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Checking your backpack on flights

MartaM

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués costal (Sept. 2020)
Thought I’d share our solution since I spent way too much time thinking about this. Our 36 liter Osprey packs measured too large for carry-on with Lufthansa and I didn’t really want to carry them through the airport to a connecting flight. On the way to Porto I used the blue IKEA bags w/ zipper which did ok but tore to the point it didn’t seem worth hanging onto them during our trip. I knew we could get bags wrapped at the airport but was concerned about where and what time they opened, and the cost is €14 each. I found 2 huge zipper bags designed for bedding at a ‘China Store’ and a roll of clear tape €8 total. The gate agent was super careful making sure the baggage label stuck. The tape came right off once we got home so they can be reused. Problem solved!
 

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CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I've had several pilgrims arrive in Madrid without their pack.
All had to re-gear while they waited, sometimes more than 3 weeks, to get their gear.
I will never check my pack TO Madrid unless I'm forced.
But yes, these China bags are great for flying home.
 

Orlando Wren

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2018), Fisterra (2018)
Portuguese from Porto (Oct 2018)
Frances (2019)
Thought I’d share our solution since I spent way too much time thinking about this. Our 36 liter Osprey packs measured too large for carry-on with Lufthansa and I didn’t really want to carry them through the airport to a connecting flight. On the way to Porto I used the blue IKEA bags w/ zipper which did ok but tore to the point it didn’t seem worth hanging onto them during our trip. I knew we could get bags wrapped at the airport but was concerned about where and what time they opened, and the cost is €14 each. I found 2 huge zipper bags designed for bedding at a ‘China Store’ and a roll of clear tape €8 total. The gate agent was super careful making sure the baggage label stuck. The tape came right off once we got home so they can be reused. Problem solved!
Excellent idea! I gave away one of those "China bags" recently, thinking why would I ever need this again. Now I know why I should have kept it - for just in case I have to check a bag. But I must say, I do everything possible to avoid checking a bag! I have a 36 L Osprey that fit in the overhead on a recent Lufthansa flight. It's 22" high if I don't fill the "top" puffy part. I carry a personal bag ("string bag") with a few things from my backpack to make that backpack fit their rules. And I wear my hoodie and rain jacket on the plane! Whatever it takes to avoid checking a bag, I'll do it!
 

Jeff Robinson

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I agree with the previous comments. I generally carry on my bag for reasons of convenience. As a retired pilot I will add that the chances of having your bag misdirected are GREATLY reduced if you fly with the same air carrier or carriers of the same alliance from your initial point of checking your bag to the point where you retrieve it.

It is when your bag must be transferred between carriers and especially those carriers outside of the carrier's alliance that bags are misdirected or miss a connecting flight.
By alliance, I am referring to the "code sharing" agreements the major carriers such as Delta, United, and American have with other carriers, both foreign and domestic.
 

Bisnick

Member
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese "2015" missed one day. Portuguese "May 2016" ."2019" April/ May Portuguese Senda Litoral
I purchased the Osprey Airporter medium for my Exos at a decent sale price. I pack a fresh set of clothes and lightweight shoes together with a tough plastic bag and a printed label addressed to Casa Ivar all inside together with gaffa tape rolled around one walking pole. Once out of the airport I pack the airporter bag, shoes and clean clothes into the bag and I have my pre printed label with ivars details and my email and tel no on it. I wrap the parcel tightly with the gaffa and pop into the closest post office.
It is a lovely feeling putting on fresh clothes and shoes after the camino for your flight home.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I purchased the Osprey Airporter medium for my Exos at a decent sale price. I pack a fresh set of clothes and lightweight shoes together with a tough plastic bag and a printed label addressed to Casa Ivar all inside together with gaffa tape rolled around one walking pole. Once out of the airport I pack the airporter bag, shoes and clean clothes into the bag and I have my pre printed label with ivars details and my email and tel no on it. I wrap the parcel tightly with the gaffa and pop into the closest post office.
It is a lovely feeling putting on fresh clothes and shoes after the camino for your flight home.
This is my common routine, too. I usually send an empty duffel bag up to Santiago as soon as I arrive in Spain. Then when I get to Santiago I fill it with olive oil, pimentón, some Galician canned seafood (sounds awful but some of them are delicious and this stand in the Santiago market is great), cheese, and good beans/alubias. YUM! (and though people always ask, I have never had a leakage of olive oil - always use cans or plastic bottles and wrap them in my clothes and a bit of plastic bubble wrap).
 

