Cheese It, It’s the Baggage Police!

November 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Ever feel like you’d like to conduct a citizen’s arrest of a fellow passenger whose oversized baggage clearly violates the size limitations for what is considered carry-on? Several airlines are deploying their own “baggage police” to try to enforce carry-on compliance among their passengers.

Jetstar in Australia and United have begun instructing employees to eyeball customers at security checkpoint entrances and instruct them to return to the ticket counter to check their bags. United has even placed new carry-on compliance boxes at its counters and has sent an email to frequent fliers reminding them of the policy.

But can either airline truly carry out this policing? We love the sentiment, but we’re not sure it will last or be picked up by other airlines.

English: Luggage compartments of an Airbus 340...

Luggage compartments of an Airbus 340-600 aircraft (economy class). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The issue seems to be the lack of industry standards, both domestically and internationally. Airlines don’t mandate checked baggage on certain flights even when they know the plane being used won’t be able to accommodate even a normal carry-on bag. Instead, airline personnel hand out gate-side checking tags issued for all carry-on luggage, so it can be gate checked and stowed in the regular luggage hold. Why is this?

The answer has to do with overhead bin space and consumer retention. An industry standard for carry-on bags cannot be enforced because the amount of overhead bin space is different with each type of airplane. Some have small bins on one side, designed only to accommodate briefcases, backpacks, and small duffels, while the opposite side has large bins for traditional carry-on luggage.

This means that not all passengers have equal access to that coveted real estate. If it can’t be made available for everyone, enforcing a standard isn’t possible. Bigger airlines have already heard consumer complaints on this issue. No carrier wants to get a bad rap for being a strict enforcer when others aren’t.

It is true that baggage storage issues contribute to boarding times, and can impact an airline’s record of on-time departures and arrivals. But unless equal space is available, it doesn’t seem that airlines are going to have much success enforcing baggage limitations with passengers. Until that day, we advise: Keep calm and carry-on.

Do you have any carry-on luggage horror stories? Share them with us in the comments below or
on our Facebook page
.

Travelpro and Atlantic Luggage Announce Their ‘2015 Holiday Gift Guide’

November 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Show How Much You Care for the Travelers on Your List by Selecting their Favorite Gifts

As families and friends prepare for the upcoming holidays, let us make it easier on you by offering the penultimate resource – the 2015 Travelpro and Atlantic Luggage Gift Guide for this year’s holiday season. As thoughts turn to seeking out great presents for loved ones, these premium brands will ensure wishes come true for all those travelers on your list.

The possibilities, like your plans for the New Year, are endless. The only question is ‘where to start?’

“No matter how uncompromising or discerning the person you are buying for, our 2015 Gift Guide has items to please everyone on your list,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro and Atlantic brands. “Our products embody the most advanced technology available today, combining style and functionality that is sure to impress.”

Surprise the frequent traveler in your life with a couple gifts from the Travelpro Holiday Gift Guide

Surprise the frequent traveler in your life with a couple gifts from the Travelpro Holiday Gift Guide

This Gift Guide includes products that offer distinctly durable construction, travel-tested features, impressive design and superior materials built to go the distance. We can start with the Atlantic Ultra Lite 3 29″ Expandable Spinner, which is perfect for families looking for lightweight luggage at an affordable price. Made with a water-repellent polyester fabric and high-mileage wheels like our more expensive luggage, this attractive spinner is built to please. Featuring expansion capabilities for extra packing, this model of the Atlantic Ultra Lite 3 line comes with a 10-year warranty.

The Atlantic Ultra Lite Hardside 21″ Expandable Spinner features expansion capabilities for extra packing, high-mileage dual Spinner wheels and the strength of a protective hard shell for families on the go. A stylishly textured finish resists scratching over the long haul. This piece includes 360 degree spinner wheels which roll effortlessly in any direction, a retractable aluminum-grade extension handle with multiple stops for users of different heights, and protective wheel housings for crash protection.

