I was planning to write a review of the weekend bag I’ve been using recently, because I’ve been quite impressed with it and it was sold as cabin baggage. Now this post seems even more topical, with Easyjet’s new cabin baggage announcement today.
From today, you can still use a 56 x 45 x 25cm cabin bag, but if too many other people on your flight also have the maximum size, Easyjet will no longer guarantee that you bag stays in the cabin – instead, it may be put in the hold. Although they say this will be done at no charge to the passenger, they point out the inconvenience it might cause if there are things in your bag that you want during the flight (I would just argue that you take those out before they put the bag in the hold). Alternatively, you can take on a smaller 50 x 40 x 20cm bag and they’ll guarantee this stays in the hold with you.
I’m not surprised that they’ve done this – on our Easyjet flights to and from Pisa, I’d say that 80% of the passengers had a cabin-size suitcase or holdall, and they were all in the maximum range. It was only a matter of time before they had to address the space issue. Half the time now you end up several rows down the plane from your bag, just so they can fit them all in. I think I’d be most annoyed at having had to condense my toiletries to meet the cabin liquids restrictions and then finding that my bag went in the hold anyway!
In any case, my cabin bag is an LYDC London purple mock-croc holdall. It’s smart and has carry handles on top and on one end, as well as 2 wheels and a retractable handle that zips away. This makes it really versatile and I’ve trollied it round cities, carried it up and down stairs and lifted it on and off planes and trains with no issue. The extending handle is possibly somewhat wobbly after the battered pavements of Italy but we’ll see, so far it is holding up well. I bought mine on eBay but there seem to be plenty of retailers online.
Like most items retailed as “cabin baggage”, it’s in the larger bracket, advertised at 53 x 30 x 24cm, so I was interested to see how it fared in practical terms on my flights last month. First up was FlyBe (cabin restrictions 55cm x 40cm x 23cm, 10kg), on a Dash-8 which is quite a small aircraft. It was abundantly clear that my cabin bag was NOT going in the overhead lockers, no matter which way I turned it. The opening is really narrow and the lockers are quite shallow in the Dash-8 – fortunately it did go under the seat in front (just) but if you’re long legged and on a long flight, you won’t be comfortable because it takes up half your legroom. That said, on my return FlyBe flight I did have my bag weight checked (7.5kg even when comfortably full) and approved as cabin baggage.
Next up, the airline of the moment – Easyjet. Still under standard rules at that time of 56 x 45 x 25cm and 10kg again, on an Airbus A319. This time the bag went in the overhead lockers with ease. Conversely, if I’d had to put it under the seat in front I don’t think it would have happened, because the seats are 3 across with less legroom than FlyBe, so I think it would have been a jam to get it into position.
Easyjet were banging on about only having one single piece of luggage (as were FlyBe), but that said I tend to have a policy of not putting my handbag into my cabin bag unless asked, which I wasn’t. Besides, I didn’t have any duty free bags so I would argue that me with my cabin bag + handbag is equal to someone with cabin bag + duty free bag, which is allowed.
And the only other thing to mention about this bag is that it was clearly designed by Mary Poppins, because so far I have not managed to fill it! Granted, I am known for my packing skills but I haven’t felt like I was cutting back at all, and in my recent two-leg trip Cornwall-Italy-Cornwall-London, there was some tricky planning involved.