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Caution: Think Twice About Checking Your Backpack

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Wily, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the post Wily :)

    Just to clarify what I was trying to put across in my replies – And Especially my follow up ones, is that now I am aware of the problems that, particularly American Pilgrims are experiencing with lost and delayed bags (Most of the recent experiences of pilgrims heading to / from Camino’s that have replied have encountered their problems on the way from / back to America)

    I am much more inclined to agree with you, that Where Possible, to take your rucksack onboard the plane with you as cabin baggage and to only check in (Hold Luggage) your less essential / less cherished possessions and ones that can be replaced more easily just in case they go missing en-route.



    However, at the same time, I would like to make pilgrims aware that many European airlines, particularly the budget operators like Ryan Air and easyJet appear to be a lot stricter than US carriers about enforcing the rules on what sized cabin baggage is allowed – And therefore trying to make, Particularly US Pilgrims aware that, it they are transiting from an international carrier to a budget one, then want might have been acceptable as cabin baggage by one carrier, might not be accepted by the next, so that they can pack accordingly.



    Best Regards

    Rob
     
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  2. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Update: got a call from JEtBlue while packing at 6:30 last night. They changed our flight times to Boston to 6 hours earlier, which made it impossible with my train connection. They refuse to refund since it's not a DELAY, so I've driven half the night and will be leaving car in Philly for the 16 days....should we actually make it to Porto. I guess that answers the question about whether things are getting worse here.
     
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  3. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    Well it seems to me, like Wily, that losing luggage is all part of the wonderful flying experience :) . It's only happened me three times over about 30 years of flying so that's not so bad. Once was flying Vienna to Dublin via Heathrow, the next time was Durban to Brussels via Johannesburg and this year flying back to Dublin from Orland via JFK. This year was simply down to storms all along the east coast. We made our connecting flight (just and only because it had been delayed). On arriving back in Dublin we reported the missing luggage to the Delta agents and went home (no problem exiting the airport). It took a couple of days for our luggage to catch up though. On each occasion it happened on a return flight so I have been relatively lucky overall.

    I remember meeting a colleague from Newcastle at a conference in Vienna who had flown from Newcastle to Vienna via Heathrow. He was giving a talk at the conference but when he went to the baggage claim in Vienna all he found was the handle of his case with the address label on it. His suit and prepared talk were in the case. I have to say the talk he gave off the cuff was pretty entertaining and engaging and the case handle was an excellent prop.

    I think on direct flights anywhere you are less likely to lose you bags.

    One of the great things about flying out of Dublin (or Shannon) to the States is that you are pre-cleared through customs and border control so when you arrive in the US you are treated just like a domestic arrival. Having experienced the arrival hall in Miami on a flight from CDG I am glad that we have the pre-clearance here. I think some of the airlines add a "premium" for flying out of Ireland but for me it is worth it.

    Don't know if any of this helps but essentially I think that you are better bringing essentials in the cabin where possible.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  4. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree with Rob here. Ryanair have made flying in Europe accessible to everyone. They are truly a no frills airline and you can fly almost anywhere in Europe for ridiculously low fares, sometimes less than €10. BUT and it is a big but, everything, and I mean everything, is extra. If you want to pick your seat, you pay extra. If you want to check in at the airport rather than online, you pay a huge amount extra, often times more than the cost of the flight itself. And as Bob says they really got to town on hand luggage. They have staff at the boarding gate who will strictly enforce the hand luggage rules and if your bag doesn't fit it will be put in the hold. You will pay a lot for the pleasure of carrying your bag to the plane and then having the staff place it in the hold. So please make sure your bag meets their carry-on specifications.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  5. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    This sounds terrible and I Really Hope that you get some well deserved Good Luck soon :)

    My thoughts are with you as you “Cross the Pond”

    Buen Camino – When you eventually get there

    Rob
     
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  6. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey C4S - Although I've never flowen JetBlue, you may have convinced me to keep them off my list! With every airline that I've taken, when such a schedule change has occurred, I've been given the option to cancel my reservation and get a full refund. I, too, would find the new arrangements less than acceptable! I have to wonder if this is standard operating procedure with the discount airlines. With all the add-on fees, and potential problems such as this, it seems like the flying consummer will just have to decide whether it's worth it or not to fly the discount carriers if there's a reasonable alternative. I know for me that out of Montreal, I could fly AirTransat to Europe. However, the small price saving doesn't make it worth it when you consider the big picture.

