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I will soon be travelling to Europe, flying Lufthansa, and was wondering about the weight of my carry-on luggage.

In my experiences of travelling in Asia, I've never had my carry-on bag weighed, even though I believe it was slightly over the 8kg limit.

Is this different in Europe, or specifically with Lufthansa? Should I be more careful to keep the weight under the limit, to avoid charges?

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    There's no possibility of a clear "yes/no" answer to this question. Most or all airlines weigh carry-on luggage... at least sometimes, and maybe often. What happens at the check-in counter depends on the check-in clerk (who may feel generous, or stingy, or have received directions or rebuke from the clerk's supervisor), and there are multiple clerks and counters and so on. The most that can be said is: they might. If you're risk averse, be aware of your luggage's weight. – David Jul 9 at 19:18
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    As always, buy a business class ticket if this a problem, weighing is almost unheard of, across all airlines, in my experience Air Canada alone got a stick up their arse at one point and weighed even business customers luggage for a few months and then realized which side of the toast is buttered and stopped this silliness. – chx Jul 10 at 8:17
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    @Luc The question to me seems to be "I don't pay much attention to the weight of my carry-on and it might be a little over 8kg; will this cause problems for me?" That seems to be a reasonable question, and not an egregious attempt to get away with breaking the rules. – David Richerby Jul 10 at 12:18
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    The solid gold bars I sometimes fly with fit in a smallish secured briefcase that fits under the seat in front of me, and is usually more of a problem going through security (they show up completely black), or at customs, than on board or at gate. The physical training to carry it well was also pretty intense. ;-) – WBT Jul 10 at 15:48
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    I've never seen any airline weight carry-on luggage. Some details: 1. I travel twice a year through Europe, often with Lufthansa; 2. My carry-on is a regular rucksack ~10 kg. – TT_ Jul 10 at 19:26
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How long is a piece of a string?

Having flown Lufthansa over 20 times this year alone and 100s of times in total here are my experiences.

  • If your carry on is large you risk a weighing more often.
  • If the flight is totally full you risk a weighing more often.
  • If you arrive late at check in you risk a weighing more often.

In reality if you are on time and your carry on is not massively oversize a weighing is actually very rare. It has happened to me 2 times this year and maybe 10 in total. Only 1 time have I been asked to remove something from the bag because it was almost double the allowed the weight.

Many times if the excess weight is small it's ok, barring the full flight challenge where weight becomes a factor for fuel and safety reasons. I assume, but I am not an airliner expert so that part is speculation.

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    I would also add that the type of luggage should also been taken into account. I have never had a weighing with a backpack, althought it has happened a few times with a suitcase. (I mainly travel with backpacks now for this reason) – everyone Jul 11 at 1:13
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    It seems like it is also more likely to be checked if the luggage looks heavy.. If you are carrying it easily you are less likely to be checked than if it is rolled on wheels or visibly weighing you down... (with airlines in general, rather than Lufthansa specifically) – Gert van den Berg Jul 11 at 8:35
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    I would second this back pack weighing. Pretend the back pack is not heavy, smile and respect the person at the counter and they would just skip weighing it :) – Blogger Jul 11 at 12:36
  • @GertvandenBerg - Anecdotally, I always put the luggage on the scale myself, while making look as effortless as possible. It's really silly and I doubt it helps, but I always think "if it looks like I'm struggling, they'll certainly check. May as well look like Superman and make it look as if it is just 2 lbs!" – BruceWayne Jul 11 at 19:00
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Yes. According to Carry-on baggage rules at Lufthansa

For a smooth boarding procedure, more stowage space on board and a punctual departure, it is essential that your carry-on baggage corresponds to the regulations. That is why we check your carry-on baggage against the permitted dimensions, quantity and weight at departure airports.

And from a detailed Trip Advisor post about Lufthansa carry-on baggage

My experience - YES. It's weighed at check in and can be weighed at the gate for passengers connecting from a different airline to LH. And I have seen people sent away to consolidate their carry on weight down.

Here's what I've done in some cases (chortle chortle). Note you are also allowed a smaller personal item (e.g. laptop bag). I've had cases where I have moved a heavier item (e.g. laptop power adapters/chords or a camera lens) from carry on to personal item in order to make the weight limit for the carry on, and then moved it back. You can also in some cases use your jacket pockets. I've done that more so with airlines that have a 7kg carry on limit (EVA, Jet Airways). As long as the airline doesn't impose a total weight limit for both carry on and PI that strategy works.

Suggest you get a set of luggage scales, and before you leave weigh your bags in certain configurations and plan what to swap from bag to bag. That way you can remain "legal" weight wise and not get stung.

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Occasionally.

In my experience, it happens about in 10%-20% of my LH group flights (including Swiss and Austrian).

I have a pretty big roll aboard suitcase which probably triggers more attention than a smaller piece of carry on. In all cases, taking out a jacket or moving something heavy to my backpack did the trick, but I always make sure I'm not horribly overweight. Anything over 8.5 kg can get you flagged.

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They might, but you should not worry too much.

If it is weighted and goes over the limit and the check-in clerk does not let you "pass this time" you have other options.

You can swap items form carry-on luggage to checked-in luggage. You can leave the desk and check-in later with some items in your pockets, etc.

The best advice, however, is to check-in as early as possible and use small (not bulky) carry-on luggage (backpacks are better than suitcases).

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You didn't mention if you are going to have checked baggage as well, so my reply is in the case where you don't.

I have travelled with Lufthansa in Europe more than 10 times in the past 3 years, and every time I just had a backpack as a carry-on luggage and a laptop bag as a personal item. Because I did my check-in online I just skipped going to the check-in and straight to the security check. Nobody ever weighed my backpack, even though I am sure sometimes it weighed about 10 KG. Also, nobody said anything when boarding or on the plane.

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