As spring is pretty unpredictable this year (have you seen the weather in Chicago? It’s snowing!), it will be a wonderful idea to travel somewhere warm and cozy. So while packing your bags for the next getaway, keep in mind that rules in carry-on luggage world have been changed in 2018. Whether you are a frequent flyer or a first-time traveler, checking new luggage restrictions with your airlines is a must.

To make it easier for you, we have prepared a short summary of new carry-on rules. So what changes are we talking about? Long story short, some airlines start banning smart luggage on board and introduce a new restriction on hand luggage (liquids, gels, and aerosols). In response to these changes, new travel luggage design appeared on the market. Before going into details on luggage designs we would like to take a look at new carry-on rules 2018.

The Ban on Smart Luggage

During past few years, smart luggage became very popular as it allows to charge electronic devices and some bags can even follow their owners. Unfortunately, we have some bad news for owners of smart luggage with Li-ion batteries that cannot be removed. 2018’s carry-on policy completely forbids taking smart luggage on the plane. While it may seem unreasonable, there’s a high risk that lithium batteries powering the luggage may self-ignite, thus causing the fire on the plane. So we absolutely support this rule of airlines. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

There was a lot of talking about this change, but the first company that introduced a ban on smart luggage on all flights was American Airlines. Later, the similar policy was implemented by Delta and Alaska Airlines and other airlines. Nevertheless, owners of luggage with removable batteries may heave a sigh of relief. You can bring your luggage on the plane after removing Li-ion batteries. However, it’s always better to clarify such details with your airline.

Restrictions on Hand Luggage

There are also new rules regarding carry-on luggage policy which came into effect in January 2018. Ryanair implemented new policy according to which suitcases with wheels are not considered as carry-on luggage anymore. On the contrary, the passenger can take the greater weight for check-in baggage. At the time of writing only Ryanair has changed hand luggage rules, so please check the policy of your airline.

According to new rules, Ryanair’s Priority Booking customers can take now two bags (larger and smaller ones). The dimensions of the larger bag must be maximum: 55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm, with weight up to 10 kilograms. Other customers are allowed to have only one carry-on bag with max dimensions: 35 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm. However, the larger bag can be checked without additional fees and places in the hold.

If you do not want to pay extra money for a bigger bag but can’t cram all your stuff in one small bag, there are some problems.

First of all, you may wait for your luggage at the carousel for a really long time. The airports are really busy during high season, so it may take hours before your baggage reaches the terminal. Of course, Ryanair says that 90% of luggage reach terminal earlier than travelers, however, during peak season no one can guarantee you this.

The second and more serious one. Your things can be damaged. So if you have a soft bag, it may be a good time to change it for hard-sided luggage.

Also, it creates you additional inconveniences. Everyone would like to have all possessions to hand, thus, you can be faster and more independent. These new rules will take some passengers by surprise and placing your bags in the hold quickly can create additional problems – like forgetting books or pills.

However, Ryanair claims that these changes increased baggage allowance at 33 percent. One more positive effect of this policy is decreasing flight delays and improving the boarding process.

New Carry-On Luggage Designs

Of course, changes in the carry-on baggage policy cause a new movement in the world of luggage design. Travelers are looking for travel bags that will meet new restrictions but still remain stylish. For those of you, who plan to buy a new set of luggage, the perfect option is a lightweight one. Unfortunately, smart luggage is not as practical choice as it was earlier but on the bright side, choices of lightweight bags are wider than ever. Now hard-sided luggage appeared on the market. These bags are really solid but lightweight.

Also, draw attention to the size of your luggage. So far, only Ryanair changed its policy but other companies will do the same sooner or later. Keep in mind that different airlines have different dimensions of carry-on luggage. Thus, before traveling, check these details on the website of your airline.

Some more great news is this year your luggage will be more organized than ever. New models will have more chambers and interior compartments, as well as special pockets for your electronic devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.). You will have a spot for almost every item in your bag! The most organized travelers can buy bags with special places for liquids. Can you imagine this?

As we can see luggage become more flexible in accordance with traveling needs. A lot of bags are designed to provide you with a greater amount of space in case you buy some stuff during your trip. And the best part is you do not need to think about luggage restrictions of your airline. Designers of your bag have already thought of everything. Now, you can feel free buying souvenirs – your bag will have a room for everything!

If you want to have an organized and stress-free trip, read carefully luggage policy of your airline. Thus, you will be able to avoid additional fees, delays, and other inconveniences. It’s always better to be prepared and well-informed. Have lovely travels!

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