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Attire and Accessories

Carrying dress on the plane or check it in?

I am travelling overseas for my wedding. Now, what is the best way to transport my wedding dress over there? I really don't want to check it in. It has so many ruffles that it looks huge in the garment bag that the bridal shop gave me. I know this idea is a little crazy but would it be okay to put it in a space bag and suck the air out in a vaccum and put it in a carry on?

Re: Carrying dress on the plane or check it in?

  • Could you call where you bought it and ask them what they suggest?
  • I would check what your airline allows, but I would try to carryon my dress at all costs.  I carried mine in the cloth bag it came with, but rolled / stuffed it into a large duffle bag for walking through the airport.  The flight attendants were quick to let me through when they saw the bag scrunched, and it was easy to pull it out to hang in the airplane closet for the duration of the flight.
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  • I'm a former flight attendant so I'll tell you the truth....
     1. If you check it, there's always a slight chance it could get lost. But, it may be your best option if...
     2. If you have a big dress, i.e. anything that doesn't fit in a standard garment bag, it may not fit. Yes, there are closets onboard, but they also have to hold crew luggage and all the first class passenger's coats. If you are connecting to a hub, you may be on a smaller plane that does not have a closet at all. Your flight attendant will probably do anything they can for you, but there's no guarantee.
    3. If you lay your your dress out flat in an overhead bin, and you're lucky enough that you find one that's empty. It may shift around and become crushed or wrinkled. And there may be a jerky or oblivious passenger who would put their own bag on top of your dress.

    There's a way you can buy a seat for your dress, if it's a large one. It's called a 'seat-loaded item.' That's how musicians usually transport their valuable instruments. Call your airline. 

    I'm planning on putting my dress in my carry on, but if I weren't---My personal choice would be to Fed Ex my dress ahead of time to the hotel or place and have them hold it for me. Lots of travelers do that. You can put tracking numbers on it, insure it, and do it a week or two ahead of time so you have a chance to make sure all's well. 
  • I'll be carrying on my dress... its much smaller than it would have been - but even with the full skirted dress I got, my bridal shop assured me they could pack it in a cabin-sized box. I've seen them, those things are tiny - its like a jigsaw puzzle!

    Then once you get to your destination, I'd get it steamed (personally I'd get it steamed at a bridal shop, not a normal cleaners... but I'm funny that way. I'd rather trust the people who's job it is).

    The box would mean that the dress would be protected, and someone else would be able to put their bag up top with my dress. My main worry when I fly is to be as far forward in the plane as possible to not spend 3 hours in the immigration queue. If I had to put my dress at the back in an empty bin, or put it in the closet, I'd be waiting around til everyone got off to get them back. And I'd rather keep it close to me at all times.
  • My step mom is bringing me my wedding dress in August and she called the airline and they said to carry it on and they would hang it up for her.
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  • edited April 2011
    Thank you all for your replies. I am flying on British Airways to London and staying in the airport for about 3 hours and taking a smaller plane to Beirut and that's additional 5 hours. So my total flight/connection time is about 16 hours. I called the airlines and they would only allow items/suitcases within this size (22in x 18in x 10in). They don't guarantee space in the closets because they might be full. I called my bridal shop and asked if I can put my dress in a box or a suitcase and carry it on, she said that's fine, even if I will have to stuff it in the box/suitcase but I need to keep it in the garment bag they gave me then put it in the box/suitcase. If i were lucky enough, there might be room in the closet where I can ask a flight attendant to hang it up for me. If not, I will simply leave it stuffed in the travel box or suitcase. I have 11 days at my destination before the wedding so I can definitely take it to a bridal shop. My seamstress said that the type of fabric i have doesn't need pressing, only a little bit of steaming on the bodice and veil since the skirt is all ruffles..
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