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Yet another reason to go carry on

Angry luggage handler swaps tags.

There is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent this. The only thing to help you would be those baggage tracker tags.

You’d still be without your luggage for a day or two though.

Posted by
3303 posts

I will keep that in mind the next time I fly from Singapore; otherwise I am not going to worry about it.

Posted by
5535 posts

Nothing is going to persuade me to travel hand luggage only unless I was doing a very short week long trip. I travel a lot and have never had any issues with check in luggage.

Each person has their own preferences, but the “holier than thou” attitude that pervades this website for those that opt to travel with luggage is becoming rather tedious!! Please just let people make their own choices.

Posted by
8889 posts

Not sure how he could do that. Most luggage labels I have seen are fixed very firmly, so they don't come off in "baggage handling". The only way to remove them is to tear them off, then they cannot be re-attached.

Posted by
3259 posts

Meh. In the unlikely event that I am departing from Changi again, and run afoul of this guy or one of his co-workers, I'll deal with it. Still checking my bag.

Posted by
204 posts

Agree with Jennifer; it's a personal preference. We always check our bags.

Posted by
1179 posts

Each person has their own preferences, but the “holier than thou” attitude that pervades this website for those that opt to travel with luggage is becoming rather tedious!!

That’s a bit much, don’t you think?

Did you see any diss toward check through?

I saw another data point in cost/benefit analysis.

Posted by
2908 posts

In the unlikely event that this occurs again and in a country in which I'm traveling, there is nothing in my checked bag that I can't do without or replace. It's not going to change my system of checking my bag. But it is a rather entertaining maneuver by the angry worker.

Posted by
3259 posts

That’s a bit much, don’t you think?

Did you see any diss toward check through?

Cindy: as someone who has posted on this board over 1000 times, and have posted most frequently on the packing forum, not to mention your own website that you have posted on your bio, it's pretty clear which side your bread is buttered on. It would be naive for you to claim that you have not read the passive aggressive to downright snarky remarks on the threads about those who have the nerve to check their luggage. Frankly it's tiresome. A one in a million occurrence such as the one in the linked article is no reason to justify never checking a bag - that is just gratuitous editorializing.

Posted by
1220 posts

Yeah, the religious wars about carry on only get a bit tired. And I won’t get on my soapbox about carry on people who have luggage that resembles a steamer trunk in a 1940s movie.

That last thing in the world I’m worried about is some rogue employee unless they’re the pilot. And that I have no control over.

Posted by
4654 posts

I'm firmly in the checked luggage camp unless It's just me on a short weekend trip. Never had any issues however my wife and son recently fell foul of British Airway's policy of carrying too much fuel in order to avoid refueling at destinations where the fuel is more expensive (not confined to BA). Prior to landing at Krakow the Captain announced that he had ordered the removal of some luggage at Heathrow as the aircraft was overloaded and mentioned fuel during his announcement. When my wife went, hopefully, to the carousel all but fifteen cases had been removed! Evidently fuel is more expensive in Krakow airport than Heathrow.

Panorama broadcast an investigation into this practice and BA's response was that it would be looking into stopping the practice, mainly because the investigation focused on the increased CO2 emissions as a result of flying such loaded aircraft.

They received their luggage two days later.

I'll still be checking my luggage though as I can't fit what is required for a two week holiday for a family of four in a couple of carry-on's, notwithstanding the fact that the overhead storage was never intended for so many cases.

Posted by
8293 posts

I am in the checked luggage camp and I always enjoy watching the carry-on passengers struggling to cram their bags into the overhead. Such a lot of grunting and tsking as they push and shove and reposition other passengers’ bags to accommodate their stuff, meanwhile holding up others in the aisle. But in the end they have done it and are pleased with themselves.

Posted by
841 posts

Hiya Cindy,

Personally, I would never check my carryon bag, unless required by duly empowered authority, but that’s just one thing that contributes to my enjoyment of traveling.

Posted by
4979 posts

This thread is beginning to get a bit contentious, no?

I've flown both ways, checked luggage and carry-on only. Which I choose is a function of where we're going, how long we'll be there, and the time of year. No value judgments; whether someone else chooses to check or carry is his or her own choice.

I do think that since airlines have started charging more for checked bags, many folks who would previously have checked their bags are now opting to carry on. This does seem to result in overstuffed overhead bins, as well as more delays getting on and off the plane as people are trying to deal with their luggage.

Posted by
4654 posts

I do think that since airlines have started charging more for checked bags, many folks who would previously have checked their bags are now opting to carry on. This does seem to result in overstuffed overhead bins, as well as more delays getting on and off the plane as people are trying to deal with their luggage.

