Over the last month I had two jobs overseas, and on both had to fly by Ryan Air and EasyJet budget airlines. Luckily no lighting equipment was needed so only the camera gear had to come as a Carry-On Luggage.
Prior to the jobs I ordered a rather nice Pelican Storm IM2500 case which on their website is described as “carry-on luggage”. This is very similar to the Pelican 1510 Case in terms of size. I also had TrekPak inserts shipped from the States to organize my gear as neatly as possible. The size of the case is 55 x 35 x 22.
Flight #1 – RyanAir (London – Dublin)
A week before the flight I checked out the cabin regulations and was a little bit shocked.
“Strictly one item of cabin baggage per passenger weighing up to 10kg with maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm is permitted.” My case was 12kg, 55cm x 35cm x 22cm – 2cm too deep according to Peli specs, and 2kg over the weight. Knowing how RyanAir are with their regulations (their way or the Highway, or in my case swimming across the sea) I chose not to risk being refused to fly (or charged extortionate amount) and used my old Calumet RC1188 case as a carry-on with my personal things and the gear distributed amongst RC1188 and assistant’s rucksack – with the Peli being checked into the hold with only chargers, batteries and other (less destructible) items.
At the airport I used the RyanAir Baggage Cage, and I can confirm that the Pelican STORM IM2500 DOES NOT FIT IN. The Calumet RC1188 on the other hand (fully loaded) squeezed in just fine.
Flight #2 – EasyJet
Luckily EasyJet regulations are a bit more relaxed: “…allowance is 50 x 40 x 20cm including handles and wheels. You can still choose to bring ONE slightly bigger bag up to the maximum size of 56 x 45 x 25cm including handles and wheels, but on some busy flights your bag may have to go into the hold.” In my case it went through without a problem!
As a guide I put together a short list of Cabin Baggage Regulations of various Airlines which you can use as a guide for your own equipment:
RyanAir – 50cm x 40cm x 20cm – 10kg
EasyJet – 50cm x 40cm x 20cm guaranteed / 50cm x 40cm x 25cm – unlimited weight
British Airways – 56cm x 45cm x 25cm – 23kg
Lufthansa – 55 cm x 40 cm x 23 cm – 8kg
KLM – 55 x 35 x 25 cm – 12kg
Air France – 55cm x 35cm x 25cm – 12kg
American Airlines – 56 x 36 x 23 cm
Aer Lingus – 55cm x 40cm x 24cm – 10kg
Virgin Atlantic – 23cm x 36cm x 56 cm – 10kg
Flybe – 55cm x 40cm x 23cm – 10kg
Emirates – 55cm x 38cm x 20cm – 7kg
Norwegian – 55cm x 40cm x 23cm – 10kg
Monarch – 56cm x 40cm x 25cm – 10kg
This info is only accurate on time of posting, so you may want to double check before planning your journey, also its based on Standard Class, so First / Business may have higher allowances.