Baggage Handler Reveals The One Type Of Bag They Would Never Check

Packing for a trip can be stressful, but choosing the right bag to fit all your essentials is even more challenging. There are size restrictions, weight limits, and a dizzying number of styles and materials to narrow down. Then there's the vast range of prices to consider, with lower-quality bags selling for a steal while top-notch brands go for double or even triple the cost of many people's monthly rent.

However, there's one person who has some uniquely valuable advice on travel luggage: an airport baggage handler. Baggage handlers see it all, from the fanciest bags to the ones that break after a single use. With this in mind, a Redditor who works in an airline's baggage department shared their insider knowledge in a thread about packing tips. The user, who goes by Lorybear, said they recommend hard-sided suitcases and would never use fabric styles during their own travels. "Bags get wet in the rain, soft sided bags will soak through," they wrote. "Although the hard side bags are more likely to crack, you will be able to get the airline to give you a new bag with an unfixable crack." With soft bags, on the other hand, they explained that airlines often attempt to repair rips, which can take weeks and be more of a hassle.

The more wheels on your bag, the better

Some travelers could argue that baggage handlers are responsible for much of the damage that happens to checked luggage. While there's no excuse for excessively rough handling (we see you throwing our bags around, airline staff), one baggage employee with the handle @rachel.bacha on TikTok blamed poor design. According to Rachel, the best luggage for every type of traveler, regardless of the material, should always have four wheels instead of two. "Any time you're purchasing a suitcase, get a bag with four wheels for a couple different reasons," the creator shared in a video. The first reason is that some luggage bins are long, and without wheels to help slide the bag along, it's likely to be pushed or even tossed into the back by handlers in a rush. The other reason, according to the TikToker, is that four-wheel bags are more likely to stay upright when you're navigating the airport.

Another experienced baggage handler and ramp agent echoed these arguments, telling Reader's Digest, "If a bag has four wheels, we can push it down the length of the plane when we load it." If it can't easily roll on all sides, they admitted it usually gets thrown instead.

Ultimately, the baggage you choose should be the style you're most comfortable wheeling and carrying around during your travels. Still, it's also a good idea to consider how easily others will handle your luggage when you're not around.