View Full Version : Airplane carry on bag & personal item...

3rd of October 2005 (Mon), 22:23
Hello all :lol: To make a long story short I'm gonna do some traveling one day. I picked up a Lowepro Nova 5 AW (http://www.lowepro.com/Products/Shoulder_Bags/allWeather/Nova_5_AW.aspx) the other day which is a decent size for the amount of gear I wanna travel with... 20D+grip, 17-85mm, probably a fisheye, and maybe a 70-200mm 2.8L if I ever get one. The bag is perfect but if I go backpacking through Europe I'm gonna have my large backpack with all my clothes & stuff in it which will count as a carry on. Do you think my Lowepro will count as a "personal item?"

I knew someone that already traveled like this, with her camera bag being the personal item but it was a lot smaller and held a P&S instead off all this stuff. I never traveled by plane so any thoughts are welcomed. Thanks.

btw, the dimensions of my bag are 14W x 6D x 8.5H in. / 35.5 x 15 x 21.5 cm

4th of October 2005 (Tue), 00:22
Large backpacks are usually checked in, no?

I put my camera bag inside my carry-on bag for the last trip I took.

Ronald S. Jr.
4th of October 2005 (Tue), 00:28
psh...that bag's TINY! My Computrekker Plus AW is like...2 ft by 18" by 10". It's huge. I'm probably underestimating. It's a monster. BUT, it carries EVERYTHING in my signature. Other than the bracket, printer, and desktop pc :-P

4th of October 2005 (Tue), 00:47
...yeah but what I'm asking is if my camera bag can be considered a small, "personal item" while my bigger backpack it the "carry on" or suitcase? I want both of them with me on the plane at the same time so I don't have to check any bags.

Skip Souza
4th of October 2005 (Tue), 00:57
I believe that "personal Item" reads "purse". I you are as your avatar suggests then just throw in your wallet, some make up items, cell phone and such and it becomes your purse, a.k.a. personal item. You are allowed to carry photographic equipment in your purse. No one in their right mind would challenge a woman on that. :lol:

4th of October 2005 (Tue), 01:03
I believe that "personal Item" reads "purse". I you are as your avatar suggests then just throw in your wallet, some make up items, cell phone and such and it becomes your purse, a.k.a. personal item. You are allowed to carry photographic equipment in your purse. No one in their right mind would challenge a woman on that.Sounds like a plan! Although, I'm a man, so traveling with a purse full of makeup & photo gear is probably gonna attract some unwanted attention LOL! But I guess I can try throwing some toiletries in there and see what I can get away with. Thanks for all your quick responses. :lol:

Skip Souza
4th of October 2005 (Tue), 01:40
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
I always thought that purse thing was rather sexist. I'm just not about to challenge my wife about it.:rolleyes:

4th of October 2005 (Tue), 01:58
You will NOT HAVE ANY PROBLEM traveling like that.

I just came back from Canada, with a Huge bag as a Carry on, and my backpack (normal size for a laptop computer with all the stuff and some more) and my Lowepro Nova II AW as personal items that I carry with me at the plane, and I don't have any problem with that. So don't worry.

Enjoy your future trip to Europe!

4th of October 2005 (Tue), 07:22
The airlines count all carry on items. Two is the normal limit but I have seen people carrying on two plus a small bag.

4th of October 2005 (Tue), 10:18
I travel a lot (too much) for work. I take a wheeled carry-on suitcase (carry-on size) and a small-medium backpak with laptop, camera, work papers, raincoat,.... and have never had a problem.

Edgar in ATL
4th of October 2005 (Tue), 10:28
Your airline's web site may have information such as that below for AirTran.....

"For carry-on baggage, all customers traveling on AirTran Airways will be restricted to one carry-on item and one personal item. Personal items include handbags, umbrellas, walking sticks, crutches, coats, cameras, reading matter, infant food, briefcases, and laptop computers. No carry-on item may exceed overall dimensions of 55 inches (Height + Length + Width) and must fit under the seat or in the overhead bin."

I have always been welcomed with a carry-on suitcase and a camera bag (like the Lowepro Micro Trekker 200) under the above policy. I think if the carry-on fits in the overhead compartment and the camera bag under the seat in front of you, you will be OK.

4th of October 2005 (Tue), 10:52
A male 'business traveler' is permitted the small luggage piece plus the 'briefcase' piece. Your Lowepro is easily smaller than my usual black leather bag which serves as my briefcase.

4th of October 2005 (Tue), 13:15
FWIW, last time I flew AirTran (about a month ago), they let me go with 2 backpacks...the Expedtion 7 for my camera stuff, then a regular Jansport backpack as well. I may have gotten lucky...but they let me on, no questions asked.

