Practically everyone knows the primary benefits of not checking bags when flying. Travelers do not have to pay to check bags, travelers can easily carry bags through airports, and travelers do not have to watch the luggage carousels go around and around at their final destinations. However, there are other benefits of flying with the right luggage. Affordable luggage options can do more than help travelers carry stuff. Small, carry-on bags can help or break a trip.
- Be the First Rebooked After a Cancelled Flight
The standby list after a cancelled flight can be daunting. What can set one traveler apart from 10 other people on the list is carry-on baggage. When a flight is changed, a traveler with a small bag can waltz on and off the plane without any additional reservations. However, airlines have to reroute checked bags as well as stranded passengers. No complications due to oversized bags can give travelers an edge in seemingly hopeless situations.
- Be Rerouted During an Airline Strike
An airline strike can be a downright nightmare for airline employees and travelers. Often, numerous connections have to be made, and many reservations have to be changed. The daunting task is twice as difficult with checked bags because the airlines have to reserve a spot for each passenger and his or her checked bags. The passengers and the bags have to go together, and tight connections in international airports might be dicey.
- Be the First to Clear Immigration and Customs
All passengers with checked bags have to wait for their bags to arrive before clearing customs and immigrations. However, passengers with superior luggage choices can waltz to the front before the line forms. Skipping a line of hundreds of jet-lagged passengers can be highly rewarding as is. However, skipping a line of fellow travelers with huge bags can also help in other ways.
- Be Able to Make Tight Connections
Clear customs, and make a tight connection. Instead of being stranded in Chicago, do the unthinkable. Go from Terminal A to Terminal F in O’Hare in under 12 minutes, and catch the plane. Missed connections tend to have a domino effect. It is very possible to miss a connecting flight, miss a bus to town, and miss the last water taxi of the day. Honestly, would any traveler prefer to sleep in crime-ridden Belize City instead of relaxing on the beach? It’s unlikely.
- Be Able to Have All Necessities
Sometimes, things do not go as planned. It might be best to accept a meal voucher and spend the night at an airport hotel. However, a plastic bag with a flimsy toothbrush and stick of deodorant might not make for a particularly comfortable evening. Travelers with carry-on bags can hunker down and hope for a good show to be on television. However, those with checked baggage will have to rough it until they can leave. In some instances, there can be 72 hours to hang out at the airport. It’s a much more pleasant experience when travelers have clean clothes and a good book.
The Obvious Downside
Travelers do have to lug carry-on bags everywhere. On the bright side, travelers with carry-on bags can get a little more exercise while walking or running through airports.