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The carryon allowance with Turkish Airlines is 8kg. Is it also possible to have this split over two bags? One is the carryon with possibly some clothes, a laptop etc. And a handbag/backpack for personal items, such as wallet, passport, glasses, toothbrush etc.

I don't completely understand how this works and if they both count as "carryon". Am I even allowed to have two pieces like this with Turkish Airlines?

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From the ever-helpful Turkish Airlines website:

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At that same page, it states that for Economy class passengers, you are only allowed one piece, which can be maximum 8 KG; for business class 2 pieces (each 8KG).

This does not include the personal item, as illustrated above. Normally, personal items (purses, laptop bags, etc.) are not weighed. So, theoretically you could have a laptop bag that weighs more than 8 KG, as long as it fits under the seat.

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