Why You Should Always Check Your Bag



Flying isn’t fun. What was once thought to be mankind’s greatest achievement has been reduced to sitting in a cramped seat next to a sweating, smelly stranger, having paid way too much for your ticket. The only thing worse than flying itself is dealing with luggage. Nobody wants to be the guy shifting underwear and other suitcase contents between two carry-ons like some kind of mad laundry scientist. By having one, massive, overweight suitcase, and ponying up the money for the tacked on fee, you’ll save yourself a world of aggravation.

Airports Will Suck A Little Less

While four-wheel bags are better, no rolling suitcase is particularly easy to travel with. It’s like driving on the highway with a trailer hitch: it’s no fun trying to move between cars with all that extra length and weight. Similarly, it’s impossible to weave between other hurried, stressed out travelers trying to make connections when you’re wheeling a carry-on bag behind you. Checking your luggage means you just walk, like a human, and leave your baggage behind. Literally.

You’ll Have No Beef With Flight Attendants

Checking one gigantic bag, as opposed to splitting your luggage between two carry-ons, makes it infinitely easier to deal with flight staff. While many airline attendants can seem put off by nearly anything, it’s important to remember that they are all overworked, underpaid, and working weirder hours than subway repair men. That said, there’s nothing worse than trying to fit that second carry-on in the overhead, not quite getting it in right, and feeling that tap on your shoulder, “Sir?” By checking one massive suitcase, you just walk on, sit down, order a drink, and flip through a magazine while everyone else is struggling.

You Can Buy More

Whether it’s buying wine while in France, ceramics in Mexico, or vintage stuff in London, if you’re a big shopper you’ll need a suitcase that can handle all that stuff. While it almost always means getting dinged for another $50 in overweight tags, it can be worth it for the things you’re bringing home. Think of this as a sort of duty-charge while buying things abroad. To get this stuff on the internet would cost you shipping and handling, not to mention international fees. This $50 surcharge for your luggage gets it all home safe and lets you have an easier travel experience.

You Can Get Your Book In Less Than 40 Minutes

Cramming one or two bags into the overhead is awful. Everything is filled to the brim with folded shirts and boxer briefs. Unless you’re heading home, in which case everything is dirty and stuffed in the bags with no rhyme or reason. When you reach cruising altitude and you finally want to read your book, you have to sift through all your dirty clothes in plain view of other passengers. By checking your gear, getting out your book can be as simple as reaching in, pulling out book, and enjoying.

You Can Trust The Airlines (with some things)

We’re not coming out in favor of airlines. Far from it. But the truth is, in at least one respect they’ve improved: bags get lost a lot less often. The chances that a big suitcase will be lost without a trace is unlikely. Checked luggage is scanned, tracked, and accounted like never before, and while it’s true some things do fall through the cracks, it’s worth rolling the dice  to secure a nicer experience. Just make sure you’ve removed anything like a laptop, phone, and chargers.

Your Bag Is Heavy

This may seem obvious at this point, but if you put everything in your carry-on, it’s going to be heavy. Dragging around a massive anything sucks. Checking your bags at the gate leaves you feeling lighter, more free, and more open to whatever awaits you at the end of your flight.


Bottom Line

For the additional fee, you’ll spare yourself a lot of the stress wheeling a heavy bag around an airport. Sure, it will cost you money, but in this case it will be money well spent.

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