Luggage Rules Can Cause Delays, Confusion For International Travelers, Warns Auto Club

Travel

(LOS ANGELES, July 12, 2007) — The height of international travel season is here, and the Automobile Club of Southern California is warning tourists that they should check airport and airline regulations carefully before packing their bags for an overseas trip.

"New security procedures put in place by airlines and airports are not uniform worldwide," said Diana Meinhold, the Auto Club?s vice president for travel products and services. "Maximum luggage weight, carry-on sizes, and the number of allowed carry-on items can vary depending upon the country, airport and/or airline."

For example, at London's Heathrow International Airport, passengers are strictly limited to one carry-on bag with a maximum size of 22 inches tall, 17.7 inches wide and 10 inches deep. Purses or laptops must either serve as the passenger?s single carry-on item or must be placed within the carry-on bag. And some airlines serving Heathrow may have even more restrictive carry-on rules.

Most airlines place restrictions on the maximum weight of luggage they will carry for each passenger without a surcharge. Those regulations can be even stricter for international travel than for domestic travel, Meinhold said.

"The Auto Club advises international travelers to get all relevant security rules, including baggage rules, for each part of their trip," Meinhold said. "Your travel agent can provide you with this information, or you can check the Web sites of individual airlines and airports."

The Auto Club offers the following luggage tips for international travelers:

  • Before leaving home, make sure you know all the various restrictions you will encounter, and then pack your bags accordingly. To save weight and space, find out what amenities your lodgings will provide. You may not need to bring a travel iron or hair dryer, and you can pack fewer clothes by doing laundry on the trip.
  • Since many toiletries are now prohibited in carry-on luggage, consider buying them at a pharmacy when you arrive at your destination.
  • When shopping for gifts or souvenirs on the trip, consider their size and weight. Most merchants will pack and ship gift items to your home.
  • Sometimes restrictions for domestic air travel within another country are even stricter than restrictions for traveling to and from that country. If you plan to stay mainly in one city and take short air trips from there to other locations, you may be able to leave some of your luggage or clothes behind to lighten your load and comply with the stricter rules.

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