The T-Pro Bold™ 2.0 by Travelpro 26″ Drop Bottom Rolling Duffel is another item sure to bring smiles to your gift recipients. This piece is superior in packing flexibility, with a zippered divider panel that allows for two separate packing spaces or, if opened, one large main compartment. Made of water repellant fabric with a coating for greater stain and abrasion resistance, this luggage has durable crash protection, high performance ball-bearing wheels and a strong telescoping handle system with stops at 38″ and an extra-tall 42″ to ensure a comfortable roll for users of different heights.

Travelpro redefines premium travel with the Platinum Magna™ 2 21″ Expandable Spinner. Handsomely crafted with superior fabrics and genuine leather accents, this ultra-durable model represents the pinnacle of fashion, intelligent functionality, and design innovation. With patented Magna Trac™ Dual Spinner wheels, the wheels always roll straight with minimal effort. Backed by Travelpro’s Worry-Free Lifetime Warranty, the Platinum Magna 2 21″ Spinner is the ideal carry-on model for the serious traveler on your holiday shopping list.

Another thoughtful gift-giving choice is the Travelpro Maxlite 19″ Business-Plus Carry-on Hardside. This product incorporates the most sophisticated technology and style for hardside spinner luggage in today’s market. Constructed from 100% polycarbonate material, this hard-working carry-on is engineered to withstand high impact handling and the rigors of long distance travel, while still being lightweight. Another extra is a builtin business organizer and padded laptop/tablet sleeve located in the front pocket for easy access to business essentials during travel.

For the business traveler looking for convenience and functionality, the Travelpro Crew™ Executive Choice™ Checkpoint Friendly Computer Backpack is an excellent gift choice. This sophisticated item features a padded and quilted corduroy pocket for laptops up to 15.6″, plus a separate padded tablet pocket. A built-in business organizer and removable cord pouch provide efficient storage for business essentials and power cables. Added security is ensured with an RFID-blocking pocket which keeps credit cards and passports hidden to protect against loss and identity theft.

Inspired by the blockbuster films and designed for children ages 3 through 11 years old, the Universal Hardside Collections spotlight the iconic visuals from Minions and Jurassic World, combining fun with modern travel features. Made out of strong ABS hardside material with PC film, the 3 pieces in each collection offer a retractable handle system with multiple stops to accommodate children of different heights. A low profile top carry handle makes them simple to pick up, while inline skate wheels allow children to easily take care of their own luggage. In addition, parents will like the two compartment design with interior zippered divider panels and elasticized hold down straps for packing capacity and flexibility. The Minions and Jurassic World Hardside Collections are backed by a three year product warranty.

About Travelpro

For over 25 years, Travelpro International has prided itself on design innovation and durability in crafting the highest quality luggage for travelers worldwide. Since transforming the ease of modern day travel with The Original Rollaboard® wheeled luggage, Travelpro has been the brand of choice for flight crews and frequent travelers on every continent. The company is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently meeting and exceeding their expectations. Travelpro was honored to once again be voted as the “World’s Best Luggage” by Premier Traveler Magazine in 2014.

Please visit the Travelpro website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @Travelprointl.

About Atlantic Luggage

Since 1919, the Atlantic® brand has been synonymous with affordable, value-added and lightweight luggage. As a market leader in the lightweight luggage segment, from cleverly designed uprights and spinners to trendy and smart garment bags and totes, all Atlantic-branded luggage comprises superior quality and durability. Whether for business or recreation, travel is more pleasurable with Atlantic luggage, part of the Travelpro® family of products. Please visit the Atlantic Luggage website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations.

Boeing Adding More Carry-On Luggage Storage Room

September 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Rollaboard owners rejoice! Boeing is trying to solve the ongoing carry-on luggage problem by adding bigger overhead bins.