Scott Sweeney

Active Member
I've had several pilgrims arrive in Madrid without their pack.
All had to re-gear while they waited, sometimes more than 3 weeks, to get their gear.
I will never check my pack TO Madrid unless I'm forced.
But yes, these China bags are great for flying home.
I agree, our packs come with us. One year we lost train reservation, two night of hotel because our bags never left Newark.
 

Kev&Kath

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
When I look at the size of some of the carry-on luggage people haul onto the aircraft I would never hesitate to carry-on a 36lt or smaller pack. I've read too many comments on here from folk losing their packs in transit - with the accompanying stress of (sometimes) having to purchase replacements.
 

Grousedoctor

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Have always carried on our Osprey 36L packs. Have never had a problem with them in overhead compartments. Nor have we ever been questioned anout them being too large. A couple years ago, although we had our packs with us, we had to check our poles. As we stood by the luggage carrousel in Santiago, guess what! No poles! My advice! Don’t check your backpack!
 
Past OR future Camino
Many and many more.
I counted over 1000 flights in my working life and only was inconvenienced by late arriving luggage twice - once being my failure to comprehend the efficiency of the Swiss integrated-transport network which seamlessly moves bags along with your combined air/rail ticket.

Nonetheless, some good advice above - especially wrt canned seafood in Spain. The quality is exceptional.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have sent my Osprey pack twice as luggage and had no problems. Just saying

Buen Camino Bob
No question, it’s a very low risk. But if it happens to you, as it did to me in 2014, it can cause major disruptions. Especially for people coming from overseas.

I would never ever check my backpack. Some would say if your pack is too big too carry on the plane, it’s too big to carry on your back for a month. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I just don’t want to take the risk. It’s like deciding whether to feed the meter. In my town, odds are very low of getting a ticket, but if you’ve gotten several tickets you’re less likely to risk it again than if you’ve gotten away with it for years as my son has.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
I've had several pilgrims arrive in Madrid without their pack.
All had to re-gear while they waited, sometimes more than 3 weeks, to get their gear.
I will never check my pack TO Madrid unless I'm forced.
But yes, these China bags are great for flying home.
I never have and never will check in my pack!
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
No question, it’s a very low risk. But if it happens to you, as it did to me in 2014, it can cause major disruptions. Especially for people coming from overseas.

Yes.

It never matters that checking a backpack has previously gone without a problem. What matters is that it only takes one time for it to become a major headache.

A few years ago I had to fly out-of-state in order to get to a trail head for a 3 week backpacking trip in the Colorado Rockies. Up to that point, I had always checked my backpack as luggage, containing all of my gear and clothing, whenever I had to fly to a destination for a backpacking trip.

This time it was lost. To this day, it has never been recovered. The airline suspected that it may have been stolen at some point during the baggage handling process. In the end, however, the reason didn't matter. Since then, I have talked to other backpackers who have had their backpacks lost -- not necessarily stolen -- when flying.

So, here I was 24 hours prior to the start of the hiking trip. I was tired, and had been hoping to rest up for a good day at altitude (9800 feet), in order to get a bit of a head start acclimating because of the hike being above 10,000 ft. for most of that trip.

Instead, I had to spend much of the day replacing gear and clothing. Some, I could do a direct replacement. For other stuff, like my tent and sleeping quilt which were special ordered, I had to make due with something heavier and less efficient. Plus, I had to replace all of the freeze dried food I had packed.

