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Back to Checking Bags and Back to "Which Luggage?" Decisions

Back to Checking Bags and Back to "Which Luggage?" Decisions

Old Oct 14th, 2021, 04:24 AM
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Back to Checking Bags and Back to "Which Luggage?" Decisions

As some of you know, my Husbear and I often travel by air. Circumstances are such now that we are moving to a one-floor home since he is having increasing difficulty with stairs. While we have enjoyed the use of rolling (four-wheel) luggage he is no longer as adept with using the pieces as he once was. This coming year we have several international trips planned (hopefully) and getting between concourses does not yet require the use of "assistance" in the form of a wheeled vehicle, that may be on the horizon. Selecting long connections might be required as well as spending longer periods in airline lounges.

In the interim we will probably start checking bags and use backpack-style carry-ons for absolute "luggage delayed for who knows how long" essentials.

I am considering changing to Luggage Works bags, too (when did you ever see an airline crew member using a spinner?) although I would never argue with anyone who buys bags at Marshalls, etc., because those obviously work just fine.

Perhaps this post is more of a rant than anything else but it is the new reality which I am not looking forward to NOR have I reached the "needy" phase of internet reassurance, at least I hope not.

Have good days everyone
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 07:48 AM
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Dukey, fwiw we have always checked our bags and have been lucky in that itís been easy and I love not having to shlep luggage around the airport. We like IT bags which are inexpensive, durable, light and expand readily.We donít travel as much as you by any means, though.

I hope you find ways that work for you to manage the evolving new reality. Itís tough.
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Dukey1 View Post
I am considering changing to Luggage Works bags, too (when did you ever see an airline crew member using a spinner?)
Hi Dukey. The spinner comment caught my attention. We travel frequently and both use inexpensive Travelpro spinner carry-ons. I have found that when I need to use the bag in the roller position it's much tougher on my body (arm/neck) than when I'm just able to glide the bag next to me while walking. I'd probably have the same problem with a checked bag. Now this may not be an issue for you if don't have a long walk and you're dropped off near check-in or picked-up near baggage claim, but thought I would mention it. I've been thinking about a new bag, so I'm looking forward to the comments.

Best wishes for successful travels. I hate the airport, and honestly don't think my parents could navigate it at this point, so I do admire your resilience to do what's necessary to keep traveling.


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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 08:17 AM
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Having to make adjustments is not fun. I wish you both the best.
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 08:18 AM
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The last time I bought a new suitcase I remembered how much I disliked spinners. They have a tendency of zipping away. But then I started to like them again.

Not sure about the TJMaxx reference. They have all kinds. Spinners. Two wheels. Usually lots to choose from.

I haven't had a "set" of luggage since my mother bought me a set for high school graduation. When I started traveling, all the guys had Hartmann luggage. Heavy as h*ll. For over 10 years I used the same suitcase, or new versions of the same suitcase. Can't remember the original brand but one of the wheels got crunched and I reported it on arrival in Maui. The Delta luggage folks said to turn it in when I got back home. I did and two days later a big box was on my front porch. Instead of fixing it, they sent me a new suitcase. Okay. Years later, I watched it come along on the carousel with a broken zipper and clothes falling out. I grabbed it and took it to Delta's baggage office, asking for a box (remember the days Delta had boxes to ship stuff?). They kept trying to give me a new suitcase. I just wanted a box. They won. I left with another new suitcase thanks to Delta. So that maybe $50 "investment" lasted for many years of weekly road warrior travel. I've never been a "status" or name brand kind of person anyway. I stopped at a Walmart in NC to ship some books home after a conference. Bought the cheapest roller they had. $10. Roma brand. I wasn't sure it would hold. That little no frills suitcase lasted about a decade too. I packed books or papers in it - heavy stuff - for about 10 years.(Adding - I often see old Romas on the long escalators at Hartsfield and sometimes I talk to the person about it. IME they last as long as a TravelPro or Tumi). My theory is, no one is impressed by name/ brand/ status luggage and the less expensive luggage holds up just fine. I have a real warehouse type place near me and when I go in the back room (it's a huge fabric warehouse that sells all sorts of things) all sorts of name brands are there. I think the luggage industry has to be like the eyeglass frame industry = the same factory making the same pieces.

My friend with MS used to borrow my rolling suitcase to teach at college classes. She needed some extra stability without letting her students know she needed some extra assistance. Personally, I would not do a backpack. I would have a small roller to carry things onto the plane. Don't overpack it so it's still easy to manage but do have something in there with weight for stability. I think your husband would benefit from the extra stability and when and if he needs wheelchair assistance, it will fit easily under the wheelchair. I used wheelchair assistance a lot in 2019 for a series of reasons. I fly out of Hartsfield and it is huge. Connections through Hartsfield can include crazy distances. Sometimes I requested a wheelchair at other airports. Sometimes not. It depended on the airport.

Good luck with the decisions. I have a big Nautica hard shell suitcase I use and check when I'm traveling with bulky things. I don't get on any plane without a roller, even if I don't really need the roller to hold things on the plane. 90% of the time, I travel with just the roller and a tote on top of it.

My last two rollers have been Kenneth Cole. Bought at Marshalls/ TJMaxx, etc. When I DO take a backpack (for trips out west) I usually stuff it in a tote for the plane.


On the way to VA. Grabbed my dad's cane. Later ordered a folding cane in a pretty color.

Last edited by starrs; Oct 14th, 2021 at 08:31 AM.
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 08:28 AM
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**I am considering changing to Luggage Works bags, too (when did you ever see an airline crew member using a spinner?**

Luggage Works tend to be heavy which might not be a consideration for you. Pilots don't use their luggage the way tourists do and perhaps the style of bag rollers is because of the fit in the plane (spinner wheels take up more room). Pilots aren't checking luggage either. I really suspect the wheel style for flight crews is more about cabin storage space, than ease of rolling because spinners are certainly easier.

