“Sorry you cant take these bags on the plane Miss”, states the flight attendant at the check in counter, not sounding very sorry at all. ‘Um… what the actual f#@k?’ Flashed through my brain for a second whilst I tried to process what the lady had said. I laughed and looked at her, waiting for her to elaborate so that I could make sense of the information that she had just shared. “You can not check this type of bag in” she explains pointing to Ashton’s Osprey backpack. She then looks at the rest of our bags and finds fault with these also. “These bags will have to go in a box in order to go on the plane”, she continues “we sell boxes, they are available over there”, and she tries to direct us to a far away counter in the airport. At this point I am in total disbelief at the ridiculousness of the situation and I can feel the anger start to rise.
The check in lady had just informed us that our backpacks, that we had bought specifically for travelling were not allowed to be used as check in luggage. Top of the line backpacks that had been manufactured for the purpose of travelling the world and had been used by millions of other backpackers were now being denied entry onto a plane. I couldn’t take this lady seriously despite the hardened stern look that she had on her face. She could see that I wasn’t going to back down and she clearly was prepared for the challenge. And so off we went, Round One… Fight!
Calmly, and whilst trying to contain the hysterics that were trying to escape from my mouth, I explained that these were backpacks that were made for the very purpose of travelling. I followed this up by emphasising the fact that we had been on 10 plus planes with these very backpacks in the last three months with no other incident of this sort. Was I really having to state my case to allow backpacks onto the plane as check in luggage? This all felt a little ridiculous. She countered stating that a new airport policy had come into play and that these bags were not acceptable to be checked in, in Dubai Airport. She asked if I would like to purchase a box to cover my hundreds of dollars worth of perfectly adequate travelling bags, I volleyed back with a polite ‘no thank you’ and insisted that they check my bags in. She hit back with an answer in the negative and offered a supervisors assistance to which I accepted.
I think this is where I started to have the edge. My health bar was slightly higher than hers and I hoped that I could hold on for the duration of this game that we were playing. We waited the instructed 5 to 10 minutes for the supervisor to arrive with no one coming to speak to us, and then we waited some more. In the mean time, we were told that the straps of the backpacks were the problem. Straps were no longer acceptable due to the fact that they could get stuck in the luggage conveyer belt machinery and my yoga mat that was strapped securely to the side of my bag and had not fallen off, let alone moved out of place on any of my previous flights was, according to the flight attendants, going to come off of my bag and be lost. Um… again I had to hold my tongue slightly so as not to appear rude. But I think the odds were on my side given that so far I had a 100% success rate of keeping that yoga mat attached to my bag. But, no, apparently these ladies knew better. Which had me thinking, ‘What on earth does the Dubai airport do to my baggage that had secure items falling off the side of my bag or was this going to be one hell of a turbulent plane ride?’
After 20 minutes, I sweetly asked if the supervisor was far away? To which she replied that she didn’t actually know when he would be coming but he had been rung. In that 20 minutes I had tied up and hidden every single strap on our backpacks. I showed this to the lady and asked, if perhaps our luggage would now be acceptable to check in, since of course this was part of our flight price and again… they were freaking backpacks! It wasn’t a foreign, odd item that I was asking to take on the plane. Just you know… baggage. Could I check that in please?
She sighed, her health bar dropped again. My special tying move had increased my odds of winning and I could feel victory in the air. I showed her that I had also moved my extremely secure yoga mat inside of my husbands backpack so that it was now in no apparent danger of coming loose (not mentioning that now of course his bag would be over the weight restrictions!). And I could feel her resolve softening once again. Persistence was the key here and she was sick of the sight of us with more difficult customers to pursue, such as the person trying to travel internationally without a passport. I had this battle, because she had already wasted too much of her time dealing with us, one last move and victory would be mine. I smiled, I asked if we could please check our bags in as we had solved all of the alleged problems and… we had her. Our backpacks were now accepted as check in luggage on the flight. It was ridiculous that I had to even have this argument. Laughable even. Never the less, I was on a high from the victory. Travelling Fresh Family – 1 Dubai Airport – 0. I hope we never have the pleasure of a rematch!
Dubai Airport Rules- As of the 8th of March 2017 Dubai Airport enforces new strict luggage laws which mean you are unable to check in the following luggage:
- No irregular shaped bags
- No oversized bags
- No round bags
- All bags should have a flat surface
If your luggage does not adhere to these rues then you will need to have them boxed, for a fee of course.
Technically all of our bags, except for Rory’s, abide by these rules, but it seems that they can be open to interpretation by whomever is checking your luggage in at the time. If you are travelling with backpacks through Dubai airport I would suggest that you make sure your cover is zipped up over your backpack straps and that all loose straps are tucked away and… hope for the best. Also probably don’t have your yoga mat or anything else strapped to the side as I did- oops!
xx Travelling Fresh