No suitcase? Are you kidding me?
The conventional suitcase, a big rectangle with soft or hard sides, wheels and handles is the image of “luggage” when picturing air travel. While the size and format represents an efficient use of space with reasonable protection for your belongings, its heyday has passed.
Checked baggage is now to the point where even a single suitcase is going to cost you, particularly on budget short-haul flights. Even major carriers are restricting weight on checked bags so that one suitcase you’re allowed is now subject to overweight charges.
But, you argue, your suitcase was bought to fit carry-on baggage sizes. That’s nice, but there’s a trend that will get your bag thrown into the cargo hold, and in the worst possible way. It’s called “checked at the gate.” At the top of the jet way, waiting to board, your ticket and passport in hand, the gate attendant spots your carry-on sized rectangular suitcase and offers up a memorized spiel that says, in essence, that due to the high volume of passengers on today’s flight, overhead storage is at a premium and you must check your bag here.
Part of the reason for this is the rack-em and stack-em discount airlines. With no amenities and seat that don’t recline, they can offer cheap seats based on the fact they can pack more bodies into a jet body than the majors do, with their higher priced tickets.
No matter how you arrange the seats, the overhead bins don’t change size.
It is a real dilemma, and it’s one likely to spread as airlines examine all options to increase revenues. More seats mean more ticket sales. This assures that checked-at-the-gate practices are here to stay.
The answer – backpacks that comply with carry-on luggage dimensions.
Gate attendants make on-the-fly decisions about which bags get checked and that’s where the suitcase loses. The reasons why may be regard for what’s usually in carry-on bags. For example, cameras and personal electronics are often packed to keep these away from the occasional gorilla employed as a baggage handler. A hard shell suitcase appears to say gorilla-proof to the gate attendant. The humble backpack, on the other hand, conjures visions of delicate belongs, squishable sides – important for overhead cramming – and in all, a kinder and gentler carry-on solution.
Purpose-bought laptop backpacks can include quite a lot of inner protection while still providing space for twice as many socks as you’ll need.
Forget that elegant suitcase image. Next trip, sling a backpack over your shoulder and for a comfortable ride to airport book a nice luxury airport car service.