4th of October 2005 (Tue), 20:42
In general, the "one" item is a carry on luggage bag. Different airlines will enforce this differently (also depending on airport and flight). If the carry on fits into that "size checker" contraption you see at the airport, you will almost never have a problem with the luggage.

The "one personal item" is generally considered a "purse, briefcase of laptop bag." This is how I ususally hear it described prior to boarding. I have travelled with various sizes of camera bags and never had a problem. The basic rule of thumb is that is should easily fit under the seat.

Keep in mind that these guidelines are considered "FAA Rules" which means that they should be fairly standard in the U.S. If you are going through Europe, the rules may be very different. Smart money says to be prepared to check your backpack so you can keep your gear with you (meaning no meds, passport, money, etc. in the backpack). Never hurts to be prepared as the rules are always subject to change (or re-interpretation by an overzealous gate agent).


4th of October 2005 (Tue), 22:01
I travelled from canada to europe and all over europe for 5 weeks in aug/sept. I carried on a lowe pro phototrekker aw 2 loaded down with gear, as well as a laptop bag on the plane. Briefcases, laptop bags, purses, small camera bags and the like are usually the only things considered personal items.

That said, on the way back and on a few internal flights i had all sorts of carry on crap that no one minded. In fact, at one point they said my phototrekker was over weight...but then they allowed me to pull out my 10d with 300mm f4 on it and hang ir around my neck. Bag cleared weight, and i put it back in.

Moral of the story: it depends on what sort of mood the person checking you in is in.

9th of October 2005 (Sun), 16:51
Check with your particular airline. It's usually one bag plus one "personal item" which may be purse, camera (in its case - there's your talking point), computer case, or briefcase. International, especially trans-oceanic, flights commonly also have weight limits to deal with.

9th of October 2005 (Sun), 23:17
I believe that "personal Item" reads "purse". I you are as your avatar suggests then just throw in your wallet, some make up items, cell phone and such and it becomes your purse, a.k.a. personal item. You are allowed to carry photographic equipment in your purse. No one in their right mind would challenge a woman on that. :lol:

I travel alot on planes, personal item means anything (bag type etc.) that will fit under the seat infront of you for 90% of the airlines. Backpacks qualify for this.

My concern is, can I take a monopod as a carryon item?

10th of October 2005 (Mon), 01:03
Recent trip to Europe from Hkg - carried my camera backpack and a strolley. The camera bag I guess considered similar to a laptop bag. So, you should not have any problems of carrying backpack + one other item. Your would be pushing your luck with a strolley, camera backpack AND a purse!!

Monopods are checkin - potentially dangerous object classification.

10th of October 2005 (Mon), 07:59
I travel back and forth alot from the UK and the US, flying Continental. I check in my huge suitcase, but I carry on my crumpler 7 million dollar bag, and I put my purse in a pully type bag that has my diabetes meds, my laptop, ipod, make up, jewelry and other personal items. So long as they will fit either in the overhear, or under the seat, it's fine. It's the large backpack you may be concerned with. Depending on how big that is, will determine if it can be used as a carry on. Your nova 5 will be fine tho :) Have a great trip!

10th of October 2005 (Mon), 10:31
>>Recent trip to Europe from Hkg...Monopods are checkin - potentially dangerous object classification.<<

"your mileage may vary..."

In the U.S. the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lists prohibited items on its web site. In addition to the usual expected things, sports items are listed, and these include baseball bats, golf clubs, hockey stick and other items that can be used as clubs. Very curious that pool cues are prohibited, and photographic items like monopod and tripod are NOT!

10th of October 2005 (Mon), 16:41
I will agree with some of the other posts like Edgar in ATL. It depends on the airline. I used to fly Southwest all the time right after 9/11 happened. I carried a 26" carry-on bag and a large laptop bag on the plane with no problems every trip that I went on. Again, your mileage may vary depending on the airline.

11th of October 2005 (Tue), 02:50
US domestic flights are much more leniant. I can carry a luggage, backpack, and camera bag w/o any problems.

When i went to the philippines they only allow one carry on and one personal item which in combined weight must be less than ~20lbs. This restriction is ridiculous considering my empty baggage weighs 12lbs alone. my backpack with laptop and some personal items weighs 23lbs. luckily i was able to check in the baggage, bring my laptop backpack, and throw some items from the backpack into the camera bag. luckily they let the camera bag slide.

if anything weight will be your problem not size.

11th of October 2005 (Tue), 06:44
seems like we're not the only ones with problems on how to pack for flights:


not photography related but the article has some practical comments on size and weight when packing for flying.