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Enhanced monitoring of carry-on bags and six tips for a smoother journey

The flight would be ready to depart, but oversized carry-on bags are still being moved from the gate to the hold. Boarding has been completed, but cabin crew are still looking for places for carry-on bags in the overhead lockers. Sound familiar?


The number of people travelling with carry-on baggage only has increased in recent years. At the same time, it is increasingly common that there are more carry-on bags than there is room in the cabin. Not everyone follows the carry-on baggage allowance, and many travellers have too many carry-on bags with them, or clearly oversized bags, even rucksacks.

Excessive amounts of carry-on baggage impact both travel comfort onboard, and punctuality of flights, if bags have to be moved to the hold at the gate. Finnair has now enhanced carry-on baggage control at airports, with the target that everyone's journey goes smoothly and flights can depart on time.

"We go around the departure hall and see if someone has a very large carry-on bag or too many bags with them," says Sari Alessi, who heads Finnair’s customer service at Helsinki Airport. "If a customer has a bag that is clearly too large, we will ask them to give the bag to hold already at check-in."

"We also monitor the size and amount of carry-on baggage at departure gates and, when necessary, move bags into the hold at the gate," Sari says. "The fee for a checked-in bag is always higher at the airport compared to buying it in advance, so it makes sense to take care of it before arriving at the airport."

Finnair’s Classic and Flex tickets always include a checked bag, a carry-on bag, and a small bag that is placed under the seat in front. For long-haul flights, the Light ticket includes a carry-on bag and a small bag, as does the Business Light ticket for European flights. The most inexpensive ticket for journeys within Europe, the Superlight ticket, includes only a small bag that must be placed under the seat in front. However, you can buy a larger carry-on bag for the Superlight ticket in advance via Manage booking or the Finnair mobile app, at the cost of €9 or €14, depending on the route. 

Sari's tips for carry-on baggage

  1. Check the carry-on baggage allowance in your reservation. If you need extra baggage, buy it in advance via Manage booking on Finnair's website or the Finnair mobile app. When you buy the bag beforehand, the price is always lower than at the airport. 
  2. Pack essential items, such as medicines and keys, in your carry-on bag.
  3. Pack light: every kilogram of baggage increases the flight's fuel consumption and, therefore emissions. You can read tips for packing light here.
  4. If you are travelling with a Superlight ticket that only includes a small bag, place the bag under the seat in front of you in the cabin. 
  5. Hang your jacket on the hook in the seat back. This also keeps the jacket neater than when placed in the overhead locker. 
  6. Put a name tag on your carry-on baggage so you can recognize your bag in all situations.

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