Gareth Huw Davies

Travel Blog

Could passengers make more use of cabin baggage?

Hmmm, still plenty of room

This isn’t meant to sound superior, and how can when  it’s about doing  less –  as in we are actually taking less with us?

But I,  and the immediate family,  generally only fly with cabin baggage these days. And that applies to at least some long-haul trips as well

For a holiday of several weeks in Turkey, for example, it’s very easy to assemble  sufficient hot weather things – and what’s wrong with  helping the local economy  and buying extra light clothing out there? – and still have room for the battery chargers and even a small computer for Skype  video calls  to back home.

Books used to be a problem,  but my wife now has a  Kindle  and  it will be be interesting to see how she packs half the contents of the British library  onto that for this summer’s trip.

We manage one  cabin-friendly suitcase each without difficulty for European visits too (they are all short trips anyway),  and it was the same, with a close eye on the weight limit this time,  for a six-day  hop over to the USA earlier this year.   And  we certainly had  a choice of smart clothing, and shoes, out there.

Now we can check-in online, having hand baggage only means we never have to  join a check-in queue again  (at least in the UK).  With so little changing in the rest of the flying experience, this has to be the biggest improvement in  aviation for years. And  isn’t  this good for the environment too,  by reducing  the plane’s payload?

So I was interested  to see the results of a poll by  indicating that a big minority of British travellers are not making the most of their hand luggage.

It seems 28% (of those polled)  have little or no idea of their hand luggage allowance, and run the risk of paying extra or having to repack at the check-in desk.

Added to this, more than one in 10 Brits are out of touch with what is and isn’t allowed in their carry-on bag, with 12% saying they aren’t sure of the current restrictions.

Anthony Clarke Cowell, head of product innovation and merchandising at, said: “With many airlines charging for checking in hold baggage now, taking a well-packed carry-on bag is becoming more and more important.

“But nobody wants to be the one holding up the queue with their belongings spread across check-in, so it’s well worth checking with your airline before you pack.”

To help people make the most of your hand luggage before jetting off on the summer holiday, gives these tips:

  • Check allowances on your airline’s website in good time – including number of carry-on bags allowed, size of bags and weight limit
  • Buy a soft, lightweight bag within the correct dimensions
  • Only take what you really need – buy some items at your destination
  • Buy travel-sized items where available
  • Pack liquids in hold baggage whenever possible; containers in hand luggage must hold no more than 100ml and must be carried in a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag, which holds no more than one litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm
  • Download electronic versions of guidebooks and novels onto one device if possible
  • Roll any clothing rather than folding polled 3,017 customers during May 2011.

72% of customers check the size and weight of their carry-on baggage.

88% of customers claim to be aware of the restrictions on hand luggage.