A-Z Blogging Challenge - B is for Baggage

This trip came up unexpectedly, and there was so much I needed to do (groceries, laundry, arrange for lunches and playdates for Colin, apply for ESTA, book flights, rental cars and first night hotel accommodation), so I didn't even think of possible travel traps I might walk into. 

Well, let me tell you, a couple of days later, the first obstacle came up! 

With certain airlines there are not only weight, but also size limits for bags!!

As an international passenger you are allowed to bring the following:
  • one checked-in bag, 23kg (50lbs) and a maximum of 158cm (62 inches) (width height + depth)
  • one carry-on bag, 8kg (18lbs) and 55 x 40 x 23cm (21.6 x 15.7 x 9 inches)
  • one personal item

This I knew from our annual long-haul flights. Until a couple of years ago they didn't care how you accumulated the weight, so you were allowed to bring two bags if you liked, which was what I used to do. One was empty on the flight to our destination, and full of shopped goods on our flight back. The good old times..!


I was covered for ZRH - LAX.

Now! My arrangement included a domestic flight from LAX - SEA with some cheap airline I had never heard of before, and when I looked at the voucher that the travel platform sent me it said the following:

  • one checked-in bag, 18kg (40lbs) and a maximum of 158cm (62 inches) (width height + depth)
  • one carry-on bag, 5kg (11lbs) and 43x33x20cm which are ridiculous 17 x 13 x 8 inches
  • one personal item

Are they kidding me??? My carry-on is a very standard trolley thingie, and all of a sudden it was too big???

It was the day before my departure, and I got very upset and nervous. I e-mailed the travel platform to ask for advice. In a very bad English they replied that I needed to check in my "oversized" carry-on item and pay God knows how much for it.

Oooohhh noooo! I will not check in my notebook! I did that once, and it got stolen out of my bag! 

I went to the website of the airline and found THIS:

Replied to the travel agent and told her that I expected my carry-on to be acceptable if those were the airline's rules!

She must have forwarded it to a supervisor who then told me she confirmed the measurements with the airline, and I should be fine, and would I please be as kind as to give her a positive review using the link below...

Well, I still have the weight problem. You see, I only brought very few clothes because I wanted to shop here. I didn't go crazy shopping, but you know, a jeans here, some craft supplies there... 

Also I was bringing chocolate bunnies for my friends. So as soon as I will have given them away, my bags were actually going to lose weight, genius, right?

Wrong!! My friends gave me gifts as well!! The one that made me laugh the most was the one who gave me Swiss chocolate that isn't available in Switzerland!!! 
I have never heard of popcorn chocolate!

So I was getting worried. I went to the post office to find out what they would charge to ship back some of my purchases. USD 63. Geeeeez!

I checked the rates with the airline. So even if they charge me 50 bucks, that's still less, phew!

Now if only I could find out just how heavy my bags were!

Checking in at my hotel in Pasadena, I asked if there were any scales I might use? Uuuhm, nope, the clerk said. A customer who overheard us, said there was one in the fitness room if that was of any help? But, of course!

Only that this scale was very inaccurate. It lied in favour of people, I could tell from using it for myself ;-)

So I just had to wait and see what happens at the airport. 
Update from Starbucks @ LAX Terminal 3: Everything went just fine!