This is absolutely true with British Airways. I have been flying them for many years and generally most people checked their luggage however as soon as they introduced the luggage fees the number of carry on's increased dramatically. This created problems where there was insufficient space to accommodate all the bags and now I regularly experience delays because cabin crew are trying desperately to find somewhere to store all the cases. We now have the situation where on almost all flights I've been on, prior to embarkation an announcement is made stating that the flight is full and requesting volunteers to place their cases in the hold, rarely does anyone do this.

Posted by
1179 posts

It would be naive for you to claim that you have not read the passive aggressive to downright snarky remarks on the threads about those who have the nerve to check their luggage. Frankly it's tiresome.

Just like it’s tiresome to hear passive
aggressive comments like “holier-than-thou”, “packing police”.

It’s also tiresome to hear comments about stinky clothing, poorly dressed, obsessed, etc. (none of which are true)

It goes both ways and I started complaining about the comments a year ago.

If you want it you need to give it.

I truly saw this as another piece of information. As stated on this board multiple times, the reason I started to go carry on only is because the airlines lost my bags multiple Christmases in a row. Then they lost my climbing gear for a week (on a climbing trip). Then they lost my bags when we had a family portrait scheduled. Then they didn’t bother to load an entire bin of bags (1/4 of the plane).

So yes, I’m a little hypersensitive about lost luggage.

Posted by
4979 posts

JC, that has been our experience, as well. We usually fly British Airways, and the scrum in the aisles has become ridiculous.

Posted by
4249 posts

This forum can be like Thanksgiving with my family. An unwritten list of rules of unacceptable topics. . .

carry on vs. check
taxi from CDG vs. RER B
pickpockets vs exaggerated claims!!
use a money belt vs. money belts are uncomfortable and silly
moving locations takes half a day vs. limited backtracking/experiencing evenings without day trippers

and so on. . .

People have different ways to travel depending on age, personality/preference, itinerary and physical stamina. For every person, there is likely an occasion where they might lean one way or another. On my last trip, I changed locations 7 times over the 3 plus weeks I traveled. If my luggage had been lost/delayed it probably would have followed behind me thru two countries and the multiple cities. On the way back home, absolutely, I check it.

The host of the website promotes carry ons, money belts, and he has a huge following of folks that have appreciated his years of travel experiences. There is likely going to be a bias on this forum towards those thoughts. That's not to say its the "correct" way for everyone to travel.

I don't understand why people click on a topic that triggers them.

Posted by
4979 posts

Jules m, some people seem to enjoy being outraged, or at least jumping in to disagree with someone. There's probably a word for it in German - like the wonderful "schadenfreude."

Posted by
4654 posts

I don't understand why people click on a topic that triggers them.

Neither do I but I don't have any subjects that "trigger" me, I'm made of sterner stuff. People who travel regularly know what works for them and they tend to stick to it however I have read so many posts from people who have never travelled to Europe before or it has been a long time since they've done it, they read Rick Steves advice, and the advice of others and end up fretting how to fit everything into a carryon when they're going to London for 7 nights, staying in the one hotel and getting a cab from the airport in which case just bring a large suitcase and check it. It's those people who would benefit from alternative advice rather than what would be considered more appropriate for the experienced, multi city, multi stay, whirlwind traveller. Until you click on a thread title you don't know if there is anyone that would benefit from such advice.

I appreciate the myriad reasons why people wish to travel with just a carry on but it's not always appropriate for everyone and those people deserve to be advised that there is an acceptable alternative

Posted by
2916 posts

I'm firmly in the carry-on camp, but 2 things have forced us to check baggage more often than I'd like: the ban on liquids in carry-on, which means that our baggage stuffed with wine on our return flights from France must be checked; and (2) shrinking of the size and weight allowed for carry-ons on most airlines. However, I've never felt any animosity towards people who say the prefer to check bags, and didn't even realize that it was a point of contention on this forum (as opposed to numerous other matters). And also, the featured story that started this thread represents the least of the reasons that would make me go carry-on. I'm not particularly worried about baggage handlers switching my tag. Unless it's on the wine-filled bags on the way home.

Posted by
31467 posts

There are pros & cons for both carry-on and checked luggage, and each traveller has to decide which method works best for them. I normally use carry-on only for domestic flights, but always check a bag when travelling abroad, for a variety of reasons. My packing and travel methods are always a bit of a "work in progress" but so far that method has worked well.

The incident described in the article linked above seems like an isolated incident, and the authorities seem to have dealt with this effectively. Hopefully this will serve as an example to others who may be contemplating similar acts of vandalism. It seems a bit unusual that he was able to get the tags off and then reapply them, as the paper bar code tags that the airlines use here are applied with adhesive and have to be cut off.