According to a new Travel Pulse article, the new bins, called “space bins,” will carry more luggage than the previous bins. This will hopefully ease the stress and strain put on travelers and flight attendants as more people try to sneak larger bags onto flights.

Boeing Space BinsThe new bins will also be easier to load and see into, which is helpful since more than one traveler has been hit on the head by people removing heavy bags they didn’t quite realize they couldn’t carry.

One drawback is that it will decrease head space a bit.

It will be interesting to see how Virgin Airlines reacts to the news, given they recently said the interior plane space is actually the most valuable space. They were discussing charging for carry-on bags, and allowing free checked bags. Will this move be a revenue generator for them?

From Boeing’s perspective, they’re likely responding to requests from the airlines, who are hearing from customers. Right now, the airlines want to continue to charge for checked bags and allow carry-ons. Those passengers looking to save some money will be better able to maneuver their carry-ons and fit them into the new large bins.

Meanwhile, we’ve also been hearing some airlines are considering reducing the allowed carry-on sizes to accommodate more passengers using their carry-ons. However, Delta has said they plan to allow carry-on sizes to remain the same as they have been in the past.

We like the idea of the bigger bins. If you could turn your carry-on bag sideways (which is what Boeing is suggesting), you can fit six bags into the space instead of four. The loss of headroom does not seem like a great loss, especially since we’ll all be sitting. We’ll see if that continues to be the case or if headroom will be subject to shrinkage like everything else on the plane.

What are some of your ideas for getting more (or fewer) carry-on bags into the plane? Leave your ideas in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Boeing Media Room

Can You Get Your Checked Bag Faster By Checking in Later?

September 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Does the “last in, first out” rule apply to airline luggage the same way it does a bus or elevator?

The short answer is “No,” and Yahoo Travel explores why this luggage myth is just that.

The author, Christine Sarkis, asked Delta about baggage delivery, after spending a rather anxious time waiting to retrieve her bag on an international flight to check it back in again for her domestic trip.

English: Baggage handlers loading a Northwest ...

Baggage handlers loading a Northwest Airlines airplane at LAS (Las Vegas Airport) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The answer? Luggage is distributed into the hold based on weight rather than when it’s checked in. When the luggage is loaded, it’s all done up in a very scientific fashion to help balance out the plane’s load.

In fact, for large planes, the luggage is loaded into “cans” (big boxes), which are loaded onto the plane to spread the weight out evenly. While it’s not completely random, your bag could be in any of those cans, depending on the total weight of each can.

Smaller planes practice “loose loading,” which means they load the luggage into the hold based on weight. They work to get the balance right, so even then, there’s no LIFO to the bags.

We’re very curious about exactly how this works and would love to get an insider tour of how the baggage handling process works, but when we asked a Travelpro team member to ride in a bag with a GoPro camera, he said no.

Meanwhile, we would be thrilled to hear any insider stories from baggage handlers or even be invited along on a luggage handling tour.

When it comes down to it, says Christine Sarkis, the only two ways to get your baggage more quickly is to fly business or first class or to carry it on yourself, in which case all you have to do is reach up into the overhead bin to retrieve your precious cargo. This is also a great way of ensuring that you don’t lose your luggage.

Do you have any other tips for retrieving your luggage faster on a trip? Let us hear from you. Leave your tips in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.

Bring This, Not That: Backpack, Rollaboard, or Duffel Bag for a Carry-On?

August 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

We’ve talked before about the different benefits of backpacks, rollaboards, and duffel bags and we definitely think that each one has a particular area where it shines. The regular business traveler might favor the rollaboard, while the college student would enjoy the backpack. And travel writer Mark Eveleigh has waxed rhapsodic about the duffel bag.

So is there a “best bag” to bring on your next trip?

It depends on the size of the particular bag and the length of the trip.

On the business side, the backpack has almost been a replacement for the briefcase, especially among younger people, particularly when you’re talking about the business-style backpack. When you actually do travel, you can use your backpack and a rollaboard at the same time.

