For many, airport travel can be a stressful and hectic experience. According to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), an overwhelming 3.5 billion global passengers flew the friendly skies just last year. With so many travelers, luggage has been – and still remains – an extra piece to a serious logistical puzzle. In their 2016 Baggage Report, SITA (an air transport IT and communications company) stated, “baggage handling continues to be one of the single largest bottlenecks to a streamlined passenger process and an efficient air transport business model.” This bottleneck, paired with the potential cost of checked baggage fees, extra wait times, and risks associated with leaving bags out of your possession, is why we’ve put together a pretty compelling list of reasons to fly with just a carry-on.
1. It can cost you some extra cash.
Long gone are the days when every airline offered a free checked bag. Now many of America’s most popular airlines have fees associated with checking a piece of luggage – some even as high as $50 per bag or more depending on the specific flight.
2. Spare yourself the wait.
Long security lines have already caused missed flights (and all sorts of curse words to be uttered under our breaths) this summer. Adding extra time to wait in an additional line just to check a bag isn’t worth it. Plus, parents of small children already need an extra set of hands at the airport, so navigating the whole family from the parking lot to the counter with oversized luggage isn’t worth the hassle.
3. Bags get lost.
More than twenty-three million bags were mishandled globally last year, according to data from SITA. While that is actually nearly a 5% decrease from the year prior, an estimated 6.5 bags per 1,000 airline passengers were still mismanaged in 2015. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting at baggage claim for luggage that never arrives!
4. Items get stolen.
As much as we don’t want to think about security employees pocketing our personal things, the truth is it can happen. If you find items missing, there are several processes to follow, including filing claims and contacting law enforcement, before the potential for reimbursement. Bottom line: do not put valuables in checked baggage.
5. Your travel plans become more flexible.
It is significantly easier to change flights, go stand-by, or (if you’re lucky) hop on an earlier flight with no checked baggage to re-route. And there’s no getting stuck waiting in baggage claim either. Imagine how good it will feel to breeze past everyone waiting at the carousel and head straight to the taxi line.
6. Sometimes, less is more.
Fitting everything into a carry-on reduces the chances of overpacking, as you’ll need to be smart about that limited space. Luckily, all it takes is a little strategy and some innovation (compression bags to the rescue!) and carry-on only status is within your reach. Pack smart, pack light, and have a great flight!