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Why You Shouldn't Have A Black Checked Bag


Is your checked or carry-on bag black? I am going to try and convince you to change that. Read on to find out why.

Working for an airline has taught me so many things that I am pleased to be able to share them with you. Something happened recently that I hope will push you to buy a different colored bag. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against black. I mean, I love black. I AM black! But for a bag it’s the wrong choice.

A few days ago we had cancelled flights and the next flight wasn’t until the following day. Many passengers wanted their checked bags since they would be spending an unexpected night in Charlotte. I was working in the area where one of the jobs we do is look for passenger bags when they need them. The canceled bags were in a cart, there were probably 60 but many times there can be several carts filled with hundreds of bags.  When we get baggage requests it says something like this:

name: Clark, Roni
bag description: large black roller bag

name: Smith, Calvin
bag description: Large green/white striped roller bag

 Which bag would you look for first? When your bag stands out it makes it easier to spot. This is good for you and the baggage handler looking for your bag.  When there are hundreds of bags to look through (as there are at times) if your bag is colorful or has something on it that makes it stand out it is easier to describe and easier to be found.

 I found the green bag within a few seconds because I could easily look through the bags and see a green one. Every baggage request I had to find that had a colored bag was easy to spot. But the black bags? Those took much longer and there are some times when because there are so many bags in a cart it is virtually impossible to try and look for a random black bag. Keep in mind that many bags aren’t kept in lit areas so if the carts are filled it will take much more time for your black bag to be found.

I am also surprised when I am giving people back their carry-on bags because people can’t seem to recognize their own bag when it is next to another black carry-on. And people often let their black checked bag pass them by on the conveyor belt  because they don’t know which one is theirs. So if you can’t recognize your bag, how can a baggage handler?

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  1. I only travel with black luggage because I don’t like to see scuff marks on my bags. However, I use a neon green or yellow luggage belt on my checked bags that I can throw into the washer after each trip. I’ve had no problem describing my bags as black with a neon yellow belt and the text on the belt for emergency retrieval.

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