Laptop Bags for Air Travel

by Blogger on ‎03-27-2011 08:07 PM - last edited on ‎03-28-2011 10:28 AM by Community Manager (Retired)

If you’ve been on an airplane recently, you may have noticed that the whole “your carry-on baggage can be no larger than X” policy has pretty much gone out the window. Just the other day on a flight back west from Louisiana, I watched with amusement while passenger after passenger tried to navigate their way down the exceedingly narrow aisle with their carry on (a full size suitcase on wheels) and their one personal item (usually a laptop bag of some sort AND a purse or messenger bag AND something from the Duty Free). Things got even more entertaining when these passengers attempted to jam their carry-ons (full sized luggage) into the overhead bins.


Now, I understand that many business men and women opt not to check their luggage for fear that (a) it will not arrive at their destination, forcing them to wear the same suit and underwear three days in a row, or (b) the time involved in waiting at the carousel for their bags will impede an already hectic schedule. Fine, I get it. I do the same thing when traveling for business.


But if you insist on not checking your bags, the least you can do is merge your other three or more carry-ons into one. Don’t try and be cool by toting your laptop in a funky neoprene sleeve with a graphic art practical people! Purchase something that will carry your laptop, power cord, note pad, cell phone charger, ear buds, pens, wallet, passport, and for the ladies among us, a compact and lipstick.


A great idea is to purchase a laptop or messenger bag that holds a laptop larger than the one you own. This way you have ample room for extras like wallets, power cords and so forth. Another idea is to purchase a canvas bag...canvas gives more than leather so can accommodate more. True, canvas may not be as aesthetically pleasing as leather (or faux-leather for you vegans out there), but it’s practical. Lastly, purchase one that has exterior and interior pockets. There’s nothing worse than having to empty the entire contents of your bag at 40,000 feet simply to find a pen.


What about you? Are you one of “those people” that brings a full sized suitcase on board? If so, what’s the reason behind doing so?

by Legendary Oracle
on ‎03-27-2011 10:16 PM

When you say "full-size", are you saying these suitcases would not fit the luggage cage at check-in?


Yes, it's gotten ugly in recent years with luggage surcharges from increasing fuel costs. People will try to sneak more on board.  Remember people, large items go under the seat.... not everything is to be stuff into the overhead bin crushing over passengers valuables.  I see a lot of international non-speaking English passengers seems to go over their excess in my travels.


In addition to tips about laptop bags, I'll add that people should consider getting a $15 to $30 luggage scale.  That scale will pay for itself, the first time you avoid paying the over 50lb surcharge.  When one of my checked luggage was 10lbs over, I quickly went to a luggage shop to pickup a second suitcase saving the $100 penalty.


Don't forget to check and double-check carry-on policies.  The policy can change by the month....

-Air Canada


by Community Manager (Retired)
‎03-28-2011 10:31 AM - edited ‎03-28-2011 11:10 AM

Guilty as charged. I'm totally one of those "too cool to wait at luggage claim, because I'm very important and have things to do" people. My carry-on luggage is pretty compact and definitely not full size, however I do travel with a rather large handbag, sometimes a laptop bag and on my way back usually another plastic bag of recently purchased goodies that didn't fit in my luggage. At this point, I have to rely on a fellow traveler (usually a complete stranger) to help me hoist my luggage up into the storage compartment.


Thanks for the post - I definitely need to revisit my travel baggage options and be more efficient! Smiley Wink


@ xl - thanks for the additional info!

by lazz Luminary
on ‎03-28-2011 10:51 AM

"@ lazz - thanks for the additional info!"


Hmm, somebody has me on the brain. I don't seem to recall posting anything on this thread. Smiley Tongue

by Community Manager (Retired)
on ‎03-28-2011 11:10 AM

updated comment! Smiley Tongue

by Blogger
on ‎03-28-2011 11:12 AM

@xl - yup, by "full size" I mean "full size."  In some cases the width of the suitcase being brought on board was the same as the width of the airplane's aisle. Good call on the scale! That would have saved me a bundle on my last trip to Palm Springs ... DSW Shoes is pure trouble.


by Legendary Oracle
on ‎03-28-2011 09:57 PM - last edited on ‎03-28-2011 11:16 PM by Moderator (Retired)

That check-in clerk and security should be fired for letting on board oversized carry-on’s. There are carry-on cages at the check-in counter, security check-in, and finally at boarding clearance.  Allowing oversized items past three checkpoints is so wrong.


Oversized and overweight luggage is not humorous, it’s a huge safety hazard.  Yes, I’ve been hit when people rip open the overhead bins racing to be the first out of the plane with bulky carry-ons.  I suggest everyone submit an airline complaint in future situations on this serious poor airport/airline judgement.  I don’t care if idiots show up at the last minute and can’t make luggage cutoff, the luggage can go on the next flight (with or without the passenger).


I think 10yrs ago, 70lbs was permitted for checked items with surcharges up to 100lbs.  With high fuel costs, it’s been lowered to today’s 50lbs with 70lbs cut off.  As a result free carry-on has taken on the excess..  Travelling is stressful enough, using a luggage scale helps to reduce the stress leading up to check-in.  Otherwise, your excess may be donated to local airport charities….


Other tips.... Get carry-on with NO wheels or integrated handle.  You lose space and weight opportunities with an integrated luggage cart. Instead of a purse, consider a backpack that has laptop cavity inside as your personal item.

by Legendary Oracle
on ‎04-01-2011 09:09 AM

Another tip.... When selecting a flight, you may notice some airlines cost more, but their baggage allowance is more generous to save costs.

by Legendary Oracle
on ‎04-01-2011 09:38 AM

WestJet might have a solution here to lower baggage fees....

by DerekB
on ‎04-01-2011 09:56 AM

I am not going to laugh right away, but i would suggest watching the movie from beginning to end. 

by DerekB
on ‎04-01-2011 09:56 AM

I wont lie they had me for a second until I started to think about the safety factors behind that idea, and then watched the movie and the ending is perfect.