Checking a bag is travel magic.”

From The Brooks Review, Elevate Your Travel: Why Checked Bags Are the Way to Go:

So I checked my bag. And then I did it again. And then again.

Checking a bag is travel magic.

You get the best of both worlds: the ability to pack nearly everything you want to pack while still only carrying a personal item onto the plane — albeit a much lighter personal item. Granted, none of this is new; this is how the air travel experience was initially designed to be. So instead of rolling your eyes at this less-than-novel approach, allow me to remind you how we all lost our damned minds being obsessed with personal item carry-on situations and instead should be embracing the checked bag.

I have been in the never-check class for a long time (although, for a time, travelling with a 65 pound service poodle, plus his gear, made this impossible). But the stress of whether or not there will be a place for a carry on above my seat (hint: there won’t be) is real, and the more I travel the more I realize that we should optimize out all the stress points under our control.

So perhaps I’ll become a bag checker?

(via Patrick Rhone)


Ton Zijlstra's picture
Ton Zijlstra on June 11, 2024 - 14:45 Permalink

I stopped checking in bags because that was the stress point. Not arriving when I did, or ending up on a plane I wasn't on. The travel magic just wasn't there a few times too often.

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy on June 12, 2024 - 07:50 Permalink

I’m with Ton on this. The stress of wondering whether your bag will get there before you leave for your next destination is too much. I do pay for speedy boarding, where necessary, to have a better chance of space in a bin, but apart from that, I prefer trains.

Jarek's picture
Jarek on June 12, 2024 - 09:47 Permalink

It's probably worth noting the history: checked bags were one of the first things airlines started charging extra for, which led directly to the current fight for cabin space situation.

I recall reading that the carry-on loading situation is now so disruptive that some airlines are considering allowing a free checked bag to speed up loading. Not sure if that's true or if it already happened.

And yeah, checked bag is all fine until it does go lost. And that's not nearly uncommon enough to compensate for the inconvenience of arriving without all your stuff, and getting it back 3 days later if at all. In my family that happened on second-most-recent flight (out of Pearson on a Star Alliance airline) so it's not perceived as unlikely right now.

I do think a medium-size carryon that fits under the seat and a checked bag is a good combination. Airlines have the power to make it a more common option by reducing or removing checked bag charges.

Clark's picture
Clark on June 13, 2024 - 09:43 Permalink

Travelling with just a bag under your seat takes away so much stress, especially on airlines prone to losing luggage or who have tiered boarding based on ticket price (Air Canada).

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on June 13, 2024 - 13:49 Permalink

Clearly in this N of 4 sample of the readership, the stress of worrying about lost baggage trumps the stress of worrying about where and how to find a place for carry-on.