by Judy and Mark
Next time you worry about how much you can take on the plane... just be glad they don't weigh YOU!
This airline weigh-in was not for our luggage... it was for us! We're always telling you to travel light, but this is taking it to the limit!
We were in the Peruvian Amazon, and before we could fly out of Manu National Park, we had an airline weigh-in.
In this case, we knew there was a luggage weight limit.
We had a custom tour set up for this adventure, and our tour operator had told us that our suitcases could only weigh 10 kilos, that's 22 pounds. With our travel light philosophy, that's about what our suitcases weigh in any case. We do, however, also carry a travel purse. That carry-on goes with us on the plane as a "personal item". It's sometimes pretty heavy in it's own right.
So about this airline weigh in. The flight from Manu to Cusco is operated by the Peruvian Air Force. The weather conditions have to be right for the flight to operate because of the altitude at Cusco. The Cusco airport is at 10, 859 ft (3,310 m)... and altitude makes a different for airplanes as well as for people.... all that lack of oxygen and all.
We got word at the Manu Wildlife Lodge that the flight was a go for our departure, so we took the two hour boat ride to get to the airport at Boca Manu.
They were assembling all kinds of cargo.... and everything got weighed. The cargo, our suitcases... and us... with everything we were carrying on! Kinda made us glad we hadn't been overeating!
That plane is a Twin Otter, and it has to fly over a 13,100 ft (3,993 m) pass. The weight and balance for the plane is crucial. With everything weighed and measured and packed into the plane, we climbed right up to 16,000 feet (4877 m)... Just enough to get through that pass... and just one more adventure on a trip that was full of them.
I guess the travel moral here is.... next time you're worried about how much you can take on an airplane... think about this and be glad that most airlines don't weigh you.
For the real information on how to pack and what is allowed, start with our Packing List
page... you'll find a list that will lead you to lots of information on how to pack light... so at least your luggage will pass an airline weigh-in... even if you don't!
Happy travels, J & M