A revealing post from a baggage handler, Confessions of an Airline Baggage “Thrower,” appeared on Huffington Post yesterday (12/16/11); an excerpt:

I’m not going to lie, your checked luggage takes a beating. They call it “throwing bags” for a reason. There isn’t an easy way around this. Airplanes only make money while in the air, and no airline wants an airplane on the ground too long. Due to the nature of some aircraft, it would be impossible to turn around a 737 or 757 in an hour or less without throwing bags because it’s just faster. On these planes, there are only two long and narrow cargo holds where your luggage goes.

Of particular note to travelers is his recommendation for the type of bag that’s least frequently damaged:

Cheap bags that you buy at the discount store break very easily. If your handle is sewn on or is very flimsy, it’s probably going to break. If you travel a lot or pack heavy, make sure you buy a quality, durable bag. Hard-sided suitcases will get less damage, but also look for well-designed handles that are attached with rivets and some sort of protection around the wheels. Speaking of wheels, the best bags to get are the “spinners” with four wheels on the bottom. We like these because we don’t have to throw them when loading. We just roll them down the belly of the plane so your bag and its contents will suffer much less damage.

I’m not sure I’m ready for a spinner, but this could definitely make me give it consideration.

If you’d like to read the entire article, see it here:  Confessions of an Airline Baggage “Thrower”: Why You Should Buy a Four Wheeler Suitcase

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5 Comments on What type of checked bag gets damaged least often? Find out from an airline baggage “thrower!”

  1. Maria says:

    Interesting – I thought they would state the obvious – as in “carry on luggage”. Still, if I were going to check a bag, I’d like to get the big investment – Rimowa.

    I’m not associated with the company – but here is a link if interested in their four wheeled cases:


    Cheers! And Merry Christmas Kevin!


    Kevin Reply:

    You too, Maria! Thx for the link.


  2. Michael W. says:

    That’s the best travel tip in ages. Who would have thought those goofy spinners would have anything good going for them?


  3. Michael W. says:

    From the article:

    “We see open bags all the time because the zipper just started coming apart, and yes, things do fall out of these open bags.”

    Another good argument for locks and/or zip ties. Or Red Oxx bags and other bags with self-locking (non-spilling) zippers.


  4. Jeremy says:

    Just heard about this company, any experience?



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