    You will make it to Porto and I'm confident that you will have a great Caminho!
     
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  7. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Rob - Absolutely agree! Folks have to be aware that when transitioning from an international carrier to a discount one that a whole different set of rules may apply. Some of these same issues apply when traveling by discount carrier here in the States. Allegheny flies out of our area and often has great low fares to Florida which attracts lots of people from here and Canada. But, those restrictions on luggage, particularly in the cabin, and extra fees from this and that, sound to be the same that you experience on a carrier like Ryan Air. There appears to be a whole new configuation regarding the nature of air travel these days with the flying consumer sometimes benefiting, sometimes not. Buen Camino!
     
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  8. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    And just to add to the pot:-

    Ryanair announced this morning that customers will have to pay £5/€5 for priority boarding from 1 November if they want to carry a wheelie bag on board (i.e. your normal 1o kg bag which will probably mean the backpack too). Priority boarders will still be able to carry on two bags, but all other passengers will be allowed to take only one smaller bag (i.e. ladies purse or laptop bag) on board the aircraft. A second, larger, wheelie bag will have to be placed in the hold free of charge at the boarding gate, to be collected at baggage reclaim on arrival.

    Ryanair say they are also lowering checked bag fees and increasing the weight allowance to encourage more customers to check in luggage.

    Here's a link to the story in the Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/busines...priority-boarding-carry-on-bags-cabin-luggage

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  9. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting the info Greg – I aren’t going to “Like” the post (but still wanted to thank you for taking the time to make the post) as it’s going to make life even harder / more expensive for everyone, Including Pilgrims



    Oh Hum

    Rob
     
  10. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Don't think many will "like" it Rob. As you say it's certainly going to make life more difficult for everyone. But if packs have to go into holds a lot more people are going to need those pack protectors you told us about! Otherwise there's going to be a lot of webbing getting caught in luggage belts.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  11. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Good Point about Rucksack Pro-Tector’s Greg – You can tell I aren’t really a business man as that angle hadn’t crossed my mind :)

    It’s a Ill Wind that doesn’t blow someone a little bit of good !!
     
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  12. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi C4S

    That is truly disgraceful. I know in Europe we have pretty good regulations about flight delays but not so sure what happens if they bring your flight forward by that much. Pretty shabby performance by Jetblue...but that's what Tripadvisor and FB are for eh?

    Earlier this year we flew with Delta to Florida via Atlanta. They made a small change to our flight schedule but offered us the option of a refund or change in flight so no complaints.

    Hope the rest of your trip goes more smoothly.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  13. calowie

    calowie Active Member

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    Greg and others- last year I flew from Carcassonne in France to Porto with Ryan Air to start the caminho. The flight was 20 euros. To reduce costs I had to print the boarding passes and decide whether or not to check my pack. The cost was 20, with the threat that if I took the pack as carry on and it was too big, the cost to check it at the gate would be 50 euros. So I paid the 20 ahead of time, took a small string backpack to carry my electronics and important things, and then tried to fit my 36L osprey pack into their measuring bin. To my surprise it did fit in, with a little persuasion. So it can be done but I did not want to take the risk. On a short 2 hour flight I did not need to buy any of the add ons but the staff sure made a killing selling perfume. And because it was a direct flight I was less worried about the pack arriving, although I was concerned!
     
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  14. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know if you read Greg’s post above calowie, but it looks like even if your 36litre rucksack did fit in the measuring frame on your last Camino, that next time you take it on Ryan Air, it will be taken off you at the gate and put into the hold, and you will then have to collect it from the baggage claim area at the arrival airport



    Oh Hum

    Rob
     
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  15. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    C4S I hope that JetBlue was the only problem that you have on your trip. I'll avoid it if I never get a chance in the future.

    Buen Camino
     
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  16. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Unless you pay for priority boarding!
     
