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Packaging Packages.

April 21, 2011

I recently went on a trip to Europe. I am a light-packer, so all I brought was a backpack and a purse. I hate dragging around suitcases and checking luggage. It is never the right time, weather, or place to carry around heavy shit! So, why do it? 🙂

Anyways, on my return flight back to the US, I decided to check my bag. I went through normal procedures, approached the Continental check-in counter, handed over my passport, and then placed my backpack on the conveyor belt. Everything was going smoothly until the Continental employee lifted up my backpack and placed it in a plastic bag big enough to fit a human being (top photo).

I immediately said, “Wait! Why are you doing that?”. I didn’t have any loose contents. I didn’t have any liquids that would spill out. My backpack is already a package for my belongings, why did I need another one?

The employee told me that it was Continental’s policy to bag anything with a lot of straps because it may get stuck or caught on something while traveling down conveyor belts and chutes. Okay, I understand their concern, but c’mon! Look at this plastic bag, it is ridiculous. Not to mention the fact that when I had to run to customs so I could make my connecting flight, I couldn’t open the bag or access any of the straps. I had to carry that thing over my shoulder like Santa Claus running through the terminal.

When I arrived back in Atlanta, all I could do was rip the bag off and throw it away. What would have been a better method of securing my backpacks straps? Something I will definitely brainstorm.

I had a similar experience when I was in Italy in 2009 and wanted to check a bag that was deemed insecure. So, the check-in attendant directed me to have my bag shrink-wrapped in plastic if I wanted to check it. The result is the bottom photo. At least the Italians had the decency to add a handle!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Farzee permalink
    April 26, 2011 01:15

    This was so funny! You may want to walk with an empty plastic zippered comforter bag in your back back and if the need presents itself; you have your own.

  2. May 5, 2011 03:50

    That’s not a bad idea. Or maybe a big sleeve-like bag, like how sleeping bags are carried. I have a friend who works at Continental, might talk to her about the details of checking luggage!

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