How to get around the new carry-on rules

USA TODAY International Edition - - MONEY / TRAVEL -

❚ Fit it all into your “per­sonal” item. That’s de­fined as a shoul­der bag, purse, lap­top bag or other small item that is 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches or less (thanks to United for the mea­sure­ments). You’d be sur­prised how much you can fit into a “per­sonal” item, and best of all, most air­lines won’t charge you for it.

❚ Use a lug­gage ship­ping ser­vice. Com­pa­nies such as Lug­gage For­ward and many other sim­i­lar ser­vices will send your bags ahead of you for a price. Prices start at about $79 for a transcon­ti­nen­tal flight. The peace of mind may be worth the ex­tra money.

❚ Be the first to board and have the right ticket. Avoid “ba­sic” econ­omy-class fares and dis­count air­lines such as Al­le­giant, Fron­tier and Spirit, which charge ex­tra for carry-on items. Many air­lines will also let you pay ex­tra for an early board­ing po­si­tion, help­ing en­sure you won’t have to gate-check your carry-on.

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