When travelling on airlines based in the US with a large backpack, I prefer to carry the bag onto the plane as part of my hand baggage allowance. Most foreign flag carriers, however, have a significantly more restrictive hand baggage allowance. I was caught off guard by this one time on New Zealand airlines and received my backpack with multiple broken straps and clips. I managed to repair it, and I'm still using the same pack, but I would like to avoid so many broken parts in the future.
Once, when flying Alitalia (flight was actually booked through Delta) I carried plastic wrap to the airport, and wrapped the entire bag in it before handing it over to the airline. @jpatokal recommends putting it into a giant, heavy-duty garbage bag in his answer to this question.
- What are the pros and cons of using plastic wrap or a garbage bag?
- Can anyone recommend any other, more effective techniques?