This is going to be a kind of random post, but I find it helps me consolidate my thoughts.
So we are in the final 36 hours before we board our flight to Germany. I'm doing my best to prepare us for all travel related scenarios, both good and bad. Just interpreting the baggage and personal item guidelines for foreign airlines is time consuming and confusing. Many people have told me to pack with extra room to bring back any gifts or souvenirs, but looking at the fee structure in place since 1/10 for over weight and extra bags... well, it seems kind of retarded. Based on my understanding of Austrian Airlines policy, if you have ONE bag and it's over 23kg you pay a fee of $150 USD, but if you, instead bring a separate bag weighing up to an additional 23kg it only costs you $50 USD. So it sounds like I'm better off bring 2 bags or perhaps nesting one inside the other for the flight to Germany.
Also, the carry-on aka hand luggage policies are very confusing. They read like you are allowed only one item up to 8kg. So does this mean if my wife brings a carry-on suitcase, she has to leave her purse??? They also state any hand luggage weighing over 8kg will have to be checked. I'm beginning to think I should pack a scale and tape measure for the trip! At least the trains seem to have a relaxed stance on baggage.