Tpro Bold 2 Group Photo - Blue

Our Tpro Bold 2 line – duffel bags, rollaboards, and backpacks.

The backpack will carry your work essentials for a business meeting, to visit a client, or to give a presentation. The rollaboard takes your clothes and toiletries. And if you have a Travelpro backpack, there’s even a strap to slide over the rollaboard’s extended handle.

The duffel bag could be, depending on its size, a replacement for the rollaboard or backpack. These are very useful for non-business type trips, but could require some more energy and forethought.

In terms of plane travel, the rollaboard usually can’t fit under the seat in front of you, so it would have to be stored in the overhead bin. Also, rollaboards have wheels, which are great for pulling the bag behind you, but you can easily set duffels down, and as long as you’re carrying them, they’re all-terrain bags.

Mark Eveleigh and his girlfriend, Narina Exelby, are adventure travel writers who have a strong preference for duffels because they don’t like toting backpacks around on their backs, and instead look for duffels with heavy-duty wheels.

As is often the case, you need to think about the nature of your trip. Make sure you have the right piece for the particular trip you’re going on. They can all be useful in different situations: rollaboards are great in the city, while duffel bags are better for weekends in the cabin or if you’re going to do a lot of hiking. And backpacks are just great all around for your smaller items and work essentials.

Which is your favorite? Let us hear from you. Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Virgin America Contemplates Charging For Carry-On Bags

July 21, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Yes, you read that right, Virgin American is considering charging customers for carry-on bags. A May 19 article in Global Traveler reports on remarks made by Virgin American CEO David Cush on the topic. He said he thought charging for customers to put luggage in the belly of the craft and giving them prime space within the cabin for free was rather backwards. He also noted that charging the same amount of money for baggage on short and long flights is a bit nonsensical as well.

This would make Virgin one of the bigger airlines to take this step. Spirit and Allegiant already charge for carry-on baggage in excess of one personal item such as a backpack or purse. Could this start a reverse migration to checked bags? Would more people check bags instead of carrying them on?

English: Luggage compartments of an Airbus 340...

Luggage compartments of an Airbus 340-600 aircraft. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a concern on the side of the airlines because there’s so much activity with carry-ons: it takes longer to board and deplane because of all the bags people bring on flights with them. That means the potential is there to not arrive at the destination on time. On time arrivals is a metric that all airlines track. From the travelers standpoint, they’re doing it to avoid checked baggage fees. In other words, the airlines have created a problem for themselves that they’re now looking to solve.

It will be interesting to see if Virgin America really goes forward with this idea. It will create another layer of add-on pricing, which could make Virgin less competitive. Allegiant and Spirit are known for having low base ticket prices and then charging add-ons to customers for almost everything. We wonder if Virgin America would need to lower the base price of its tickets if it decides to start charging for carry-on luggage. Otherwise, they could be undercut by bigger airlines.

On the other hand, if Virgin went forward with this plan, other major carriers may also jump onto the bandwagon, and we could all start paying for our checked bags.

What would you do if Virgin and other airlines started charging for carry-on bags? Let us hear from you here or on our Facebook page.

Travelpro Announces its “Win a Trip to the Golf Championship” Sweepstakes

April 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Sweepstakes runs April 1 through May 10, 2014

Travelpro, the original inventor of Rollaboard luggage and a leader in innovative, high-quality luggage design, is proud to announce its “Win a Trip to the Golf Championship” sweepstakes featuring a trip for two to the U.S. Open.

The U. S. Open Golf Championship is the second of the four major golf championships in the nation and is on the official schedule of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. This year’s championship will take place, June 9 – 22 at the Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in the Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina. From April 1 – May 10, Travelpro is offering the chance for a grand prize winner and guest to win a trip to one of golf’s most prestigious events.

