How can I take this poster with me on the plane?
November 20, 2019 11:26 AM   Subscribe

I just realized that I need to take a 20" x 20" foam-mounted poster on my flight tomorrow. It definitely doesn't fit in my carry-on, and I would prefer to not check a larger bag. What's the best way to bring it with me?

In case these details matter, I'm flying Alaska at 6am tomorrow, and I need the poster on Friday evening. It was expensive to print so I would prefer not to re-print once I get there, but I could if I really needed to.

*Would they flag me for bringing the poster in addition to my laptop bag (which I need to keep with me) as a personal item?
*If I carry it on, where can I store it during the flight? I believe I have a window seat.
*If I have to check it, how can I ensure it doesn't get damaged en route?
posted by quiet coyote to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
They used to have a little closet up front for odd things, like musical instruments, etc. You could ask how. It also might fit under the seat in front of you if you could get specs of the aircraft.
posted by Oyéah at 11:56 AM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Just carry it on. I don't think anyone will care. If you have a window seat, it's likely you won't have any problem finding a place to slide it in next to your seat. It also will fit in the overhead compartment, but you'll have to make sure to put in on top of any bags so it doesn't get damaged. You can asking a flight attendant once you board to see if they have any other options.
posted by ShooBoo at 12:00 PM on November 20, 2019

I'd not assume 20"x20" fits into an overhead bin without folding. Definitely wouldn't fit in the overhead of many planes I've been on. I'd score the back with an exacto knife ahead of time and then be willing to fold it in two if necessary after you board. Nobody is going to think anything about a folded poster other than "oh they had problems on a plane". Also FYI printing posters on cloth is a good solution for travel, for future reference.
posted by SaltySalticid at 12:05 PM on November 20, 2019 [4 favorites]

Can you pry off the foam backing and roll it up and put it in a protective tube?
posted by Ideefixe at 12:07 PM on November 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

Just ask a flight attendant where to store it once you board. I've also had to fly with a foam-mounted poster (much larger than yours), and it was no problem for a flight attendant to slide it into a little nook/closet for me.

I did check other luggage on that flight and asked the person who checked my luggage what to do about the poster. She let me know that it would be fine to bring it on and ask the flight attendants to store it.
posted by snaw at 12:23 PM on November 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

Carry it on in a large branded paper shopping bag, the more upscale the better. (Think Nordstrom's and above.) I've NEVER had a flight attendant question any shopping bag.
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 12:49 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

For next time: print on fabric! Easy to stick in your luggage, pricing comparable.
posted by apparently at 2:56 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Non-plane option: overnight it to either your hotel or the conference venue (if those are not the same place). Happens all the time (source: self, have shipped stuff this way any number of times).
posted by humbug at 4:02 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yeah, fabric is my preferred way to go, but unfortunately this conference required foam board. Next time I'll print at the venue, but I thought I'd be able to fit it in my luggage. I'll try to carry it on and see what happens!
posted by quiet coyote at 4:34 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: For posterity: I carried it on and did not call the gate agent's attention to it. When I got on the plane, I asked the flight attendant for the best place to put it. She stored it in the small closet up front and had pulled it out for me when I deplaned. Thanks, all!
posted by quiet coyote at 3:20 PM on December 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

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