The fact that every other time I had checked my backpack it had arrived safely didn't matter one teensy bit. :)
 
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
My 38L osprey has flown carry-on with Wizz, EasyJet, TAP, Norwegian, RyanAir, and Vueling - never had an issue with it meeting the standard as I don’t overstuff it.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I have a 36L backpack I bring onboard with me, but I always check the particular airline's dimenensions for carrry-on luggage as it does seem like some are shrinking in size. I try to pack it a little loosely, so it can still fit in the metal bins used to verify size dimensions before boarding. No problem so far.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Many and many more.
I have a 36L backpack I bring onboard with me, but I always check the particular airline's dimenensions for carrry-on luggage as it does seem like some are shrinking in size. I try to pack it a little loosely, so it can still fit in the metal bins used to verify size dimensions before boarding. No problem so far.
I did once witness an already harassed traveller disputing their soft-sided case with the check-in staff and when asked to fit it in the metal bin at the gate shoved it in and jumped on it so as to cram it in.

He won the argument but couldn’t get the case back out and missed the flight. I admit I laughed; don’t judge me - so did everyone else.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I did once witness an already harassed traveller disputing their soft-sided case with the check-in staff and when asked to fit it in the metal bin at the gate shoved it in and jumped on it so as to cram it in.

He won the argument but couldn’t get the case back out and missed the flight. I admit I laughed; don’t judge me - so did everyone else.
I have seen similar a couple of times myself...minus the jumping.😅 I've seen people open their luggage on the floor by the metal bin and try to readjust the contents and strew them all over the floor. I've also seen a couple of angry persons have to give their credit card at the gate desk to pay extra for the oversized bag. I don't remember those bins 5+ years ago.🤔
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Oh, they were there. 😉
Probably, but at that time they were not "nickeling and dimeing" everyone with as many add on costs for every little thing. Now they watch what you are bringing on board like a hawk.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Probably, but at that time they were not "nickeling and dimeing" everyone with as many add on costs for every little thing. Now they watch what you are bringing on board like a hawk.
I don't know if it's always "nickel and diming" so much as making sure that every passenger with the correct size carry-on has space in the overhead bin. When people put oversized items in the bin they sometimes have to put them in sideways, which can take the space of two proper sized carry-on bags.

Certainly low cost carriers keep their prices so low by charging extra fees, however.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Many and many more.
Probably, but at that time they were not "nickeling and dimeing" everyone with as many add on costs for every little thing. Now they watch what you are bringing on board like a hawk.
Michael O’Leary, of Ryanair fame is reputed to have ordered a pint of Guinness in Dublin several years ago.

‘That’ll be €1, Mr O’Leary’

‘My God, that’s cheap!’

‘Will you be wanting to rent a glass to put it in?’

I’ve just booked several flights for next year with a mid-range carrier and there were 4 pricing elements including the headline price.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Michael O’Leary, of Ryanair fame is reputed to have ordered a pint of Guinness in Dublin several years ago.

‘That’ll be €1, Mr O’Leary’

‘My God, that’s cheap!’

‘Will you be wanting to rent a glass to put it in?’

I’ve just booked several flights for next year with a mid-range carrier and there were 4 pricing elements including the headline price.
That's what I'm talkin' about.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
they were not "nickeling and dimeing" everyone with as many add on costs for every little thing
I like the fact that I can choose the level of convenience and comfort I want to pay for. When people moan about airfares going up, I roll my eyes and remember that 50 years ago, I had to pay about 10% of my gross (before tax) annual income to fly to Europe. Sure, I got meals, nice cutlery, maybe a wider seat, and 2 free checked bags, but given a choice, I would not have spent that money on those trivialities!

