It seems that Ryanair is fast approaching the point where you will only be welcome to travel with them if you carry just one spare set of underwear but at least they currently have fairly okay cabin baggage allowances (except if you happen to board in an airport where Servisair are checking you in and then they'll practically take out a tape measure to ensure that everything is just so, not a millimeter or gram more or less than the stipulated weights or dimensions!). However some of the more traditional airlines stipulate 5/6kg for hand luggage - which is fine if you are bringing a suitcase as well but if, like me, you want to avoid baggage check-in like an unwanted STD, then you'll only be bringing hand luggage.
Now I specifically bought one of those tiny hand luggage suitcases with a voucher I got for Christmas and when I say tiny, I mean tiny. It was chosen because it says on the label that it conforms to most airline dimension requirements for hand luggage. Working out the dimensions does my head in so I hope the label is right. Anyway, I doubted if I could manage to fit enough clothes in to cover a four night trip but I decided to try yesterday - and I did it! I managed to squeeze the suit, the requisite number of Bridget Jones knickers, some casual wear and a pair of shoes into the thing - in fact I turned it into a veritable tardus! Fantastic!! I had been very careful with the toiletries, packing the bare minimum as I reckon they usually add a fair bit of weight, but despite being very careful the thing still weighs between 9 and 10kg (had to use my bathroom scales so can't be 100% accurate).
Now under 10kg would be fine if I was travelling all the way with Ryanair / Air France or American Airlines but seeing as I have to fly with more than one operator, one of them being British Airways I could be in trouble. My question is how do you pack lightly enough to ensure that your teeny tiny hand luggage bag weighs less than 6kg and still manage to have enough clean clothes for a four night trip???? Answers on a postcard please... I mean the case itself weighs a good percentage of 5kg. So if anyone has the perfect solution as to exactly how little you need bring to be able to bring it as hand luggage please share your secrets.
Out of interest the following are the allowances for a standard economy trip (might be going on business but the company don't fly me business class!!) with various airlines:
- British Airways 5/6kg (plus any big duty-free bags etc will also count)
- Aer Lingus 6kg
- Cityject 7kg
- British Midlands 7kg + laptop
- Finnair 8kg
- Ryanair 10kg
- Air France 12kg -
- American Airlines 18kg - the winner!