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…?”