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  17. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hello All - My best connection to A Coruña to walk the Inglés in the spring is a Vueling flight out of London Heathrow. Just read all of their add-ons to a fare that wasn't all that cheap to begin with. Not excited! Anyone with experience either with this airline or this route to A Coruña? I'm a bit nervous now about these "discount" airlines. Thanks.
     
  18. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    I looked at Vueling but as their flight times didn’t suit me, I made alternative arrangements – Their cabin baggage policy is the same as Ryan Air’s https://www.vueling.com/en/vueling-services/prepare-your-trip/luggage/hand-luggage with a 40cm x 20cm x 55cm limit – So, depending on the exact dimensions of your rucksack, it could be touch and go as to whether you have to check it in – Or not !!



    I flew from London to start my own Camino Ingles (But started my own Camino from Ferrol)

    https://web.archive.org/web/20151031073518/http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/50192/bf/

    The first leg of the journey was with British Airways as far as Barcelona then with Iberia to Santiago de Compostela, so I don’t think you would have issues with your 35L rucksack as hand luggage if you also went with them – But they could be pricy.

    Another option, (assuming you are coming via London) would be easyJet from there direct to Santiago de Compostela as they have a marginally more generous cabin baggage allowance -Maximum size: 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, including handles and wheels which you would give you a better chance taking your 35L rucksack as hand luggage.



    Hope that helps

    Best Regards

    Rob
     
  19. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Thanks Rob. We, too, are walking from Ferrol. Going into A Coruña seemed like a good option to get to that part of the coast. I will definitely measure our pscks to see if they fit within the limits.

    I will also explore EasyJet and Check out flying directly into Santiago. Out of Montreal, I was looking at a British Airways flight to Heathrow. I'll check next into the Santiago connect and see how it compares with flights going into A Coruña. Many thanks.
     
  20. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Exac
    EXACTLY, Greg, and thank you. Worse, they kept banging on about it being weather related. No hurricane Irma up here and only gray skies and a few sprinkles. The flight we were booted from (as discount flyers) is still flying later. Maybe their deadheading staff need the seats. We've now got a 7 hour wait at Boston Logan. They seem to be partnered in some way with Azores Airlines, but not sure.
     
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  21. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    C4S

    All I can say is O M G. I think I'd be spitting nails. That is just appalling. I hate hanging around airports too.

    All I can say is I really hope it all turns out fine and you have a wonderful time.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  22. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    I will try and give you a little something to look forwards to Crepes4Suzette



    I took an internal flight with Sata – The Azores airline and Loved it – Here’s a pic

    upload_2017-9-6_21-21-38.jpeg

    Good Luck



    Rob
     
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  23. calowie

    calowie Active Member

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    RJS. Thanks- I did read Greg's comments. I was just saying that last year you had to pay to prevent a big cost ahead of time in case your bag did not fit into their check bin. The employee told me I could have carried it on with me, but I had already paid. Now, from Greg's comments, you can take it with you in hand and they will take it from you at the gate and check it into the cargo hold- presumeably at no cost? That is what eveyone in Canada seems to do now- do not check your rolley bags at the counter but carry all your luggage to the gate. Then the airlines realizes that everyone has so many bags and there will be no room for them all on a full flight so they announce that they will gate check the bags for no cost. Through this people travel without having to pay for checked luggage, currently about CAD 25/bag. Crazy system!
     
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  24. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Active Member

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    Next week, I'm taking a 60l rucksack out on Easyjet from London and back using Vueling. Easyjet was GBP 25 for the sack in the hold and Vueling was €15 - so not that expensive.

    Security in London is a PITA with regards to anything that resembles chemicals, or taking a "offensive" weapon like a 5cm penknife, so they are going in the hold.
     
  25. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Calowie - I am pleased that you read Greg’s comments – But maybe I wasn’t very clear myself and consequently you missed the point of my own reply – That was - That even if your rucksack did fit into the measuring frame last time, than (Unless you paid the extra for speedy boarding) that you would now have this taken off you at the gate and put into the hold and then have to pick it up from the baggage reclaim area in your arrival airport – This at no extra cost

    My points being that

    1) If you, Like Wily, the OP are adverse to not being able to take your rucksack as cabin baggage, then unless you have paid the speedy boarder fee, then you can no longer keep your rucksack with you.