Travel Pro supplies 90 airlines, but I don't know if what you buy in the store is the same quality they make for the airlines.
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 08:32 AM
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My elderly friend who a traveled frequently liked her spinner which she would push in front of her with her heavy purse on top, kind of like a walker. That's the nice thing about 4-wheeled spinners, they don't have to be dragged but can be pushed or slid alongside.

I like a small carryon hard sided spinner as my main bag, even if I have to check it. I also have a duffle which converts to a backpack and fits under my seat for a carryon.

Even Tumi is made in China now. They all break eventually if checked. Although the 10-year old Heys still has all four wheels.

I don't like a cloth bag to check, after one apparently was got run over by a truck or got caught in some machinery and arrived with black tracks and a tear. The now defunct South American Airlines blamed the airport. It was a cheapie with no warranty so I had to go to TG Maxx and get a new bag. I think that's when hard sided spinners came into my life.

Last edited by mlgb; Oct 14th, 2021 at 08:45 AM.
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 08:33 AM
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I prefer two wheelers over spinners. But regarding checking luggage, I try not to but I can imagine a time when it will become difficult to navigate the airport with my luggage in hand.
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 08:33 AM
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We always check luggage. Never had a problem.

Why not take advantage of assistance at airport assistance if it makes life easier for you both? I understand it is something people struggle to accept, I know my father hated the idea until he actually tried it, but it really is there for people like your husbear and will the journeys less stressful for you.

I hope you manage your planned trips and have a great time, and also find some peace in your new home.
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2 View Post
We always check luggage. Never had a problem.
Consider yourself lucky. We had issues two trips in a row and it's a hassle.
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2 View Post
Why not take advantage of assistance at airport assistance if it makes life easier for you both? I understand it is something people struggle to accept, I know my father hated the idea until he actually tried it, but it really is there for people like your husbear and will the journeys less stressful for you.
I agree with heti. I did it for most of 2019. I wanted to keep my job and I had heavy duty travel. Wheelchairs in airports made my life a lot easier. Tip well. Those folks are great.

Here's a rolling backpack -
https://www.ebags.com/backpacks/roll...r=fits-22-14-9

If your husband is having any kind of mobility, stability or endurance issues, I think his wearing a backpack is a very bad idea. In any case, that was my personal experience.


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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 08:42 AM
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I check my luggage because I’m short and I learned here on Fodor’s it’s not okay to ask for help with putting it overhead.

I’ve never had a luggage problem.

As a young teen my daughter had her Tanzania-bound luggage go to Chicago. Of course, she didn’t remove all those little stickies on it from a former trip. To this day she travels with some spare underwear after having to find underwear at a market in Arusha. Not to mention, all her emergency peanut butter and granola bars didn’t arrive either. It took about 5 days for her suitcase to finally show up.
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 08:51 AM
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I prefer not to check on the way to a destination but will do so coming back home, which is not time-sensitive.

It seems to be worse to and from Europe. I nearly missed a connection once in Philadelphia waiting for our bags to come in from Portugal, so we could clear immigration and customs.
My brother's clothing for my niece's wedding failed to arrive with him on a flight from Paris or London (they had a connection) to DC. He went shopping on their dime, but the bag showed the day before the wedding. Another time their warm jackets didn't make it to Berlin from California and they were continuing on to look at Northern Lights. Lufthansa had to buy him a new jacket and luggage. Eventually about a month later it showed up at their final destination in Toulouse.

Last edited by mlgb; Oct 14th, 2021 at 09:09 AM.
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 08:58 AM
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"I check my luggage because I’m short and I learned here on Fodor’s it’s not okay to ask for help with putting it overhead."

Then you asked the wrong people or I wasn't traveling that day
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 09:04 AM
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TBH, I have never had to ask because lots of people volunteer when they see you struggling… but it has come up here. I check my bags for flights because it’s just easier for me. But train travel I typically need some help and rarely don’t have someone offer.

I also actually love the 4-wheel rollers. The two wheel rollers tend to bother my back.
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 09:13 AM
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I am also too short and often have to stand on the seat to reach. But generally people help, it speeds things up.
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by gruezi View Post
I check my luggage because Iím short and I learned here on Fodorís itís not okay to ask for help with putting it overhead.
I must have missed that one. Anyway, able people who do not immediately volunteer to help are louts.
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 09:27 AM
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I have both 2 Wheeler and 4 Wheeler Luggage, depending on where i am going as to which one I use.

When I go to Palm Springs ( for example) it is just a 2 Wheeler carry on as I then just walk out the airport.


I have always checked luggage and have been lucky............. Violet had her luggage delayed ( lost) once, but it was resolved the next day.

We always did cross pack, in my luggage was half of my items and half of Violet's and vice versus, so if ( when) one luggage gets lost, we were okay.

Of course your valuables and medications etc are always in your carry on !

gruezi I would help you with overhead luggage ....... I know it is difficult for you "short" people

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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 09:29 AM
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Kudos to you for still wanting to travel and for looking for ways to make it happen.

Not a fan of Spinners. I know too many people who have had accidents when the suitcase ďgot awayĒ from them.

When you look for a backpack, look for comfortable straps and consider where the zippers are placed if you are concerned about security/pickpockets.
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Old Oct 14th, 2021, 09:36 AM
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Percy, Fra Diavolo and Dukey - Maybe you’ve already helped me somewhere and didn’t even know it. Anyway, it’s nice to hear from 3 people that you don’t mind. It made me smile.
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