, but since I’m writing this on a Delta flight, makes sense I know their protocol.

When you fly, you are allowed one carry-on and one personal item. For me, that tends to be a piece of luggage and my laptop bag. (I need a new laptop bag now that I think of it.) Most women will carry a piece of luggage and a purse. I suppose if you pack right, a purse could contain more than a laptop bag.

Tips from an Expert

Like I said, I am writing this on a flight. In the back of the in-flight magazine there is a section called 30,000 Feet In-flight Information, and in this particular issue we hear from Karen Terry, a flight attendant based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Here is what she recommends you bring in your carry-on luggage on your next flight.

  1. Make sure you only take one bag and one personal item onboard. The largest bag allowed in the cabin that will fit overhead bins is 22-by-14-by-9 inches. (Take note of that size requirement for your next trip.)
  2. Board only when your zone is called so the flight attendants can get everyone seated quickly as possible. (The more luggage you bring on board and the larger bags that must be checked at the gate, will take time and require a longer time boarding.)
  3. When placing bags in the overhead bins, make sure they go in wheels first or handle first so that the bin will close properly.
  4. Make sure to mark your bags in several places. (inside and out) If your bag is left on board, or if the airline has to check your bag, it will allow for a much faster retrieval process. (I mark my bag on the back… Maybe I should consider marking the inside as well.
  5. Place anything you will need during the flight in the bag that goes under your seat. That will allow you easy access during the flight. (My laptop bag always goes under the seat since my headphones, a book or two, and my iPad are always inside. That’s all the in-flight entertainment I need.)

Hopefully all this will help you pack smarter the next time you fly. Like I said, I rarely check a bag (usually it’s my golf clubs when I do actually check one) and always try to fend from a carry-on. Heck, I lived in Europe for three months out of a carry-on. Makes going through customs a breeze too, when flying international.

Do you check a bag when you travel?