Luggage Size Restrictions for on-tour flights
We leave in a few weeks for Cruising the Galapagos which has 2 on-tour flights. I understand the need for luggage size restrictions on the carry-on bags but am wondering how strict they are about checked bags. If we stay under the 50 lb limit, will we be okay even if our bag measures over 54 inches?
Unfortunately for years Tauck literature has not done a very good job describing luggage restrictions.
How much over?
Your on-tour flights are on commercial carriers like LATAM, Avianca, and TAME, so you must first adhere to the airline weight and size restrictions. LATAM has 3 categories of "luggage"- Checked luggage, carry-on luggage, and personal item. The limitations are typically 17 lbs (LATAM) for carry-ons (Economy or higher) and 50 lbs (LATAM) for checked luggage. Note, the LATAM website states, "The Basic fare does not allow carry-on bags". You'll need to call Tauck to see what fare class you'll be flying. We sat in steerage! but it could have been an Economy class fare when we did Peru & Galapagos a few years ago. The amount of space for carry-on luggage on the small regional aircraft (A319 is typical) flying this route is almost nil for anything but "personal items" - "purse, laptop bag, diaper bag" which are limited by size only according to the LATAM website. On our aircraft people brought small soft-sided day bags/large purses, camera bags, and small backpacks. I carried a man-purse (camera bag). Just be aware that if it is too big they may make you check it for which you will pay a charge.
If you meet the airlines' weight and size limits on checked (and carry-on) luggage, but are just a tad over some Tauck-only limitation you'll be fine. I don't see size restriction in the Before You Go > Luggage Handling and Restrictions on the Tauck website, is it spelled out in your Green Book?
The Galapagos tour is one of the easiest to pack for. We have taken it twice. You need no dress up clothes. It’s easy to stay under 44 pounds. On this tour just about two years ago, one of our checked bags was ruined on our return flight, it was very wet, but we soon discovered it stunk of fish when we collected it and rechecked our bags at Miami. It must have been stored near a fish shipment. We had to throw taht almost new bag away and could not claim on insurance since it’s not possible to send a photo of the damage, you can’t photograph a terrible smell.
Thank you Alan S and British for your answers. Both were helpful. Yes, the Green Book does give more specific (and restrictive) luggage guidelines for the on-tour flights. However, when we traveled in China with Tauck (and bought new luggage to meet the on-tour restrictions), once we were there we discovered almost everyone else had not paid any attention to the restrictions and it wasn't a problem. But it does sound like we definitely need to pack light this trip and hope our luggage isn't near the fish shipment!