Frankfurt Airport Carry-on Baggage Restrictions and Now you Need to Buy a Plastic Bag

Last week, we traveled from Frankfurt via Paris via Birmingham to Nottingham. This took 11 hours. We could have made it to China within the same time.

We all know the guidelines for carry-on restrictions, such as the limit of 4 liquid or gel-like items in your toiletry/medical bag. Unfortunately, my personal care items exceeded that; I had overlooked the tooth paste.

In the past, if that were the case, passengers were usually handed a one-quart, zip-top plastic bag and we stuffed our more than four items in it for a closer inspection at the security check point.

Not anymore. On 29 April 2014, my son and I checked into two different lines at the security checkpoint. He went through quickly, whereas I had to have my toiletry bag checked, was informed of one too many gel-like items. New: instead of being given a bag, I was told to pack up again and buy a bag. As simple as that. “Where can I buy a bag?”, “Over there.” came the very enthusiastic answer. I don’t blame them either. Security screeners, working in a very noisy and strenuous environment and dealing with nervous and/or tired passengers, only make € 6,85 an hour at the Frankfurt Airport. That is before taxes. Some of them are married with children.

After I repacked, gathered my belongings, and put on my boots again, I went to look for this over there machine. By then, I had to rely on this very useful female trait of asking someone for help. I was taken to  the machine. It is the size of a cigarette machine and facing the wrong way. Wrong  in the sense that out-coming passengers can’t see it.

After a very short period of relief,  I noticed I didn’t have the right change. The machine takes only 50cent and 1euro coins. Of course, I had everything else in my purse, but not the required change.

Back to the friendly staff, who helps direct passengers. One of them was able to make change for my two euro coin, so I could buy this darn safetybag packet.

carry-on zip-top plastic bag at Frankfurt Airport

carry-on zip-top plastic bags for sale at Frankfurt Airport

For the readers who wonder why I kept it in carry-on. I was booked on a flight without check-in baggage.

My son was starting to get a bit worried, because I was gone for at least an extra 20 minutes. And he did not know I had to go off to buy this plastic bag. Well, I guess the airport is either trying to cash in on this gold mine OR reduce our carbon footprint by making passengers more mindful.

I will definitely remember this next time. Both bags from the little yellow packet are in my toiletry bag now.

Fact: Always keep a plastic bag (16.2 cm X 24.2 cm or 6.38″ X 9.53″) with you. Running off to make this purchase and separating from your clueless fellow travelers does not improve your travel mood at 6:30am. “Mama, wo warst du denn die ganze Zeit…?”

 

April Cherry Blossoms in Kitakyushu, Japan

Thanks to my friend Yoshiko for contributing these cherry blossom photos taken in Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushi-shi.

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

April is my personal favorite month in Japan. It is usually warm and sunny and perfect for any kind of outdoor activity such as picnics, biking, sight-seeing, etc. I find the summer just too stifling hot with its subtropical climate. Try getting up at 6:20am and by the time you have started making coffee, the sweat is already running down on the back of your knees. That’s June, July and August for you in Japan.

Hanami

Hanami

I do miss this hanami (花見, lit. “flower viewing”) time in Japan. That’s pretty much one of the rare times you see Japanese eating and drinking outside. We Westerners like to sit in outdoor restaurants, such as bier gardens in Germany, but most Asians rather sit inside to avoid the sun (and aging). I personally would rather sit outside on a warm and dry summer day… and age a bit.

Mt. Sarakura, Yahatahigashi-ku in Kitakyushu-shi

Mt. Sarakura, Yahatahigashi-ku in Kitakyushu-shi

My husband is on Kyushu right now with three friends, biking around Fukuoka.

Springtime in Sicily

A passenger, sitting behind me on our flight to Trapani, commented how green the island looked compared to her usual summer visits, when the land is brown and parched.

Vineyards on Sicily

The land is green and lush in April. I heard golfing in Sicily is really good in this season as well.

Narrow streets and tall houses in Trapani

This is one rare front without laundry hanging on the balcony. Wherever we turned we could always see laundry flapping in the wind.

A typical thing to do on a lazy afternoon – watching people passing by in the street. It is very common to see people spending their free time like this.

street dogs

I guess I forgot that there are many more dogs roaming the streets without a master in Southern Europe. At night, after dinner and wine, we would often pass a sleeping dog on the sidewalk.

I have taken a fancy to Sicily, its pace, people, and pleasures.

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