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Some airlines allow only 1 item as your baggage allowance. If you are travelling with two or my items of checked luggage, and their combined weight is still below the weight limit, do airlines generally allow you to kind of bundle them together with a length of rope or similar and count it as 1 item?

In my case I have some flights booked on Lufthansa and Singapore airlines, and I'm travelling with my guitar case and my backpack. I'm well under the weight limit, but I fear I will be charged a hefty fee for the extra item and there is not any option to pre-purchase additional luggage on my fare. I want to know if I should bother attempting to tie my backpack to my guitar case and call it 1 item, has anyone had experience either success or failure with this?

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It's not so much a matter of weight as of size. Airlines will often not weigh your luggage if you don't check it in (though there are exceptions — Lufthansa once made me check my bag in for being 1kg overweight). Size and shape are a different matter: if you tie several items together, they may not fit in the overhead lockers or under the seats.

Some low-cost airlines are out to get you and absolutely insist on a single piece of hand luggage no matter the size — they charge you extra for a laptop bag plus a small backpack, even if it's easier to store than a large backpack that would contain your laptop. Non-low-cost airlines are generally reasonable and I wouldn't expect any problem with Lufthansa or Singapore Airlines on this account.

For checked luggage, you're paying for handling as well as transportation, so they will really count per item. Tying two pieces of luggage together isn't a good idea: they'll be difficult to handle and may come apart. I wouldn't recommend it even if the airline turned out to accept it.

You'll probably have to check in your guitar case as I don't think it would fit in the cabin. So keep your backpack with you.

If you want to be sure, call both airlines before your flight. And do check their size rules for the guitar case.

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