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Alitalia baggage restrictions

Missouri
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Alitalia baggage restrictions

I've done a search, but seen nothing very recent or which really answered, so I thought I'd try a post.

We're flying American Airlines to Rome in April, then after a week plan on taking an Alitalia Flight to Brussels for a short visit. We'll catch a train to Paris, then home. As you can tell, the Alitalia flight is the problem.

It's a good flight and the price is right. However, I'm worried about the carry-on restrictions. My husband had planned on taking his laptop, using the extra space for his undies, toothbrush, etc. He also uses a CPAP machine and after two weeks of phone calls, I have confirmation he can carry it on too. I was planning on a small carry-on for my meds, toiletries, a change of clothes, etc. and my purse. FWIW, I take a LOT of meds and they'll take up quite a bit of space, although they aren't all that heavy, but they'll have some weight to them. I was told by the last agent I talked to at Alitalia they allow a carry-on AND a "personal item". However, their website doesn't say that - it says a laptop is "hand luggage" and doesn't say anything about a "personal item" at all. We're planning on sharing a moderate sized suitcase for clothing.

So...my worries/questions are this. 1) Will they really allow a "personal item" AND a carry-on? 2) Does the "personal item" also have to weigh less than 11 lbs?

The laptop without the case is about 5! I haven't weighed it case and all yet, but all those cables, etc. will weigh something. My carry-on bag is 4 1/2 empty, and while I can find a lighter bag, I thought maybe I could stuff all the meds, etc. in a largish purse and check the carry-on instead, since we otherwise only have one checked bag and we can have two, but that might make the purse too heavy. - Let me qualify that by saying I DOUBT it would. 11 lbs is really quite a bit of weight. But I want to be safe here.

PLEASE - Don't tell me to pack lighter. We've never flown internationally and we're doing the best we can. I WOULD appreciate some insite into what you DO make sure you have in your carry-on and wouldn't check in hold baggage. Med's are a given. Anything else?

I've heard worrisome things about Alitalia and lost luggage. But surely a little 2 hour hop to Brussels shouldn't be too big of a gamble? Right?

Does anyone know the answer?

Edited: 16 December 2009, 22:30
South Pole
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1. Re: Alitalia baggage restrictions

i think their carry on policy is quite clear.

alitalia.com/US_EN/…handluggage.htm

and any discussion with staff over the phone without any written confirmation of an additional allowance eg. personal item, might not hold water at the check in counter. so be sure that any additional hand baggage u carry has contents that u wont mind going into the hold and pack essentials/valuables into that u know u can take on board with you.

and despite your request not to, i will have to say "pack lighter". it really is possible. it is amazing how many things u think u absolutely need u can do without.

as for lost baggage, it can happen on the shortest direct flights. the experienced traveller tries never to pack anything in their checked in baggage they are not willing to lose.

Edited: 16 December 2009, 22:55
Bangkok
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2. Re: Alitalia baggage restrictions

Hi,

For the most part, your "odds" of a delayed or lost bag isn't substantially higher by taking a 'little' flight-- the process and the system your bag will undergo will be basically the same as any other international outbound bag.. So, what I'm saying is not to correlate your flying distance with overall probability of baggage irregularities.

Here's my two cents on the hand carry issue, Unless you can get a consensus opinion from AZ on the allowance, I'd try as much as you can to be in compliance with the standard posted on their website... Why? What I'm afraid of is to arrive at the airport, bags all packed and sealed-- THEN to find out the the hand carry allowance that they are enforcing is as posted on their website-- and not what was told to you on the phone by and agent who isn't there standing beside you..

Sure, you could argue it with the agent, but at that point you'll be somewhat at a competitive disadvantage.. In all my travels I'll say that it's still not very common to have an airline will do a *weight* check for carry-on bags.. What is substantially more common is a piece and/or size check.

Most all airlines I know regard 'laptops' (and other such items)- and the bag that they come in to be a carry-on item and usually count against your piece/size/weight allowance.. A "personal item" is usually a purse, shoulder bag, standard sized briefcase or similar.

Here's what I'd do to help minimize your hand-carry weight.. Can you split your medications so that you carry a limited supply with you and the balance in your checked bags? That way, in the off chance your bags are delayed, you're not "without" in terms of your critical meds.. As you mention, one set of clothing is a good idea as well.

Travel Safe,

San Diego
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3. Re: Alitalia baggage restrictions

I've flown on Alitalia and most of the women carried purses. Some also carried another small bag or shopping bag and that was fine. I don't know about the special machine you mentioned.

I wonder though if doing all this flying around in Europe is the best way to spend your first trip abroad??? It just sounds more complicated than necessary!

Missouri
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4. Re: Alitalia baggage restrictions

lien, while I appreciate you just really needed to ignore my plea, it would have been more helpful if you gave me some tips on what I can't live without or what you would choose to take. As I said, we aren't taking that much. I've gone thru the whole Rick Steve's packing list things and really, I'd say I'm taking less. We're relying on the fact that both apartments we've rented have washing machines. One small suitcase for the two of us. While I think the laptop is something we could live without, I also see my husband's point that we will be able to use it to find places we want to go and look up places for reservations, etc., as well as do bank transfers, etc. and he was using it for his carry-on. I'm quite sure my meds, etc., need to go in the carry-on and a change of clothes or at least undies.

GOPBI, your fear is mine, that I'll get there and have to check something I didn't want to. The meds are annoying. I've heard that I need to have them in the original containers from the pharmacy and it would be much simpler if I didn't have to do that. I don't need a container big enough for a 90 day supply for two weeks worth of pills. Is there anything else I can do I wonder?

