Browse Day

June 9, 2011

How to Pack Your Carry On Baggage

I’ve only checked my suitcase five times in thirty years.  Flying standby can mean a last minute dash to the gate and if my bag doesn’t get onboard, neither do I.  Skip carousel chaos and lost luggage limbo by bringing your suitcase onboard.

 Choose lightweight shirts and sweaters that can be worn separately or layered.   Good fabric choices are silk, cotton and merino wool. Visiting a tropical destination? Remember that air-conditioning can be bone chilling.   I always pack a hat and scarf, though they may range from a boater and sarong to a beret and pashmina.

Carrying enough toiletries aboard is simple once you know that only liquids, gels or aerosols have to fit inside the one litre clear, resealable “security baggie.” A medium-sized zip-lock freezer bag works well.   Place toothbrushes, razors and powdered cosmetics in your regular travel kit.

Toothpaste, shave cream and mascara are considered liquids and must be in containers no larger than 100ml.  Buy travel-sized products and make substitutions, like stick deodorant for roll-on to reduce the quantities of liquid.  

 Prescription medications and items like contact lens solution are exempt from these limits. Visit the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) or the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website for current regulations about carry on and checked luggage.

© 2011 – 2013, My Flying Fingers. All rights reserved.


The Best Airplane Seats

Crew members get a pre-flight briefing and so should you.  Before you check in online, check out your aircraft. posts informative seating charts for more than 60 carriers.  You can locate the most coveted spots (extra legroom over-wing) and avoid the worst (near galleys and washrooms). Flight attendants know some seats that may seem wonderful – like bulkheads – come with their drawbacks, like no underseat storage and the chance of being seated next to cranky infants.

Even perennial favourites, like overwing exit seats, may have limited recline and are chilly in flight, as you are sitting next to an operational door or window.  Depending on the aircraft configuration, these seats can also be next to lavs (washrooms.)

To change seats easily after boarding, know airline protocol.  The final count of passengers and their location gives pilots critical knowledge on the weight and balance of the aircraft.  You might disrupt their calculations by switching seats before take-off.  If you want to move, do so before the count or in the air.

 For both passengers and crew, the smartest attitude is “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” not “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

© 2011 – 2013, My Flying Fingers. All rights reserved.


Maximize Your Overhead

Statistics like “42 million suitcases mishandled last year” never bother me.  I always make sure my luggage fits onboard. Flying standby can mean a last minute dash to the gate and late check-in is one reason bags go astray.

 Travelling light saves you money and increases your mobility. I’ve successfully toured for up to ten days with only one carry-on.  On longer trips, local dry cleaners are an economical option.  For creative packing tips and current regulations, visit, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority website CATSA and the US Transportation Security Association TSA.

© 2011 – 2013, My Flying Fingers. All rights reserved.