New Warning about Luggage Tags

June 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

As if air travelers don’t have enough things to keep track of when navigating an airport terminal, a recent report now suggests you need to be aware of potential hackers trying to access your flight reservations and other private information from your seemingly innocuous luggage tag.

The six-digit identification number located on your boarding pass, as well as on the accompanying luggage tag of your checked bags, is all a hacker needs to access all kinds of personal information — your email address, your phone number, your address — as well as your flight itinerary and frequent flier account.

This has become such a target-rich code for hackers because the airlines’ global reservation systems are antiquated and vulnerable. Put in place in the 1960s, their software coding does not account for personal privacy laws that have been instituted since that time.
Don't share photos of your airline luggage tags on social media -- the bar code is readable and contains a lot of personal information.
Since the onus is on the traveler to be alert and protected, here are a few suggestions to stop would-be hackers:

  1. Don’t post your boarding pass on social media. Hackers know our tendency to unwittingly overshare, so all they have to do is Google “boarding pass images” to reap a harvest.
  2. Consider only using a virtual boarding pass that comes to your email and uses a scannable image to get you through TSA. If you aren’t carrying a physical record that can be misplaced, lost, or captured by a hacker with a cell phone who takes a picture of what you’re carrying in your hand for anyone to see, your personal data is safer.
  3. Create complex passwords for your data so that if someone gets your information, they don’t have easy access. There are numerous apps available that create random, unique, strong passwords that are difficult to hack. The days of using one password for everything are over.
  4. Take your boarding pass when you exit the plane. Don’t stash it in the seat pocket in front of you. Doing so leaves that valuable code accessible to anyone who happens to find it.

Travel safety involves more than using a money belt or backing up valuable data before you leave. It also means taking steps to avoid getting hacked, even on something as simple as a boarding pass.

What are some extra security steps you take to protect yourself? Do you have any special tricks or even gadgets that you like to use, such as an RFID-blocking wallet? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: Tony Webster (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 4.0)

Short-Term Repairs for a Broken Suitcase

December 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It can happen when you least expect it or you can discover it when you’re retrieving it from the baggage carousel, but no matter how it happens, a broken suitcase has the potential to severely impact your travel experience. With a little bit of resourcefulness, you can get through your trip and back home. Here are some ways to address common problems, as well as some Travelpro® product features specially designed to help avoid on-the-road luggage disasters.

If your suitcase wheels stick, make sure there's nothing stuck in them.

If your suitcase wheels stick, check to see if anything is stuck in the housing.

If your telescoping handle sticks, apply a small amount of lubricant to literally grease the skids. See if you can track down some WD-40; if that’s not available, a little soap can help. If the handle is slightly bent, you may try manipulating it back into proper position. If it’s clearly broken, at least you have the other handles to carry the bag. An add-a-bag attachment strap, such as Travelpro® offers on many of its rolling products, would allow you to hook your broken bag onto another until you can address the issue.

If your wheels aren’t rolling smoothly, chances are there’s something stuck in them that’s inhibiting their movement. Wipe them with a damp cloth and look for anything that might be stuck in the wheel housing. If the wheels are wobbly, causing the bag not to pull straight behind you, the screws could be loose. Tighten them up – if you don’t have a screwdriver handy, call down to the front desk and ask for one. Travelpro designs its wheel systems with the frequent traveler in mind, subjecting their products to miles of rigorous testing. Our patented MagnaTrac™ Spinner wheels are self-aligning and have a specially designed housings to protect them from damage on baggage ramps and as they’re pulled over curbs and through terminals.
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Shopping for Luggage: Lightweight Durability

August 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Using “lightweight” and “durability” in the same sentence when describing luggage may seem like an oxymoron. Duffel bags have long been lightweight; heavier hardshell case bags have been durable. And that’s the way it has always been.

Mostly.

Travelpro Crew 11 Luggage Collection

The new Travelpro Crew 11 luggage collection

When it comes to “lightweight durability,” at Travelpro®, we have built our reputation on marrying the two.

It’s simple science: The lighter the bag, the more you can put into the bag to meet the maximum allowable rate. With airlines instituting weight limits for checked baggage, and carry-ons for international travel, the empty weight of luggage matters.

It all starts with the lightweight frame, which has been subjected to (and exceeded) rigorous testing criteria. And while all of our collections have new design innovations, let’s focus on Crew™ 11, the sister collection to our FlightCrew™ 5 collection, which is used extensively by flight professionals.
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Delta Invests $50 Million in RFID Baggage Tracking Technology

June 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s not hard to imagine, and it’s every weary traveler’s worst case scenario. Perhaps this has happened to you. You arrive home from your trip only to find your luggage didn’t make the trip with you. You rummage around and find those little baggage claim stickers from the depths of your carry-on to show an airline customer service representative, but other than that you have no way of knowing where your bags are. It’s an awful beginning or end to any trip.

Delta Baggage Tracking on mobile app

Delta Baggage Tracking on mobile app

Currently, there are many bag tracking devices and accompanying apps on the market, but those put the onus on the traveler to make the airline aware that, for example, they’re on a flight to Omaha while their luggage is on its way to London.

Delta is turning this model around, as they have recently announced a $50 million update to their baggage tracking technology system. New RFID scanners, RFID bag tag printer, and RFID pier and claim readers have been installed in 344 stations worldwide. Delta’s investment is the largest outlay by a single airline to date, and has resulted in baggage tracking that is 99.9 percent accurate.