111th U.S. Open Championship

111th U.S. Open Championship (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

“Travelpro has a history of providing flight crews and frequent travelers with innovative and stylish luggage that’s designed for the long haul,” said Scott Applebee, Travelpro International’s Vice President of Marketing. “We are pleased to offer a winner and guest the opportunity to witness the world’s most talented professional golfers at the iconic 2014 US Open Championship.”

The Sweepstakes winner will receive a $1,000 voucher for personal airfare and one travel companion. A two night stay at the legendary Pinehurst Resort in the Village of Pinehurst, where the game of golf is rooted in its history. One $300 prepaid credit card and two Travelpro carry-on suitcases, along with two 2014 U.S. Open Championship tickets for Thursday, June 12 and Friday, June 13. Each ticket will provide access to the SI Golf Group’s corporate hospitality tent in the Ross Village and complimentary food and beverage on the dates specified.

The Grand Prize Package Includes:

  • Two (2) U.S. Open Championship tickets
  • $1000 voucher for airfare
  • Two (2) night hotel stay (one room, double occupancy)
  • $300 gift card
  • Two (2) Travelpro carry-on sized suitcases

The sweepstakes begins April 1 and ends May 10. To enter or view the official sweepstakes rules please visit: http://www.travelpro.com/golf-sweepstakes/. No purchase or payment necessary to enter or win. The United States Golf Association which conducts the U.S. Open Championship has not endorsed or sponsored this promotion, or the prizes associated with this promotion in any way.

About Travelpro

For over 25 years, Travelpro International has prided itself in design innovation and durability in crafting the highest quality luggage for travelers worldwide. Since transforming the ease of modern day travel with The Original Rollaboard wheeled luggage, Travelpro has been the brand of choice for flight crews and frequent travelers worldwide. Travelpro is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently understanding and exceeding their needs. Travelpro was honored to receive the New Product Innovation Award from the Travel Goods Association (TGA) in March 2013 for the revolutionary Platinum Magna luggage collection.

Please visit the Travelpro website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

American Airlines Testing New Boarding Procedure

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Have you noticed that at the airport, when a plane is preparing to board passengers, there’s usually a group of people who hover? You know what I mean — the travelers who pace back and forth by the airline desk, ready to jump into line as soon as their section is called for boarding. Maybe these passengers feel as if the act of standing in line is an improvement on sitting in the waiting area. Maybe they just want to get on the plane and get settled. Whatever the reason, there’s something about boarding the plane early that passengers seem to enjoy.

American Airlines has picked up on this early boarding obsession, and here’s the the latest travel-related rumor – American Airlines is testing a new boarding procedure which asks passengers to board the plane depending on whether or not they have carry-on luggage. The test is apparently happening in several airport locations, and on randomly selected flights.

English: Just like on an airplance, the overhe...

English: Just like on an airplance, the overhead bins on the InterCityExperimental had lids which could be closed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this new beta boarding procedure, the elite travelers and business class passengers are asked to board first as usual. But immediately following these groups, passengers without carry-on luggage are asked to board, regardless of their seating zone on the plane. At least, that’s the way it happened for John DiScala, frequent business traveler and editor of travel website JohnnyJet.com.

This test of shortening boarding time is likely a method American Airlines is using to both save money AND to make money. The idea is, getting the low-maintenance passengers in their seats first can potentially shave a few minutes off boarding time.

And according to DiScala’s story in the LA Times, every minute saved on boarding can save an airline $30. That may not sound like a lot of money, but it can add up fast. Plus, passengers who truly love the early boarding policy might be incentivized by this new boarding procedure to check their bags upon arrival, even if it means paying an extra luggage fee.

Whatever the reasoning behind American Airlines testing this new boarding procedure, it seems like process improvements and efficiency are the primary goals. Only time will tell if a new boarding procedure like this one eventually is rolled out for the rest of us to experience.

Hotel Rooms to Avoid on Business Travel

September 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Nothing like arriving in a new city for the biggest presentation of your career, checking into your hotel ready for a night of restorative sleep and last-minute preparations…and not getting a wink of sleep thanks to the hotel annoyance du jour.

