View Full Version : Will I be a carry-on nerd?

11-02-2011, 03:40 PM
I want to carry on my Mabef field easel when I fly to Oakland on Friday. The reason I visualize this is that it meets the total size limits, although it is 33" long after I unscrew some things and bundle it in its smallest from. We used to put garment bags in upright closets, but times are different, huh?

It appears that the option to "Gate Check" is available if I get the no-go for my nerdy plan. But, anyway, has anyone had experience with this?:eek: :confused:

11-02-2011, 04:35 PM
On the website of each airline, and maybe the web page for the TSA, you will find the size restrictions for carry-on luggage. Although your Mabef may meet width requirements, at 33", it maybe longer than the allowable length. If you are flying First Class, the flight attendents will stow your Mabef in the coat closet. But, if you are flying coach, you will have to depend on a kind gesture or find an overhead bin that that is empty so you can stow your easel at the very back of it. I just brought my W/N WC Bristol - only good because is is so small and light weight - on board a plane. W/N is only 26", so it worked great. My Mabef is 36" and I have never tried flying with it. J

11-02-2011, 05:18 PM
Thanks, jp. I unscrewed the two outboard legs and when freed, the whole is then 33." I find the wiggle room when the websites say things like, "a total of 54" OR 24" by whatever."

I found this cool link that lists major carriers' rules, but it still doesn't become definitive for me. Canes are allowed, so where do they store those? I used to put garment bags in a closet and I wasn't first class then.


LINK. (http://askville.amazon.com/size-carry-luggage-permitted-flights/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=2612640)

11-02-2011, 05:39 PM
I've seen some make people stuff their luggage into the bin and it has to fit completely. If you have to do that and you can put it at a diagonal, it will fit for sure. I would probably prefer to wrap it well and just pay $10 to check it. I've "contributed" pocket knives, etc to airports and I do not like being at their mercy.

11-02-2011, 05:45 PM
I don't want to do the diagonal fit thing, because that takes up someone else' space.
Thanks for tuning in, Potoma!

11-02-2011, 05:59 PM
There is a bin prior to getting on the plane that I was talking about, not once on the plane. It's how they measure that things fit before you board with something potentially too large.

11-02-2011, 06:21 PM
Do you know where you are staying. If so, contact them and arraign to have it shipped there. It will be a lot gentler on everything than TSA.

11-02-2011, 07:37 PM
Just spent some time investigating my Mabef. If you completely disassemble your Mabef, you will be down to 32". All you need is one kind flight attendant, and you are golden.

Do you have a carrying case? If you have to check your Mabef, you may need to remove all of the hardware that the bolts do not poke holes into your carrying case.

One more idea for checking the Mabef as cargo luggage is to "build" a reuseable cardboard box for it and then check it. You can buy a heavy duty moving carton and shipping tape at Home Depot, cut and fold the box to the size that you need, add some padding, and viola! Be sure to put the packing tape into your luggage so you can repack the box upon your return. Oh, and write FRAGILE on the box and ask to have it checked in the way that the airlines check skis, golf clubs, baby car seats, etc.

Still thinking about this. Good luck!!! J

11-03-2011, 11:04 AM
Good luck on getting it on the plane. If you can put it into their rectangular box to test things, it'll fit - and don't worry about it going in at a diagonal. Most flights aren't that full, so the overhead compartments are rarely so full you couldn't get your easel in first and let people put backpacks etc. around it.

When I flew I got a Carry On and a Personal Item. My cat was my Carry On in a special airline-approved soft sided carry bag that he likes better than the hard shell cat carriers, my messenger bag was my Personal Item and went up into the overhead compartment. I think between them I went right exactly up to the weight limit because I had the messenger bag stuffed solid with art supplies in dread that my luggage would wind up somewhere else.

So make sure you weigh both, there's a weight limit on those things too. If the field easel weighs too much it might have to be checked.

11-03-2011, 11:44 AM
Thanks, everyone for the great thread and responses. :cat:

I went around my studio looking at my Best table easel, and tried it in a big suitcase - the easel was too big. Then, I disassembled my Mabef full French easel, and it was the right size without legs or mast, but it wouldn't fit much stuff inside.:confused:

Also, my ThumBox (Judson's) is the perfect size for travel, but I was worried about it being stable enough and too small for demonstartion puirposes (I am the teacher!):eek:

Back to the Mabef field easel, which is tall enough and just stable enough. Guess what I found? A gun case! Woo Hoo. It fits perfectly inside a single, hard shell with crate foam gun case.:clap:

Good thing that every third guy going through Spokane airport has a gun case to check. But, my return from Oakland will be interesting...

I'll come back and give a full report on my workshop and flight next week for those interested.:grouphug:

11-03-2011, 11:50 AM
Just one more thought - though it's a bit late. I have been known to ask the teacher and/or local pastel societies in the area I'm traveling to see if there is anyone who has a plein aire easel I can borrow so I don't have to travel with mine.

Even my dear from from WC here offered me hers for use in New Mexico two years in a row. So... If anyone is ever traveling to Seattle and needs to borrow one... give me a call. I happen to have an extra I can lend you.

Who are you studying with? I may know someone in the area to ask...


11-03-2011, 11:51 AM
HAH - look at that... when you read closer you realize you are the teacher! Well in that case!!! Having your own supplies has to help... Have fun.

11-03-2011, 11:55 AM
Hi, Barbara! At the one I taught in the Portland area last spring, my hostess had me using her studio easel, which is the same one I use at home. It was very nice.

This class is at the home of an architect, and few attendees have easels to bring.

11-03-2011, 12:31 PM
It was worth a try! Have fun.

11-03-2011, 06:02 PM
They also fit nicely into a portable chair bag and nobody will look at you funny.

11-03-2011, 07:26 PM
LOL awesome using a gun case. I'd love to see the look on the face of the security folks when you open it up to show what's inside.

11-03-2011, 08:55 PM
A gun case? Security will find that interesting...especially flying into Oakland.

:D former Oakland resident

11-08-2011, 12:05 AM
My report:
I successfully got to Oakland with two carry-ons with my pastels and boards and personals in them. The field easel went in the gun case and that was a last minute stroke of something-like-lucky spark of gray matter. It was easy to check, light, and fully protected my field easel. Gun case - you gotta try it next time.

Trying to get everything into carry-ons was not too difficult, and although they were maxed out I never had any trouble fitting them on the plane.