Posted by
1816 posts

"Medic"!!!

I mean "Monitor"!

Too much arguing going on here.

Posted by
2908 posts

I'm not seeing any arguing. What am I missing? Different opinions do not constitute arguing. Some days any of us can be a little overly sensitive but other than that, it's just a discussion of the poster's original post, particularly the baiting title. You send out the bait, you must risk getting caught. LOL

Posted by
6869 posts

My carry on bag failed to make our flight out of Prague because of enhanced security screening, We had to wait for the bag in a cheap Atlanta Airport hotel for 2 days And my Lexus key fob was in that suitcase. My wife left her key fob at home.

No checked bags for me again. Always carry 2 sets of keys--one as a backup.

Posted by
3491 posts

I really don't care if you get on the plane and have zero luggage, 15 checked item, or somewhere in between. Your trip, your decision. Just don't ask me to help you put your 50 pound carry on into the overhead because you can't (I have medical issues that do not allow me to lift heavy objects for now, so I am not trying to be a jerk when I don't help you).

However, when someone here asks the question about how to reduce and/or eliminate their checked bags, I am going to provide examples of what I do. I don't feel answering a question and sharing my opinion means I am holier than thou or any of the other terms thrown around here.

Yes, I am one of those who travel without checked bags whenever possible. It saves me an hour of time checking in (yes, it really takes that long to check a bag at my home airport), and at least that much time on arrival. That is the main reason I try to only have my cary on bag. And that I simply don't have so much clothes to drag along with me that I need more space. I always have what I need and if the situation changes, I am OK with buying whatever I need at the destination. Also, my carry on doesn't weigh as much as the free weight barbell I work out with at the gym, so no grunting or other issues when placing my bag in the overhead or on removing it on arrival.

I have had 4 instances of my checked bag disappearing so far in my travel history. I only received the bag back in one case. I was paid by the airlines for the others. The one I got back was on my first trip ever. It as on Southwest and they still hand wrote the baggage tags at many of their airports at that time. Instead of HOU, it looked like the baggage person wrote HOV on my tag. Since this was a domestic flight, surprised no one noticed the bag was being sent to Norway. It took nearly a month for the bag to show up at my house.

Posted by
11234 posts

Please do whatever makes you happy.

I want to thank those that check their luggage. I wish more would. I carry on and the more that check their bags means more space for me in the overhead. :)

Posted by
523 posts

On our China / Tibet tour last September dear wife and myself were the only ones who carried on luggage for the entire tour, which included five trains, 3 planes and a 3 day river cruise. Everyone else had a at least a 24+ inch suitcase and a large back pack. When they found out that we only traveled with a carry-on bag, we heard one of two things: (1) How did we do it; we do laundry in our room or send out through the hotel laundry service or (2) they could travel that too, we just nodded our heads okay. FYI. my wife traveled with a Tom Bihn Aeronaut 35 and I used older Patagonia MLC. Both of us had room to spare and no issues with the domestic Chinese airlines.

Posted by
1 posts

Wow, I didn't know the airlines had mishandled your luggage so many times, Cindy! It makes sense you fly carry-on only now. I, for one, am grateful for your packing light tips, both here and on your blog. I hope you someday resume blogging about traveling light. I do carry-on now, and my suitcases keep getting lighter, if not smaller. The tips I read here, on your blog, and other sites helped me optimize my packing. I now have a spreadsheet with my clothes and their weights. I enjoy thinking about how to lighten the load further. In fact, on the rare occasions I can't fall asleep right away, thinking about how to pack lighter relaxes me and puts me right out! I guess I'm a carry-on convert!

Posted by
126 posts

I, for one, am grateful for your packing light tips, both here and on your blog. I hope you someday resume blogging about traveling light.

Same, your blog really helped me, specially when it comes to pack my toiletries. I used to bring my whole shampoo bottle and body wash. Not anymore.

I agree with Frank II!! I wish more persons check their bags, more space for us on the over head bins. Haha!

I don't mind helping a passenger to put their bag on the overhead bin, specially if it's a short lady or gentleman and can't reach it.

My beef is with the persons that bring heavy carry ons + big tote bag + several bags of stuff they bought at the airport, hog a whole overhead bin with their stuff and feel entitled to get help from the cabin crew or other passengers to shove all of that in the bin. Bonus points if they have a Starbucks on their hand and don't put it down for anything in the world. No. End rant.

Posted by
154 posts

I agree with Frank II. The more people check their bags, the easier it is for those of us who carry on. I prefer not to check a bag unless absolutely necessary, not so much for fear of loss or damage (I've only had one such instance in my life), but to eliminate the delay of waiting at the carousels.