    2) If you are carrying something delicate / fragile in your cabin bag then you would have to do a re-pack at the gate to keep these things with you – And then only if the fit the new dimensions for the smaller bag



    However, having now slept on this, there is a possible advantage that now comes to mind - By taking your Rucksack as far as the gate, it might well have a better chance of being put on the aeroplane and safely arriving at the destination airport.



    Time will likely tell



    Best Regards

    Rob
     
  26. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Rob - Again, thanks for the advice on flights. After many hours of research and phone calls, we decided to fly a combination of British Airways and Iberia. BA will get us to Heathrow while Iberia will take us on to Madrid and then directly into Santiago. From there, we'll bus up to Ferrol. We'll actually get in significantly earlier than had we chosen a discount carrier to get us from the UK to Spain on that particular travel day. No worries either about having to check our backpacks, although we will check our poles, or pay extra luggage fees in case they were turned back at the gate. All in all very pleased with these arrangements. Unfortunately, I didn't find any great fares traveling across the Pond for early spring, but perhaps that will change for pilgrims traveling later in the hiking season. Much appreciated. Buen Camino!
     
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  27. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Pleased to hear that you have found flights that work to your satisfaction and that you get your wish to keep your rucksack with you as cabin baggage - British Airways and Iberia have a tie in these days and often share flight numbers, so I don’t envisage any problems and you should be able to check your poles all the way through from The US to Santiago de Compostela.

    Also when you add on all the extras, you often find that there isn’t that much difference in the airfare between the larger carriers compared with the budget ones !!

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
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  28. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Rob - These add-ons are quite amazing! In the spring, we flew Air Canada from Montreal to Brussels and we were able to pick our seats in the economy cabin without an extra charge. For our other flights on Lufthansa, there were seat charges if we wanted to choose seats in advance so as to sit together. BA charges for seat selection (but so does AC now)! For our one segment between Montreal and London, seat charges ranged from $18-58 in economy depending on location within the cabin. We would then have to pay two additional seat charges each if we wanted to choose seats on Iberia. From what I gathered, most airlines, at least on international flights now, have this fee if you want to pick your seat. There is no guarantee that two or more people traveling together will be seated next to one another as it is computer generated although they say that they try to keep folks with the same surname close to one another. It seems that the days of flying the friendly skies are over! Argh!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
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  29. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Wily - I think you are right (above post)– That more and more airlines are charging for more and more services to try to keep their baseline prices down – There are still some good international airlines that still serve decent food and free alcohol in economy, but as time goes on the numbers of these are diminishing as more are charging for food as well as for choosing your seat – Personally I think that forcing people to pay to enable them to be guaranteed a seat together could well be a huge mistake as – God Forbid, If something was to happen like an emergency landing followed by an emergency evacuation of the aircraft, then if your nearest and dearest was sitting in a different section of the aircraft to yourself, it would only be natural for you to try and ensure their safety before your own – And this could cause a problem / delay for other passengers onboard the aircraft – I wonder if they have considered this angle



    Oh Hum

    Rob
     
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  30. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Rob - As you may well know the days of food being served on domestic flights here in the State are long gone! One is now lucky to get a complementary bag of peanuts! I continue to enjoy the food and drinks on the internationsl flights, but the writing may be on the wall regarding all extra services.

    Because my wife doesn't travel as much as I do, I've gone ahead and selected seats on our flights so we can sit together. As annoying as it is to pay extra for seat selection, her enjoyment of the flights outways the extra charges. But, as you said in an earlier post, there shouldn't be any issues with our packs.

    On a slightly different note, I'll mention to our fellow Forum members that Santiago lodging is slready filling up for Easter. We'll be walking the Inglés during Holy Week which, although I not a Catholic, I'm really looking forward to. We arrive in Santiago on Holy Saturday and will spend Easter there, which also happens to be my wife's birthday this year, before heading off to Finisterre and Muxía. I only mention this here because if anyone else is thinking about being in Santiago on Easter, it would be best to reserve beds/rooms now. Buen Camino!
     

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