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A baggage handler’s 5 surprising tips about checked luggage

by on Wed December 21, 2011 • 1 Comment

Baggage tipsWith the airlines charging for checked luggage, and many of you signing up for airline credit cards that offer a free checked bag benefit, like the United Explorer or Delta SkyMiles® Gold Credit Card American Express, you may think you’re all set and covered when it comes to avoiding baggage hassle.

Well, these are the airlines, so of course not…

But Huffington Post recently had a baggage handler from a large airline shared his tips on making your checked bag show up on time and undamaged.

Our five favorite tips are here…

  1. Your luggage is literally thrown by handlers inside the cargo hold of anything but the biggest planes. That means be prepared to have it stand up to getting tossed up to 50 feet — so no bottles of wine or liquor.
  2. Bags with four ‘spinner’ wheels on the bottom are best. Because instead of throwing them, the handlers can just roll them to the back of the cargo hold.
  3. Wide body aircraft — like the 767, 777, 747, and A330/340/380 are safer for luggage. They use individual containers that are loaded before they get into the airplane, so your luggage is less likely to get thrown in the hold.
  4. Look for hard sided luggage and handles attached with rivets. That makes it less likely the bag’s handle will detach when it’s loaded heavily.
  5. Plan at least 40 minutes if you have a connection. Otherwise at big airports your bag may not have enough time to get on your connecting flight. 45-70 minutes between flights seems to be the sweet spot.

Also consider using baggage tracking. now lets you track the location of your checked bag from its website, even on mobile devices. You just enter in the number on your luggage receipt and it will show exactly where it was last scanned.

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