My biggest gripe is people who take all day stowing their carryons and holding up those behind them. Often it's because their overstuffed bags barely fit in the overhead, or don't fit at all. Pick the smallest bag you can get away with and you can store it more easily, and thus get in your seat faster. (Obvious allowances for the elderly and physically challenged folks, who should be assisted by their fellow passengers when needed. Ditto for kids.)

Posted by
128 posts

Even for those of us who prefer carry-on there are times when that is not an option. One example would be when traveling with collapsible trekking poles. I know of at least one person who tried to carry them on in their backpack and was told to check them just as they were about to board the flight. This preceded a mad dash back to the check-in place and then back again to board the plane just before they pulled up the gang plank or whatever it's called. I am thinking now of not even buying the poles before our next trip and waiting to get them in Kathmandu when we arrive.

Also, I have taken home-made baked goods to a memorial/life celebration that had to be checked.

Posted by
523 posts

I am thinking now of not even buying the poles before our next trip and waiting to get them in Kathmandu when we arrive.

We rented them from our guide on our hike to Machu Picchu. Worked great for the four day hike and no issues with our carry-on bags.

where do I put the fishing waders and the tux?

James; somewhere there is a packing cube specifically sized to handle both.

Posted by
7588 posts

This forum can be like Thanksgiving with my family. An unwritten list of rules of unacceptable topics. . .
carry on vs. check
taxi from CDG vs. RER B
pickpockets vs exaggerated claims!!
use a money belt vs. money belts are uncomfortable and silly
moving locations takes half a day vs. limited backtracking/experiencing evenings without day trippers
and so on. . .

JulesM, i love it!! I think you’ve about covered it!!

Posted by
3491 posts

where do I put the fishing waders and the tux?

You either rent them on arrival, or ship them separately to your hotel. Or so I've been told. Have only tried this on business trips where the hotel was expecting a couple dozen of us for a conference. When someone else is paying for it, it is a great option to ship.

Posted by
13527 posts

I guess you are right, but I'll to spend a few extra days waiting for the tux alterations. I havent actually traveled wit both a tux and the waders at the same time, but both end up on at least one trip each year.

My compromise is to stay at an AirBnb, book it for the full duration, leave what I wont need and use carry on for 3 to 6 night side trips.

The trip home? I check everything but a clean shirt, skivies, toiletry kit.

Posted by
18298 posts

Actual mishandled bag rates for US carriers is about 2.5 bags mislaid per 1000 bags checked

And what is the rate for bags that are carried on?

Posted by
13527 posts

Actual mishandled bag rates for US carriers is about 2.5 bags mislaid
per 1000 bags checked

You mean it's two tenths of one percent? Unacceptable.

This is just one of those cases where certain people believe that subjective decision making becomes objective fact because it is their view. To consider not checking a bag is prudent, to suggest it to someone is probably considerate; but to argue it beyond that is presumptuous in what defines a good trip to you should also define what is a good trip for someone else; or that you even share the same social values as other people. For instance you could not possibly go with carry on alone and understand why I enjoyed my last two trips. One trip for activity, one trip for social value.

Posted by
1179 posts

Actual mishandled bag rates for US carriers is about 2.5 bags mislaid per 1000 bags checked

Unfortunately, this doesn’t tell the whole story. The true story gets lost in the aggregate.

Not all trips are the same.

  • some trips involve transfers, which increases probability of loss
  • some trips are inter-airline, which increases probability of loss
  • some trips are at airports with bad baggage systems, which increases probability of loss.
    • some airlines are worse than others.

It’s like the average US crime rate. It’s meaningless. Some places are worse than others. Averages don’t matter.

Posted by
1217 posts

And what is the rate for bags that are carried on?

Small but non-zero. Bags can get left at airport restaurants or bar areas, and there have even been multiple reports of thefts of bags and thefts from bags in the chaos of the security screening zone from both fellow passengers and from security employees. (Computer gear and other high value electronics that must be removed at many checkpoints are shiny targets)

And while it's better since they moved to consolidated security screening instead of screening at individual gates, the first time I landed at AMS, I remember being greeted with the signs warning of pickpockets in the piers because apparently anyone off the street could just wander through the main terminal back then.

There are risks associated with leaving your house every day; there are risks staying in your house and having a slip and fall in the bathtub.

Posted by
1277 posts

Geraldine, your imaginary traveler has a Starbucks in one hand and a bag of some ridiculously smelly food in the other.

And those who would put this debate on the list of forbidden Thanksgiving dinner topics, Iowa based print shop Raygun issued a set of coasters for hot topics with more neutral answers, great stuff.