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Why You Should Take a Carry On When You Fly

Last Updated on May 26, 2014 by

My mom came out to visit us this past weekend. She had no problems on her way out and, no, her bags weren't lost.

On her way home to Iowa, however, she was bumped. Her flight from Chicago to Des Moines was overbooked. And so was the later one. She wasn't able to get on a flight until the following morning. The airline gave her a check for her inconvenience and paid for her hotel and food for an evening. Which was all well and good. But they didn't pull her bag from the flight. In fact, they didn't even offer to.

So there she was, in Chicago, with nothing but her purse. Even a small carry on would have been better than nothing. Here's my list of carry on necessities (and don't forget the 3-1-1 rule):

For me:

  • Cleansing cloths
  • Moisturizer, foundation (I use old contact lense cases for this stuff. Each side holds one useage, easily staying under the 3oz rule and saving precious room in my baggie)
  • Travel size toothpaste & toothbrush
  • My contact solutions, case and glasses
  • Chapstick
  • Makeup
  • Comb and headband
  • Change of clothing
  • Deodorant

For Doug:

  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush (I have the toothpaste)
  • Change of clothing

For the kids:

  • Two changes of clothing – one very comfortable for sleeping in if need be (besides, accidents happen)
  • Small toys, games & our activity bags
  • Snacks
  • Travel size toothpaste & toothbrushes
  • Travel size moisturizer (they have sensitive skin)
  • Baby wipes (101 uses)

Getting bumped rarely happens to families but with airlines cutting flights and selling out all the space on the planes that do take off it's best to be prepared.

The Aviation Consumer Protection Division publishes the Consumer Guide to Air Travel. It's a nice resource if you have any questions. (Just and FYI: you really don't have that many rights.)

If you are traveling sans kids and don't mind getting bumped National Geographic blog has a nice article titled Make the Most of Getting Bumped.

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2 Comments

  1. I would never get on a flight with out a carry on since lost luggage and being bumped happens more and more these days. This is good advice for those who have never flown or rarely flies.If my mother hadn’t been flying with me for my first flight I would never of taken a carry on. She is the one who told me to pack a carry on and why so I’m sure I’m not the only one that would not of known on their first flight so this is a good thing to post about. Thanks for the reminder.

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