Nowadays even a Business Class ticket is much more affordable than the Economy fare of yore.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I like the fact that I can choose the level of convenience and comfort I want to pay for. When people moan about airfares going up, I roll my eyes and remember that 50 years ago, I had to pay about 10% of my gross (before tax) income to fly to Europe. Sure, I got meals, nice cutlery, maybe a wider seat, and 2 free checked bags, but given a choice, I would not have spent that money on those trivialities!

Nowadays even a Business Class ticket is much more affordable than the Economy fare of yore.
Exactly. People moan when their 31€ fare on Ryanair doesn't include seat selection or carry-on luggage.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Exactly. People moan when their 31€ fare on Ryanair doesn't include seat selection or carry-on luggage.
Yes, I do like all the options. I flew to Sedona with a friend in August and we were able to "share" one carryon between us as it was very hot and we needed no heavy clothing to hike. Call me a cheapskate, but why pay extra for things you don't need. I did pick an aisle seat at an extra cost cuz wearing a mask wedged between two others seemed like it would be claustrophobic.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Exactly. People moan when their 31€ fare on Ryanair doesn't include seat selection or carry-on luggage.
I think, to be fair, that people moan because it doesn’t include a *seat*. What is a fare without a seat? Gas and parking I suppose… But they sell you the seat as though you are paying for the selection… so OK, I ”choose” the seat instead of having it assigned, but if I don’t choose a seat, it won’t be assigned (YMMV — some places will still let you have that last seat on the plan by the lavatories if you don’t select ahead of time) but many simply won’t allow you to board until you’ve paid for a “selection”. In other words: for the seat that used to be what we understood the fare was for.

*AND* all the observations about the relatively inexpensive cast of fares relative to salaries now as compared to 30+ years ago: totally and completely accurate. I am looking at a fare now that is something in the range of $520 all in for Toronto to Lis on late next year…. Even thought the advertised fare was $325… the $520 is still very inexpensive. We had to pay $2500 for our tickets to Paris in 1991 for our honeymoon, and it took us a year to save that money…. The airfare I’m looking at now will take less than a month to save for, even when I factor in that I will need to find a return ticket.

For that reason, I don‘t know why they don’t just sell you the final true fare, instead of advertising the $325…. It just *feels* aggravating to have to add on the seat, the ability to access the toilet, an inflight meal, your *carry on* bag…

Just sell the $520 flight, with taxes and baggage, airport fees, the meal all bundled in it.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
but many simply won’t allow you to board until you’ve paid for a “selection”. In other words: for the seat that used to be what we understood the fare was for.
On what airline does this happen? If one doesn't choose a seat, then a seat is assigned at check in.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I’ve had luggage lost before so didn’t want to risk too much. My pack fit, but I didn’t have it full. I divided my Camino stuff into “will ruin it without it” and “PITA to replace”. Shoes, socks and pack were in the first group, sleeping bag in the second, and so on so the pack was cinched down very small. PITA stuff, knife, and poles went into a small hard sided carry on case which I checked. Edit: also some “tourist” clothes for my time pre and post Camino) I had the luxury of time so allowed five days before my planned step off in SJPdP for luggage to arrive if delayed, or replacing PITA stuff. Bought a big hard sided case for almost nothing in SdC to put pack etc into for return flight bc I hate taking anything more than a small bag onto the flight.
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Just sell the $520 flight, with taxes and baggage, airport fees, the meal all bundled in it.
Bc it’s marketing (low low fares!!!) and some people actually won’t pay for a meal, or an aisle seat, or extra bags, etc.

I regret the loss of legroom over the years, and loss of common courtesy…otoh in the good old days women wore stockings and heels…last time I did that on a flight was in the 80s.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I did once witness an already harassed traveller disputing their soft-sided case with the check-in staff and when asked to fit it in the metal bin at the gate shoved it in and jumped on it so as to cram it in.

