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Take your backpack into the cabin


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2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Oh dear - I have just heard from another pilgrim couple whose backpacks didn't make it to Madrid. They spent a whole day waiting, had to book into a hotel, were told the next day that when found they would be sent to Santiago so they had to buy all new things and instead of starting in Leon as planned, have gone on to Rabanal to start walking from there two days late.
This can be devastating when you have agonized over every item in the pack, have put maps, guides and other important items into the pack.
ALWAYS carry your backpack into the cabin. Put your poles, scissors, cutlery and any liquids over 100mls into a postal tube or parcel to check in. Rather replace those few items than your entire backpack & contents.
Most airlines stipulate the required shape and weight of carry on luggage on their website. Most require that the luggage will fit into the overhead locker.

From the Iberia website: hand luggage dimensions are Total Weight 10 kg : Size 115 cms (55+ 40+ 20) Length, width and height.
On top of the applicable allowance (i.e. checked-in hold luggage), all passengers may carry the following items in the cabin, under their own responsibility and at no extra cost:

A lady's ladies' handbag or a small briefcase
A coat, cape or travel blanket
An umbrella or a walking stick
A pair of crutches
A small camera / video camera or a pair of binoculars
A portable cot or a fully folding pushchair, which, duly labelled, would normally be carried in the luggage hold without charge.
A laptop computer
A nursery bag carrying baby's food
Hand luggage should be placed in the overhead lockers or under the passenger's seat. It is therefore strictly necessary that it does not exceed the measurements indicated above.

I usually wear my sandals (Crocs) on the plane and carry my boots, toiletries, medication, camera etc in a small shopping bag. This keeps the backpack down to the required size.


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John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
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We seem to have much stricter size limits for hand luggage leaving NZ, and I can't imagine anyone's pack fitting into the little "box" they have for checking. (And nearly everytime I have flown, I have seen someone being told to try their hand luggage in there.) But you don't often hear of people having their luggage go astray from this part of the world.
All the major airlines that fly from Johannesburg and Cape Town accommodate the 8kg - 10kg hand luggage with dimension restrictions.

According to the The Wall Street Journal British Airways loses more luggage than any other airline - they lost lost the bags of more than 550,000 passengers in the first 6 months of 2007.

THE Australian airline industry loses up to 200,000 passenger bags a year – some of which end up being donated to charities when their owners cannot be found. Qantas loses about 150,000 bags a year and Jetstar and Virgin Blue misplace about 12,000 and 25,000 respectively.

About one U.S. passenger in 150 had a mishandled bag last year, with the total number of bags reported mishandled in 2008 likely to top out close to 4 million. For a list of best and worst airline read Forbes: ... ggage.html
I've had bags go astray before. It is a pain. If your backpack is the same size (or smaller) than others' carryon bags, there's no reason you can't take it on the plane with you. :) I'm with Sil, check the stuff you can't carry on anyway & take the rest on board with you, if allowed.

We fly Iberia and we took our pack (6kgs and 7 kgs) in the cabin. We had one telescopic trekking pole attached and it was accepted. The only thing they didn't accept was the Swiss Army knife. It was confiscated, so we bought a knife on arrival in Spain. Personally I don't want to run the risk of hanging about hoping that my pack will or - horror of horrors -won't make it. Is it really worth sending your long or "dangerous" items as separate luggage? That means hanging around until it comes off the conveyor belt. These different shaped parcels are often delivered at the end, after all the luggage has been processed. Small items are readily available in Spain. It's your basic equipment that you don't want to loose.
Camino Way markers in Bronze
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk. Discount is taken at check out, only by using this link.

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