Carry-On or Checked: The Right Choice for Your Luggage

Chances are, you’ve seen that person at the airport who’s desperately switching clothes and items from one bag to another. You’ve likely witnessed some passengers flattening their bags to fit one more carry-on item or tossing out unnecessary items to trim a bag’s weight for check-in. 

Achieving total luggage confidence before arriving at the airport can give you peace of mind throughout the travel process. By carefully reading luggage limitations and guidelines ahead of time, you give yourself the best travel experience possible–whether you’re flying for business or pleasure.

At South Bend International Airport, we’re here to help you navigate all the variables that go into choosing what’s right for your luggage so you can enjoy your time grabbing a bite rather than frantically adjusting your luggage. 

Carry-on vs. Checked: The Basics

There are two major differences between carry-on and checked luggage. 

Carry-on luggage is any bag that you bring on the airplane with you. Each airline at South Bend International Airport has different carry-on regulations, so be sure to check with your airline for size restrictions, limitations, and other rules. 

Most airlines require that you limit your carry-on items to one carry-on bag plus one personal item, such as a laptop computer, briefcase, purse, or camera case. Check TSA’s FAQs for additional information of what is permitted in a carry-on. 

Checked luggage, on the other hand, is anything that you drop off at the ticket counter before going through security. While most carry-on luggage is free, airlines do charge for checked luggage which is also weight restricted. 

What are your options?

While checking a bag is more convenient, carry-on bags can help everyone save money. If you’ve filled up a carry-on bag and have a personal item, but still have more to pack, it’s probably best to pack a bigger bag for check-in. This tip in particular can help you avoid being that person we’ve all seen at airports! 

Deciding whether to carry or check comes down to the length of your stay and your ability to carry your luggage throughout the duration of your travels. 

What can you pack? 

Where do you pack your liquids? How many ounces did you say? But only with check-in luggage? 

Difficult though it may seem, there are good reasons for what, where, and how much of it you can pack. Don’t worry! We’re here to help you sort it all out. There are a few guidelines that can help you keep things simple, and you can always find more information

Most importantly, keep in mind not to pack any liquids that don’t fit with carry-on guidelines. This includes hair gels, shaving cream, and water bottles. To make it simple, remember this rule:

  • 3 ounce containers or smaller
  • 1 quart-size, clear plastic bag
  • 1 bag per traveler

Electronics are a go for carry-on, but make sure to take them out for screening when going through security. As a general rule, when shoes come off, electronics come out! 

Knowing what not to pack can seem like an extensive list. If you feel unsure about a certain item, be sure to check TSA’s site for a list of all items and their rulings. 

Find out more about how you’ll pack for your trip out of South Bend International Airport in South Bend, IN.

South Bend International Airport offers nonstop daily flights to 13 destinations and connections worldwide. We offer affordable parking options, great eats and better commuting to and from your destination. Want to learn more about our flights or want to crunch the numbers? Contact us at (574) 282-4590 ext. 230, or check out! Fast. Smart. Affordable. Safe.

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