He won the argument but couldn’t get the case back out and missed the flight. I admit I laughed; don’t judge me - so did everyone else.
I was on a flight to Egypt (decades ago). A gentleman rolled a bag almost as big as I am down the aisle. It was entertaining to watch him try dozens of times to make it fit, although this was delaying the flight. A flight attendant went rushing back to where he was, assuring him in German-accented English it wouldn’t fit. A tug of war ensued. People were betting on the outcome. She won, bag was handed off—in flight movie was a bit boring after all that.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
On what airline does this happen? If one doesn't choose a seat, then a seat is assigned at check in.
As I said, a seat might be assigned at check in without a fee, but that seat may easily be near the lavatory, or on the part of the fuselage that is so narrow that you have to see in a fetal position (happened to me NYC to Stockholm on Delta)…
But there are new lost-cost airlines in Canada that will still charge you a fee *at the gate* to confirm your seat. It’s been a major complaint at the small international airport where I live that has added two low cost carriers — north of which have been in the local paper recently for charging people for their *carry ons* that were in their laps, and for “seat confirmation” at the gate.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Isn't that why you have the choice to pay for a better seat in advance?
In theory... yes, but in practice, not always.

The "you can have it for no extra cost if you wait to the gate" is disappearing from some carriers. And people are feeling rather peevish about it. Or, it's being matched by, "Sorry; we know that you bought a carry-on fare, and we know your bag is smaller than the allowable, but the flight is full here at the gate, so we have to ticket your bag, take it from you, and charge you 25 euros more before we can let you proceed down the gangway." (That happened to me on one of my favourite airlines, tbh, and I was flummoxed.)

I can imagine all kind of ways to reduce feelings of "air-rage" that have to do with not making customers feel that they are being "nickel-and-dimed". Having tiers fares within economy could do it. People could choose to pay lower *fares* for less desirable seats, medium fares for perfectly comfortable seats in the middle of rows... and premium for their choice of window or aisle... without these fares being wilding different from each other, clients would *perceive* that their fares *include* their seats....

It's something of a psychological thing, but it's not proven to make for calm clients to ding them with 5 "extras" at the end.

Me? I'm not especially bothered. Like I said... I get very good value for current fares over the ones that took me a year to save for... but most of us *felt better* about the "here's the fare, it's what you pay, and you get all the stuff included."

The next step was "here's the fare and we can make it cheaper for you if you want to remove some things" (dawn the birth of the roll-on bag) and no meals from Toronto to Vancouver...

Now it's the inverse: "Here's the fare, by which we mean a gas and airport fee, but if you actually want to get on the plane, that's extra; your meal is extra; the blanket and pillow are extra; there's no food but if you want to buy a sub sandwich, that's extra... " and clients find it annoying.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2022
OK. I'm a bit confused. I've always used the blue IKEA zip bag and had no problem but, as has been stated here, "Past performance is no predictor of future results."
I don't think my backpack would fit in one of those test models for carryon bags. Is it just that ALL of my past bp's have been too big? I can't imagine getting by with a smaller one, although I know some people do it. Do people call their bags oversized, like bicycles??
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
It doesn't help the peevishness to exaggerate with suggestions that people must pay for access to toilets, or that carriers are denying seats to people who pay a fare.
I prefer the current situation: never liked airline food, rarely check a bag, sleep too hot for a blanket, and don’t care where I sit! If I don’t have to pay hundreds extra for items you need that I don’t, it’s fine by me.
I generally feel this way also, and when I feel otherwise, I spring for the upgraded seat etc.

As to the rest, I didn't say that we have to pay to access the toilet. I said that if we don't pay the "premium" for advance selection then we can easily end up by the toilet. I know that, so I pay in advance, but there are other ways to offer fares that would feel less like aeronautic Hunger Games for people.

I said that I can understand why some people feel nickel and dime (which was not my phrasing, I was quoting @Camino Chrissy -- who may well have been indicating an empathy for others, as, like me, she seems not overly bothered by the itemized fare.

Even though I don't personally feel exasperated, I expressed empathy for people's exasperations.