Riffsmom, I didn't think we were doing "all this flying around" in Europe. The trip is a week in Rome and a week in Paris. We are flying to Rome, spending seven days there. Then we have to get to Paris. Instead of flying to Paris directly from Rome, (which we found to be cheaper and faster than the train) we're flying to Belgium to spend a couple days with a relative and then taking the train to Paris, (it's only an hour twenty minutes) where we'll spend the remaining six days. So in the end, we're not flying any more than necessary and adding only one short train ride.

I do appreciate any ideas or tips. Thanks.

South Pole
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5. Re: Alitalia baggage restrictions

Lilion, i can do a 3 month round the world trip with 20kg (44lbs) checked in luggage and a small back pack (up to 7 kg) which contains my travel docos, my meds (3 types), a camera with spare cards and batteries, mobile phones/charger, a change of underwear, another set of specs, hand cleaner, some writing material and a couple of books. i could even put my netbook in there but find it less of a hassle to travel without a computer. and i carry a jacket in case it's cold on the plane.

and even then about a third of the checked in stuff doesn't usually come out of the bag.

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Alitalia baggage restrictions

Lilion:

If you have only one small suitcase for the two of you, then I think you are packing too light. Have one small suitcase *each*, and I think you will find the problem goes away.

My wife and I travel with each having a 22-inch case weighing around 20 kg plus a carry-on. One carry-on has the laptop and medications, the other has the cameras. Both also have a few books or MP3 player for the plane journey, and a change of underclothes.

Mesa, Arizona
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7. Re: Alitalia baggage restrictions

Lilion, take your meds to your pharmacy (assume you got all at same pharm.) and ask them to repackage enough for your trip into smaller bottles. NEVER, EVER pack meds in your luggage.

To the person who asked about "that machine". a CPAP is a machine that is used at night (while sleeping) if one has sleep apnea. It supplies a constant/steady supply of air pressure.

Missouri
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8. Re: Alitalia baggage restrictions

lien, that was more what I was needing to hear. Thanks.

SydneyNick - I hadn't even thought about just taking a second checked bag. Like I said, we've never traveled internationally and in fact our only flight as a couple was 5 days in Las Vegas and we shared a suitcase and carryon and even then I overpacked. Our luggage is a fairly cheap set of wheeled luggage (but sturdy enough to make it through) that nests inside each other when empty. The largest is well under a meter in length (33 or 34 inches - including the wheels and handle) and we figured less is better. But that was before the carry-on restrictions. Even American Airlines, who we're flying to and from Europe, have an 18 lb. limit for the total of your carry-on and personal item. I think I need to just gather up everything and see what fits where, even if the clothes taken will be different. Perhaps I'll invest in a scale. Cheaper than the overweight baggage fees would be.

Karen, that had occured to me but I wasn't sure what the pharmacy had. I suppose that's a question I need to ask them pretty soon.

Thanks!

Illinois
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9. Re: Alitalia baggage restrictions

I would take in your carry on your meds, your travel documents, your cpap, and your camera. If you are flying on a night flight, you may not need much to do on the plane, as I would recommend trying to sleep. You can get a laptop backpack to carry the laptop. I have one that I got at Best Buy made by Swiss Gear. I can fit the laptop, power cord, ipod, camera, chargers, all my medications (of which I have quite a few as many of them are taken as needed for migraines and I never know how many I will need), and a book and a Kindle. It is fairly heavy when fully loaded, but gets lighter without the book. I haven't weighed it though. It fits a lot more than my regular laptop case and is easier to carry through the airport. I bring a small purse as I usually fly on American, but I'm sure I could fit it in the backpack if I tried.

My mother brings her cpap (separately), a backpack (mostly empty) with a book and her medications in it, and her purse. If needed, she could put the cpap (in its case) in the back pack and her purse in the backpack. It is one of those backpacks that they sell for school kids. I think it is the JanSport The Big One or something like that, they sell it on ebags (and in most stores around here).

The only thing I haven't really figured out a good way to carry on (unless I don't have the dumb laptop) is food, as neither my daughter or I like airplane food much. Last time I made her carry the food since I was carrying the laptop. I think your laptop weighs less than ours, though. If you are staying at places with computer access, you may not need the laptop (I wouldn't have brought it last time except daughter needed it for school work when missing school).

When I went to France with my mother, sister, and daughter (12 year old) for 2 weeks, we each had a 22 inch rolling suitcase which we checked. This was fine for all of us. My mother had some trouble carrying hers up stairs, but she has trouble with stairs anyway. My daughter carried hers all over France and London, on and off planes, metro, tube, and trains. My sister and I could carry 2 of them upstairs if needed. I think you would be fine with a 22 inch suitcase each. Remember you need some extra room if you are planning to buy anything.

Brussels
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10. Re: Alitalia baggage restrictions

Hi Lilion, i'm used to flying with Alitalia, and although they lost my bags once or twice over the years, I can say that losing your luggage on a direct flight is extremely unlikely. What I suggest is bring a rucksack or small suitcase with what you need onboard and what you absolutely mustn't lose, putting the rest in the hold. Living in Brussels I can tell you that there shouldn't be any delay of it arriving at the airport. Also, they never checked my hand luggage size or weight, and you can (of course?) bring personal items on board in addition to your allowance of hand luggage - this isnt a low costs airline we're talking about. With that in mind, I wish you a great trip!