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Shopping for Luggage: Fabric Types

June 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

In the food world, it’s said that we eat with our eyes first. The same could be said when purchasing luggage: we are attracted to a bag because of its looks before we consider the merits of its construction. Today, I want to highlight some of the fabrics used in the TravelPro lines so that you know what you’re getting when you purchase a soft-sided piece of luggage.

Maxlite 3 luggage Group Photo

Maxlite 3 Luggage, one of our soft-side luggage collections

Polyester and nylon are the preeminent fabric choices, and the strength and durability of each is determined by its denier and weave pattern. Denier is the thread count, the measured thickness of each individual strand of yarn; the higher the denier, the higher the quality of the material, usually.

Nylon is typically viewed as stronger than polyester, but the industry has seen major improvements in polyester’s durability in the past five years, making it a viable alternative to nylon.
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Top Five Technological Advances in Travel

May 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Technology is changing all aspects of our lives, from how we communicate to how we work to how we watch TV. Even our travel is benefitting from new technological advances.

A screenshot of a Google map

You can now download a localized Google Map to your phone for use even when you don’t have wifi or data access.

In fact, technological and engineering advances top the list of coming travel-related improvements. DestinationTips.com recently published 15 new travel advances we can expect to see, and we picked out a few of our favorites.

If you have a smartphone, you’ll be especially jazzed by what you can do with that ever-expanding, multi-tasking device.

Hilton and Marriott are in the process of updating the mechanisms that lock their guest rooms so travelers can unlock the door using their smartphone. By simply downloading an app when you check in, your phone acts as a key, and you have one less thing to keep track of during your visit.
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What Exactly Are Packing Spaces Good For?

May 6, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Ever wonder what all those pockets and packing spaces have been designed for in your suitcase? While frequent travelers have developed a system for making the most of these spaces, those who don’t hit the road as often may struggle finding “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

Platinum Magna 2 bags

Platinum Magna 2 exterior Pockets

Let’s start with the exterior pockets. Travelpro Rollaboards typically have two exterior pockets on the lid of the suitcase. The large one allows the traveler to store a light jacket if you’re traveling to or from the cold, and you’ll only need your jacket for one leg of the trip. It also provides handy access to a sweater, a book, a newspaper or magazine, or a tablet. Storing electronics in this pocket is not recommended for checked baggage, as it affords the least amount of protection from possible damage.

The smaller exterior pocket is designed to provide storage for handheld electronics, power cords, and a boarding pass. This is especially helpful if you are traveling light and don’t have a separate purse or bag for such items.
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Easy Steps to Cleaning the Exterior of Your Luggage

April 27, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Traveling is not all happy trails when accidents happen. Spilling coffee on your suitcase as you hurry toward your gate can create quite a mess. It’s also not pleasant to retrieve your luggage from the carousel and discover some strange stain on its exterior, like grease or who knows what. While you probably won’t have time to attempt to clean the stain before you return home, in case you don’t read any further, know this: DO NOT USE SOAP AND WATER!

T-pro Bold 2 with spinner wheels

Do NOT use soap and water to clean the exterior of your Travelpro bags!

Perhaps that’s surprising. We’ll explain exactly what to do in a minute. While we’ve covered how to clean the interior of your Travelpro luggage in a previous post, we realized we need you to know how to maintain your bag’s exterior as well!

Travelpro products are designed and manufactured to be durable, functional, and easy to maintain. Over the years, manufacturing innovations and overall quality of fabrics and water resistant/stain resistant coatings have led to constant improvement in the wear of our luggage.
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Travelpro Made, Mother Approved: The 2016 Mother’s Day Travelpro Gift Guide

April 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Ensure Life is a Trip for your Loved Ones with Coveted and Creative Gifts

Travelpro® and Atlantic® Luggage, two of the most prestigious brands in the travel industry, are proud to present the much-anticipated 2016 Mother’s Day Gift Guide. Finding the perfect gift for your wife or mom can create anxiety every Mother’s Day, which is why Travelpro and Atlantic make your life easier with luggage selections that the special women in your life will delight in, not only on May 8th, but for years to come.

Atlantic Unite2 Collection

The Atlantic Unite2 Collection

The first two pieces featured in the Guide are the creative and value-conscious Atlantic® Unite™ 2 21″ and 25″ Spinners, available in durable black and blue fabric colors. You will be amazed by these offerings from the market leader in lightweight, affordable luggage. These Unite 2 Spinners have design innovations such as the Link2Go™ System which easily connects luggage together with Velcro straps, so you can push two pieces with one hand.

Atlantic goes the extra mile with the addition of an external USB port and integrated battery pouch in the Carry-On Spinner model, which provides convenient access to power your phone and tablet on the move. Masterfully versatile, the affordable Unite 2 collection gives you a choice of ideal gifts for family travelers who need an extra hand and electronic devices that are always available for immediate use.
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Shopping for Luggage: Get the Lowdown on the Handle System

April 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

We all know it’s the little things that make or break your travel experience. But if you break something on your luggage, your travel experience may end up being one you want to forget.

You may not have given thought to these three little important items — the handle extension system, the carry handles, and the handle grips — but let me tell you, if you don’t consider them when you’re purchasing your luggage, you’ll be cursing them when you’re on the go. Let’s talk about what to look for.

Travelpro Maxlite 4 Collection

Travelpro Maxlite 4 Collection. Check out those great handles!

It’s all but impossible to purchase a rolling bag that doesn’t have a handle extension system, but not all systems are created equal! Most are constructed of lightweight aluminum and have multiple stops within the extension so that they can be adjusted for different heights. Travelpro thinks this system is so critical to a successful travel experience that we’ve patented ours. It’s called Powerscope.
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