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Carry-On Luggage: TSA & EU Regulations

natalie LaRosa

Natalie LaRosa

Updated: November 28, 2015

Carry-On Luggage: TSA & EU Regulations
by Natalie LaRosa

The best way to travel to and throughout Europe is to carry your luggage onto airplanes with you. In other words do not check your luggage with the airlines. This forces one to pack lighter. Believe me you will be glad you did when it comes to lugging that suitcase up stairs, through subways, and across cobbled streets. But most importantly it avoids the chance of your bag being lost by the airline. The first time I went to Europe the airline lost my luggage. Luckily we were staying in Rome for 3 days and my suitcase finally got to me. However, a lot of tours don’t stay put in one place for long. If this is the case you will have to do without your things until your luggage finally catches up to you, if it ever does. Since that trip, I have been a believer in carrying my luggage on the airplane with me. I advise others to do the same. It gives me a certain peace of mind knowing that my bags are with me all the time. Additionally it is one less thing to think about upon arrival when I am excited about getting started on the tour.

Now that I have discussed the benefits of carrying on your suitcase, there are a few rules you’ll need to consider before beginning to pack your carry-on suitcase. Since September 2006 the following rules apply to all flights in the USA and EU (European Union).

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 9.27.37 AMBoth the United States TSA and EU restrict the amount of liquids in your carry-on luggage.  Passengers are allowed to bring travel-sized toiletries (3.4 ounces or less) that fit comfortably in a one quart plastic zip top bag. You must remove the zip lock bag from your belongings at security check points to be visually inspected and scanned.  After clearing security you can bring beverages and other items purchased in the secure boarding area onto the plane. There are special circumstances for larger containers of medication, baby formula, and other special medical material. If these items exceed 3.4 ounces you must declare them to a security officer at security checkpoint for further inspection.

These rules apply only to carry-on luggage. You can still pack all your normal things in luggage that you decide to check with the airlines.

For complete and up-to-date details about TSA and European Union regulations visit: TSA Liquids Rule

About the Author

David McGuffin established David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe, Inc. in 2001 to formally offer European tours. Since then, he has taken several thousand satisfied customers on memorable and educational tours to Europe.

  1. David Moore Reply

    That’s good idea! I think carry lighter luggage is very fun moreover it does not have to worry for lost luggage, because items that we carry are always safe all the time on the plane. and I agree with the new rules for airlines to further enhance security….

  2. admin Reply

    Most US Air Carriers go by the policy listed below. I cut and pasted this from the Delta Airlines website.

    “Baggage may not exceed 45 linear inches (or 115 cm) in combined length, width, and height.

    Baggage must fit easily in the Carry-on Baggage Check, which is located near the check-in counters and at the gate and is approximately 22″ x 14″ x 9” or 56 x 36 x 23 centimeters. “

  3. Susan Reply

    Maybe one day I will do only the carry-on thing- haven’t mastered that yet!

  4. Wendy Richardson Reply

    What a great tip! I will have to remember this when my son goes with you to Italy next summer! Thanks.

  5. Belyn Richardson Reply

    I totally agree but my problem is not packing light on the way over but how to pack light coming back!! I always want to bring home memories but I can’t if packing light. Suggestions for getting those items back?

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