CNN interviewed Doug Peckham, who’s had a long career in hospitality and now oversees Dallas’ Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa, which is located near the headquarters of corporations like Cinemark and Southwest Airlines. The hotel caters to lots of businesspeople, so Peckham is especially sensitive to their needs.

English: A corridor outside hotel rooms in the...

A corridor outside hotel rooms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are a few rooms he recommended avoiding:

Rooms near an indoor pool: Besides the noise of children splashing and screaming early in the morning, you’ll be treated to the pervasive smell of chlorine under your door at all times.

Rooms near a bank of elevators: Ding! Ding! Ding! In addition to the constant sounds of arriving cars, you’ll get a lot of passing foot traffic, room service, and other annoyances.

Rooms above common areas: Enough said. This goes for the second floor, the second from top floor and any floor directly above (or below) a conference or meeting room area.

Smoking rooms: These aren’t nearly as common anymore, but you could get stuck in a smoking room if you check in late or haven’t been vigilant about requesting a nonsmoking room. It’s just as annoying to find yourself in a recently converted nonsmoking room, because the smell of smoke can get into everything and stay there a long time. Request a new room or ask if the hotel has any HEPA filters to help with the air quality.

Pet-friendly rooms: You’ll be especially sensitive to this if you have any allergies. Pet hair and, sometimes more importantly, dander are often as persistent as cigarette smoke and can be a real problem for guests.

Peckham also recommends asking the hotel questions about your room and your stay before you even get your key made. Find out whether there are any rooms available on a higher floor, where you may get more quiet and a better view. You should also find out whether there are any special rooms designed to offer travelers a better experience, such as “clean-air rooms” to provide better air quality for sensitive guests, fitness rooms and rooms outfitted for business with teleconferencing equipment, secure Internet access and expanded workspace.

And when you book, ask whether there are any major events happening at the hotel during your stay; if there’s something going on, you may not get the best service or experience.

 

Four Tips for an Easier Family Getaway

September 13, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

If it seems like a lot of articles are written about how to make family travel easier, maybe that’s because it’s generally not
the easiest task. Family trips can be wonderful fun, and an opportunity to bond, but there’s a lot more to think about when you’ve got wee ones in tow.

The New York Times put together a story with seven great pointers to help family travelers get to their destination more smoothly and enjoy their trip more. These are our four favorite (is it any wonder they’re all packing related?)Car Top Carrier

Don’t pack what you can get there.

Sunscreen, baby formula, juice boxes for snack time and other relatively inexpensive items are available pretty much universally. You can save weight and potential mess by simply buying those few provisions when you arrive at your destination.

Think compact.

Yes, it’s pricey to check bags, but sometimes it’s worth it to have the comforts of home with you no matter what — especially when kids are involved. The Times piece mentions travel cribs and high chairs that fold to impossibly small sizes and can either be stowed on board or checked easily with no excess weight. Of course, many hotels have travel cribs as well.

Don’t pack everything in one checked bag.

It’s a (sadly) well-known fact that bags do occasionally get lost during travel. If you’ve packed one massive suitcase with everything you and your family own, and that gets lost…well, we’ll let those scenarios play out in your head. Pack at least two smaller bags — including one you can carry on — stocked with the essentials, plus any important medications and some items to keep everyone entertained if trouble should arise.

Don’t scrimp on plane tickets.

Splurge on that nonstop flight and checked bags if it’ll spare your sanity and keep you from having to wrangle family members and heavy luggage through three different airports. It’s also getting harder for families to sit together on board, too. Airlines like Southwest let you board early for just a small fee, which may be worth it to get everyone boarded early and in seats near one another.

Granted, not everyone will be able to afford to take all these tips into consideration — one commenter called the story “travel tips for the 1%” — but there’s always something to be learned.

Photo credit: Troy Cawley (Flickr, Creative Commons)

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