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Old Apr 30, 02, 10:14 am   #1
 
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Backpack no longer a "personal item"?

The American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) is taking a 2-week tour of Europe in July. I run the "official unofficial" mailing list. Someone just posted the following to the list:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Just got back from a trip. Please note:

FAA allows 1 carry-on plus 1 personal item (purse, laptop, briefcase). They
specifically state that a backpack is not considered a personal item.</font>
I hadn't heard anything about this, but if it's true this is a BIG change. Used to be a "personal item" included a *small* backpack.

Does anything know more about this? Is this a real change, or did someone just try to carry on a big hiking pack or find a jerk of a screener?
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Old Apr 30, 02, 11:16 am   #2
 
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I ran into this flying out of Louisville at Easter. I had a smallish roller bag and my day pack. Security asked me if I had a laptop in my daypack, I said "no", and they said I would need to check one piece. I talked with a supervisor, and got nowhere.

So, it seems this was how they determined if my daypack was a briefcase or not. I suppose I could have argued my palm & keyboard qualified, but I didn't want to get delayed anymore or incur the wrath of the security screeners.

I've not run into this elsewhere--yet.

I would hate to have to start carrying my laptop just so I can do carryon with my suitcase. It seems counterproductive for them to have us add things to in order to be able to carry more on.

JP
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Old Apr 30, 02, 12:02 pm   #3
 
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I have heard this advertised for several months now, though I suspect the enforcement is spotty.
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Old Apr 30, 02, 12:14 pm   #4
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Since the FAA/TSA refuses to publish any regulations on this issue, there are no official public documents one way or the other.

Accordingly, whatever the checkpoint goon says, is law that day.

AA allows a small backpack (as opposed to a camping-style pack) and recommends that the personal item be less than 38 linear inches (length + width + height).

www.amrcorp.com/facts/sheets/bagallow.htm

I'd say - check with your airline.
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Old Apr 30, 02, 12:35 pm   #5
 
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I've flown several times (on USAirways) since the "one carryon and one personal item" started, using a small backpack as the "personal item" every time. It's never been a problem, which is why this member's message surprised me.
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Old Apr 30, 02, 1:54 pm   #6
 
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We flew CLT-LGW on US in Jan with no problems - David's personal item was a small backpack.. like kids take to school. Actually, it WAS one of the kids'.

[This message has been edited by svpii (edited 04-30-2002).]
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Old Apr 30, 02, 2:31 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by FWAAA:
I'd say - check with your airline.</font>
Exactly. FWIW, I've had no problem whatsoever flying with a carry-on and a small backpack on AA and AY this year.
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Old Apr 30, 02, 3:50 pm   #8
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This is being enforced only in some airports at some times. We recently stuffed all our stuff into one carry-on each for a month-long trip only to find that people were boarding with three carry-ons. I sat in the SFO terminal recently and had a difficult time finding anyone with less than one carry-on. Problem is you just never know.
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Old Apr 30, 02, 8:59 pm   #9
 
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My sister was told she could not take a small backpack through security in STL two weeks ago. She stuffed it into her rollaboard and went on through. On the other hand, I consistently travel with a large computer bag and a duffel that is about the same size without any issues.
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Old Apr 30, 02, 9:46 pm   #10
 
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I haven't had any problems, but I have seen travelers hassled at the Washington National security checkpoint. I'd be careful there.
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Old Apr 30, 02, 10:43 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by FWAAA:
I'd say - check with your airline.</font>
I guess I'd be more tempted to call the airport. It wasn't a problem for me going PHX to SDF, but it was on the return trip, same airline. Unfortunately, it looks like changing planes in between could even present a problem

I suspect it varies by day and staff person.

JP

[This message has been edited by j379pa (edited 04-30-2002).]
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