The Mathematics of Packing

December 18, 2006

**This post’s content and format was inspired by The Simple Dollar.**

You can bring 100lbs+ to school but can only return home with 50lb and now you have to decide what stays and what goes. Ready to pull out your hair?

When coming to the islands (either Grenada or St. Vincent), a typical flight takes you to San Juan on American Airlines followed by a prop plane taking you the rest of the way (American Eagle, Caribbean Star/Sun, Liat, etc.). To benefit from the business of the larger companies, these smaller island carriers agree to handle the promised luggage allowance. So coming to the islands, I was allowed 2 x 50lb checked luggage, 1 x 40lb carry on and a 1 x personal bag not to exceed 15lb. For those keeping track at home, that’s 155lbs.

These smaller airlines have smaller airplanes and so cannot possibly take all of this promised luggage, so instead they take what they can with each flight and come back for the rest later. This means that most students coming to the islands wait a few days to receive everything.

Going back is a different story. The larger airline may have changed its guidlines and will now allow two checked bags not to exceed 70lbs in total (that’s a loss of 30lbs) or the smaller airline may decide (at their discretion) not to honor your previous luggage allowance when leaving the islands and restrict you to a single 50lb bag.

So what are you to do? Read the rest of this entry »