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#965227 by Mr G
04 Jul 2022, 21:14
Hope the great and good can be of some real-world assistance - What are people currently using as their item that falls into the following category, as per the VS website?

"Your handbag, small backpack/rucksack, pocketbook or purse, as you would normally use it (in other words, not just being used to contain items that would otherwise be regarded as baggage)"

This would be for someone travelling economy/premium, and with no status, so not looking for any clever exemptions to the standard rules.

I've always been nervous of having anything too big in case it's questioned/rejected when also travelling with a full (but within all limitations) carry on suitcase, as I'd like to be able to confidently travel with hand baggage only. How big does a rucksack/backpack have to be before VS staff start asking questions?

I'm keen to at least get a laptop/charger/various electronic items into a different backpack as it will of course reduce the weight in the carry on bag. I don't need to sneak shoes in or anything obvious like that, but where does one draw the line?

So the question is... what are you all using - and getting away with ;-) I've seen many a person seem to somehow bring multiple proverbial kitchen sinks with them in multiple different bags, and not even raise an eyebrow with CC (who even help them find overhead space for said kitchen sinks!) but I fall into the category of too honest for my own good, and unlucky enough to get caught out if I push my luck, lol.

Thanks in advance for your replies. If it's allowed, please feel free to link to online purchasable solutions.

Mr G.
#965230 by VS075
05 Jul 2022, 08:49
When I was boarding at BGI recently, one of the gate staff brought a cardboard box round to put over hand luggage (though I never saw it being used unless I wasn't paying attention) which I've only ever seen used by the likes of Ryanair. Basically, if the box fits it can go in the cabin, but if not it's into the hold it goes. I've never seen hand luggage being weighed though despite the 10kg limit.

It will ultimately depend on whether the check-in staff or gate staff exercise any discretion over your hand luggage. I suspect they will be on your case more if the flight is fully booked. The easiest thing to do is to stick to your allowances which are on the VS website: https://flywith.virginatlantic.com/gb/e ... abins.html

If it's a normal-sized hand luggage suitcase (56cm x 45cm x 25cm) you will be OK.
#965232 by CommanderB
05 Jul 2022, 12:05
I can’t recall more than once or twice that my hand luggage has been checked for size. I think both of the times I remember were ex-DXB. And that’s not a thing anymore.

Being in Premium or Upper with Gold helps your case as you get one additional item above the allowance and in Upper that’s already generous.

I think the main place this probably comes into play is on the leisure routes when Economy is full. But it relies on a very active ground crew to police.
#965233 by Mr G
05 Jul 2022, 12:56
Thanks so much for the advice so far. Never seen the cardboard box routine in operation - will have to keep a look out for that!

I think the thing that intrigues me most is the 2nd bag ("...small backpack/rucksack etc...") rather than the "main" cabin bag you're allowed to carry on. It's the vaguery of the size (and potentially allowed contents) that concerns me, and of course one wouldn't want to get caught on on being oversized to only have to check a bag, and thus ruin the whole point of being on a HBO fare. In my humble opinion, it's the only thing that's a snag in the whole day to day virgin flying experience - that the cabin baggage allowance weight allowance is so small. Even easyjet jet allow up to 15kg I believe.
#965234 by CommanderB
05 Jul 2022, 15:56
Mr G wrote:Thanks so much for the advice so far. Never seen the cardboard box routine in operation - will have to keep a look out for that!

I think the thing that intrigues me most is the 2nd bag ("...small backpack/rucksack etc...") rather than the "main" cabin bag you're allowed to carry on. It's the vaguery of the size (and potentially allowed contents) that concerns me, and of course one wouldn't want to get caught on on being oversized to only have to check a bag, and thus ruin the whole point of being on a HBO fare. In my humble opinion, it's the only thing that's a snag in the whole day to day virgin flying experience - that the cabin baggage allowance weight allowance is so small. Even easyjet jet allow up to 15kg I believe.


The weight limit thing is more about being able to safely place and remove items from the overhead lockers without injury to yourself and others AFAIK. If you bring something that's over the limit and ask the crew for help getting it into the overhead bin, that will cause problems.