Travelling is stressful for many people; look how many come to the board because they are terrified of not knowing 35 days in advance for every booking. Many are reluctant fliers anyway. COV isn't helped... and airlines could do better at minimizing flier stress. I've been flying for all of my 53 of my 54 years and I still love it. But I understand why plenty pf people find the pecuniary attitude of the industry to be another knock.

We have 2 discount airlines locally that won't allow people who have waited for the last crappy seat on the plane to have that seat without paying a "selection fee" *at the gate.

And, it's actually just a very common practice, because of "overbooking", for airlines to deny boarding to passengers access to flights for which they have paid all the fees. Happened all the time pre-COV. And it's happening now with people being offered vouchers they can't use...

How many times have we heard the TAP or RyanAir have been impossible to deal with, that fares have been entirely lost etc. It's a different but not unrelated issue that makes me grateful I'm not in transportation logistics. But if I were in customer care, I'd be trying to find ways to create "softer landings" if you will, so that people would not feel "nickel and dimed."
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
OK. I'm a bit confused. I've always used the blue IKEA zip bag and had no problem but, as has been stated here, "Past performance is no predictor of future results."
I don't think my backpack would fit in one of those test models for carryon bags. Is it just that ALL of my past bp's have been too big? I can't imagine getting by with a smaller one, although I know some people do it. Do people call their bags oversized, like bicycles??

Kathy, some of your confusion may be related to capacity vs size. The size of a backpack does not relate to how much it can carry. It is a function of a manufacturers design. Some Osprey backpacks that are 34 to 36 liters can be too big for the carry on measure thingy. But my Gossamer Gear Silverback which can hold nearly 60 liters of gear, will fit the carry on luggage dimensions, and will fit into the testing frame thingy.

I will compress it using the packs exterior straps so that bag itself does not bulge past the width or length of the frame.

Some backpacks have the ability to snug the shoulder harness down tight enough that it will 'bow' the top of the frame downward a bit to decrease its height (length). Some have built in straps for compression of loads which can do what my Gossamer Gear backpack does. If not, you can purchase and use a few external cinch straps, like those some use to keep suitcases from flying open, to compress the bag.
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
OK. I'm a bit confused. I've always used the blue IKEA zip bag and had no problem but, as has been stated here, "Past performance is no predictor of future results."
I don't think my backpack would fit in one of those test models for carryon bags. Is it just that ALL of my past bp's have been too big? I can't imagine getting by with a smaller one, although I know some people do it. Do people call their bags oversized, like bicycles??
Fit your bp to you not carryon size. That said, my osprey exos 46 (bought for the frame, I didn’t come close to filling it) measures 52x36 cm at tallest/widest empty. Iberia carry on limits now are 56x40 (x25). I packed essential and then PITA to replace items to a depth less than the max and cinched down all straps.

Edit (to make clear): I didn’t put everything I was taking into pack (some went into checked luggage like sleeping bag and poles) but took stuff that would be really important and hard to replace. Most of us take 2 or 3 outfits, 2 shoes. Footwear is the most essential, wear boots and trail shoes go in backpack. Wear one outfit and jacket, the. rain gear goes in bp, etc. easier to find new shirts than perfect footwear if necessary. I’ll also admit I’m not a giant so some tall people may have a bp frame that exceeds the limit. OTOH you can see over people in parades.
 
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catheriam

Wayward
Past OR future Camino
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
I have sent my Osprey pack twice as luggage and had no problems. Just saying

Buen Camino Bob
From St Louis Airport several Madrid bound checked backpack as luggage: ditto safe arrivals. However, I was flying American direct to Madrid, therefore (what am I saying!), surrely luggage could not get lost on a direct flight?

See, that comment got everyone to roll their eyes!

Considering Spring 2002 the same route STL to Madrid (and definitely upgrading my seat) and at 77, by then, packing poles for the upward bits. Poles with prayers! :).
 

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