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Why I Always Check Luggage Requirements Before Flying

I haven’t flown commercially in a few years. The airline and TSA regulations seem to be ever changing. Being the planner that I am, I checked those regulations regarding luggage last week so I would have time to prepare for an upcoming trip. What I discovered was that my suitcase, which I had assumed would meet carry-on standards, was too big. I’d like to avoid the $25.00 luggage check fee each way, so I went shopping.


I found some nice bags online, but it’s difficult for me to picture how much space a suitcase has if I can’t unzip it and take a look in person. I ended up at a big box store that had one bag that met the airline’s guidelines. I didn’t like it nearly as well as the first bag I found, but it was $20.00 less money. I couldn’t ignore that kind of savings. So, I bought it and brought it home.

It’s only about three inches smaller than the bag I’d planned to carry on the plane with me, but those three inches mean the difference between checking it and praying it arrives at the airport at the same time I do, or keeping all of my belongings with me the entire time.

Let me explain my distaste in checking a suitcase. When I flew to Washington DC a few years ago, my checked bag was put on a later flight out Dallas Fort Worth Airport. We had a long layover scheduled, and our flight was delayed past that time. I believe my coworkers and I spent around ten hours at Dallas Fort Worth awaiting our connecting flight.

I took the airline up on their offer to deliver my bag to my hotel the next day. Our conference was scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m., and I hadn’t even eaten dinner yet. This meant I attended the first day of an important conference in dirty blue jeans and flip flops, but at least I was on time.

My boss had a great idea for this trip. He suggested I take a backpack with me as my personal item that slips under the seat in front of me. I could put my purse inside along with my tablet or Kindle (I haven’t decided which I’m taking yet), folders, and medication. My boss is a pretty smart guy.

Finding a properly sized backpack was much easier and cheaper than finding the proper suitcase. While I was at the big box store, I went over to the hardware aisle and grabbed a tape measure. I consulted the photo of the regulations that I’d taken with my phone and measured every backpack that interested me. I returned the tape measure to its rightful place before I left the store. That’s one advantage of big box stores. They really do sell just about everything.

I have my luggage all ready to go. Now, I just have to decide what clothing I’m taking and make sure everything fits before I nestle it all safely in place. I will make sure my tablet or Kindle has plenty of new reading material, and I should be in good shape. Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter or Instagram @OzarksMaven.

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