I've had some fairly heavy stuff in the cabin and it's never been an issue, but I made it look light which helped avoid attention.

But overall you're right, the vagueness of it all is a bit of a problem.
#965235 by OCdreamin
05 Jul 2022, 16:17
Mr G wrote:Thanks so much for the advice so far. Never seen the cardboard box routine in operation - will have to keep a look out for that!

I think the thing that intrigues me most is the 2nd bag ("...small backpack/rucksack etc...") rather than the "main" cabin bag you're allowed to carry on. It's the vaguery of the size (and potentially allowed contents) that concerns me, and of course one wouldn't want to get caught on on being oversized to only have to check a bag, and thus ruin the whole point of being on a HBO fare. In my humble opinion, it's the only thing that's a snag in the whole day to day virgin flying experience - that the cabin baggage allowance weight allowance is so small. Even easyjet jet allow up to 15kg I believe.


In UC I’ve taken a small, 20 litre, backpack onboard in addition to a max cabin baggage sized wheelie, though it was not stuffed full. Although the definition is vague in the sense of no dimensions, I think the meaning is clear and the answer lies in being reasonable, and basing it on what you really need with you in the cabin, rather than asking people what is the biggest bag they have got away with taking onboard ;-)
#965239 by VS075
06 Jul 2022, 08:37
Mr G wrote:Even easyjet jet allow up to 15kg I believe.


easyJet have become more stingy with their hand luggage allowances in recent years. As standard, you're now only allowed to bring on a bag small enough to place under the seat in front of you. Anything else (e.g. cabin-sized suitcase) you have to pay for and they've also been pushing the "hands free" concept which is basically checking in your cabin-sized hand luggage into the hold. Off topic, but they've brought that on themselves as for years they were pushing for people to not check in luggage into the hold but now they've seen the problems they've caused when there's too much hand luggage brought on board and some cases having to be put into the hold at the last minute (call me cynical, but it's one way of avoiding fees if they put it there for you). Same with Ryanair.

I can also understand why VS set the weight limit to 10kg. As well as safety, they can point out that you get at least 23kg in the hold as standard except if you're travelling Economy Light, so it's a case of how much weight allowance does one really need?

I agree with CommanderB and OCdreamin in that it's all about being reasonable with what you bring on board and to avoid drawing attention to yourself if something is too heavy. Repeated episodes of passengers pushing it with what they bring on board or causing problems such as not having enough overhead locker space will just likely lead to restrictions in the future...unless of course VS decide they too want to start monetising luggage further.
#965246 by CommanderB
06 Jul 2022, 13:46
VS075 wrote:
Mr G wrote:Even easyjet jet allow up to 15kg I believe.


easyJet have become more stingy with their hand luggage allowances in recent years. As standard, you're now only allowed to bring on a bag small enough to place under the seat in front of you. Anything else (e.g. cabin-sized suitcase) you have to pay for and they've also been pushing the "hands free" concept which is basically checking in your cabin-sized hand luggage into the hold. Off topic, but they've brought that on themselves as for years they were pushing for people to not check in luggage into the hold but now they've seen the problems they've caused when there's too much hand luggage brought on board and some cases having to be put into the hold at the last minute (call me cynical, but it's one way of avoiding fees if they put it there for you). Same with Ryanair.

I can also understand why VS set the weight limit to 10kg. As well as safety, they can point out that you get at least 23kg in the hold as standard except if you're travelling Economy Light, so it's a case of how much weight allowance does one really need?

I agree with CommanderB and OCdreamin in that it's all about being reasonable with what you bring on board and to avoid drawing attention to yourself if something is too heavy. Repeated episodes of passengers pushing it with what they bring on board or causing problems such as not having enough overhead locker space will just likely lead to restrictions in the future...unless of course VS decide they too want to start monetising luggage further.


One of the best hacks I ever saw for concealing carry-on size was my friend who's 6'4" and managed to take on a roller that was easily too big for the allowance, but he got away with it purely because his size made it look small.
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