What not to pack when flying

Packing suitcases correctly - tips on everything to do with luggage when traveling by air

What should be in hand luggage and what is not allowed in?

First and foremost, the things you need during the flight or at the airport belong in hand luggage. Most important are the travel documents and, if necessary, important medication. When traveling with small children, you should also think of diapers, for example.

In addition, valuable or fragile items such as cameras or laptops are better transported in hand luggage. This will minimize the risk of them being damaged or stolen. The security staff also check some of the functionality of electronic devices.

Finally, it is advisable to take precautions in the event that a suitcase is lost and to store things like a toothbrush, charger or a set of change of clothes in your hand luggage.

Items that could be used as weapons or with which the aircraft could be damaged are not allowed in hand luggage. In addition to firearms, explosives and electric shock weapons, this also includes knives and scissors *, golf clubs and many tools. Lighters and liquids are also problematic. The latter - just like creams - can only be taken in containers up to 100 ml and must be presented separately in a 1-liter plastic bag at the security check. In another blog post, we have compiled in more detail what is allowed in hand luggage and what is not.


Pack your suitcase optimally

When packing your suitcase, it is advisable to proceed in a planned manner. Therefore, everything that comes with you should be collected first before you start packing. You should also think carefully about what you really need: for example, hairdryers, shower gel and towels are usually available in hotels and other things - e.g. lighters - are not allowed to be packed at all. If you intend to make larger purchases, you should also plan the necessary space in your suitcase.

First of all, the large pieces of luggage should be packed. Small objects such as socks or underwear can also be tucked into the gaps - socks, for example, fit well into shoes. The heaviest objects should be packed downwards (in the direction of carrying!), So that the contents slip less and the case stands or rolls more safely.

Sensitive objects should be padded all around, e.g. with clothing. In the case of liquids, it is advisable to also pack them in a plastic bag so that you have double leakage protection. To prevent clothes from getting dirty, shoes belong in a bag - individually, because that saves space. For clothing, it is often recommended that you roll it up tightly instead of folding it, as this way it wrinkles a little less and has a smaller volume. Alternatively, you can reduce the volume by using vacuum bags - provided you can get the air out of the bags for the return flight.


Avoid damaged and lost luggage

The safety of the luggage starts with the purchase: To avoid confusion at the luggage claim, you should buy a comparatively conspicuous suitcase. Alternatively, you can help with colored ribbons. The suitcase should not be too extravagant, so that the luggage is not stolen because of the high-quality suitcase. A suitcase with a "TSA lock" can also be particularly useful for trips to the USA. This can be opened by the security authorities with a master key. As a result, the lock is very unsafe, but other locks will be broken if there is suspicious content.

When packing you should make a list of the contents of the suitcase and this Not wrap up. This helps to substantiate the claims for damages after a loss of a suitcase. If you are not traveling alone (or have several suitcases), it is advisable to distribute the contents among the luggage in such a way that all travelers can get by for at least a few days if a suitcase is lost. It is also advisable to take a photo of the suitcase before departure, as you do not have to laboriously describe it at the baggage loss counter. A piece of paper with your own contact details in the suitcase can't hurt either.

Before departure, it is advisable to attach a tag with the destination and home address (and mobile phone number), remove old tags and, if necessary, check the airline's sticker. If you check in on time, almost nothing can go wrong.

If the luggage is lost anyway, you should report to the airline at the airport and ask for an "emergency package" (toothbrushes etc.). If the luggage no longer shows up, you can use our sample letter for lost luggage to claim damages from the airline.


Avoid additional costs for luggage

When booking, passengers should find out about the baggage allowance of their airline. There are weight restrictions and maximum external dimensions for both hand baggage and checked baggage, which can differ depending on the airline, tariff and route. Particularly bulky luggage can be expensive. It is often cheaper to rent the bike or golf equipment on site or to send it by post. Some tariffs - especially with low-cost airlines - no longer allow any free baggage allowance. If you still want to take a suitcase with you, it is often cheaper to buy a ticket with free baggage instead of taking a cheap ticket and paying extra for the baggage.

Speaking of low-cost airlines: there is often no free on-board service during the flight. It is therefore advisable to eat or pack something before the flight. Unfortunately, drinks are not allowed in hand luggage (see above).


When packing, make sure not to forget your passport and ticket.


By the way: Flugrecht.de specializes in enforcing compensation for passengers in the event of flight delays. For problems such as compensation in the event of a loss of a suitcase, however, we recommend going to a lawyer.



* The Federal Police only prohibits knives and scissors with a blade length of over 6 cm, but to be on the safe side, smaller specimens should also be carried in checked baggage.

Tired of packing your suitcase?

Travelers and their luggage

Flying doesn't have to be exhausting if you pack your bags properly.