Checking your bag is stupid…change my mind

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This post won’t be popular with many of you. Some of you will flat out disagree with me. But that’s ok, it’s your right to be totally wrong. Haha.

Fact is, a great many of you (I would suggest probably between 60-70% of you) will actually agree with me. Especially the hard core business travelers among us.

Let me explain.

Checking your bag is one of the dumbest things you can do

Do you like wasting time? If so, check your bag. It literally adds time on the front and back end of your trip and not just at the airport.

The obvious time wasters are having the wait in a line to check a bag before you board your flight (and sure, if you have status or are flying first or business class that can be sped up a bit). It’s especially painful when you get to you destination and you have to wait for your bag to come trickling down the baggage claim shoot. By some accounts, checking a bag could add an extra 30 minutes to your travel experience.

Spirit Airlines Baggage Claim.jpg

But I suggest it’s more. People who check their bag often check a larger bag, one that you can’t carry on. As such, they are packing more stuff which takes more time. More time wasted.

You also have to lug that heavier bag around with you. That slows you down.

While this happens rarely these days checking your bag introduces some risk that your bag will get lost. To be fair, this really doesn’t happen all that often.

Checking a bag also means that some baggage handler is going to toss it like a discus throw in the Olympics? Why take the chance of damaging that beautiful piece of TravelPro Luggage you got on Black Friday?

I am on the road almost every week, traveling all over the world. No serious business traveler checks his or her bag and if so it’s for extremely unusual circumstances (like they are traveling with tools or something bulky like a tradeshow stand or something).

Nope, any business traveler who checks his or her bag on a regular basis is still bush league.

If one of my employees is traveling with me and checks his or her bag it’s time to consider whether they should be employed with me anymore…haha. Seriously…what are you doing??

What you should do is learn how to pack lighter. Waayyyy lighter. Ima guess you really don’t need all that extra crap. In fact, no you don’t.

We examine the pros and cons of checking your bag here in much greater detail, but our number one travel hack of all time is still simple: never check your bag.

But, hey, if you wanna keep checking your bag like a goon that’s fine with me. That means more bin space for me and you watch me fly by you at the baggage claim while you play another round of angry birds on your phone waited for your busted ass bag to come tumbling down the baggage chute. Good luck…

I feel like you didn’t change my mind…haha

I am gonna go out on a limb here and suggest you have zero chance of changing my mind. But, I’d still love to hear your thoughts, opinions and complete balderdash ideas. Drop us a comment below, tweet this or share it on Facebook and let the debates begin.

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Author Biography

We. Do. Business Travel. The CBoardingGroup.com is a leading business travel focused travel blog. The principal author has over 18 years of consistent & frequent business travel. Over the years, he has developed various travel habits, travel tips, advice and more that he shares with fellow travelers of all skill levels. From hotel life, to airplane tips, to the weekly grind of frequent travel, plus a little travel humor, this blog is a haven for business travelers. Read his full bio here.

Advertiser Disclosure: CBoardingGroup has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. CBoardingGroup and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

18 comments on “Checking your bag is stupid…change my mind

  1. Frog

    Don’t get so worked up over little things. Get to the airport 30 min earlier than you normally would, check a bag and enjoy your time at the airport. If the airline losses your bag then just deal with it once you get to your destination. I’m a frequent travelled and I’ve found much less stressful when I check my bags and forget about them till I get to my destination.

    Reply
  2. Vet&Banker

    We split time between two international homes, and thus check bags constantly when shipping hard-to-get items from one to the other. Having status = no wait at check in and priority bag delivery. In pretty much every other circumstance, checking a bag for us is stupid. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Sam

    Did not change my mind. But obviously author either likes wearing the same smelly clothes every other day, or likes to “waste his time” doing a load of laundry mid trip, assuming this is not just a weekend trip. Also, how the fk you going to bring souvenirs to friends and family home if you already have your carryon stuffed lightly? Or you just inconsiderate?
    If we talking about fast business trips, a 3 night trip, then clearly there are different priorities. But in that case, why you wasting your time on commercial airlines in the first place.
    Also, You said “More bin space for me”, uhhh, how is that going to help you mr only bringing one bag? Ohhh it’s because you travel in economy, sorry my man.

    Reply
  4. Delta Alaska FTW

    As a leisure traveler, I purposely check my bag but only when flying Alaska or Delta for the 20 minute guarantee. That plus bag insurance through a credit card means if anything happens, I get extra airline miles or a voucher for cash that I am able to use plus my credit card will pay for some new clothing and more toiletries I don’t have to buy later on. I am not in a rush for a business meeting so I can stroll around the terminal and through the lounges unencumbered. But if not checking works better for you then by all means you do your own thing

    Reply
  5. Thomas

    I think it depends on the circumstances, total individuals flying, and the trip location/length, this is valid for every instance. As a family of 5 (3 littles), it’s limited to one checked bag if needed depending on the prior. Efficiency, ease, and lack of stress is the key, everyone gotta do you/them. Personally, I prefer a backpack around 35L depending on the trip, but it deviates if a suit is needed, etc…

    Reply
  6. Sam

    Looks like comments are censored. Sad. Unfollowing site.

    Did not change my mind. But obviously author either likes wearing the same smelly clothes every other day, or likes to “waste his time” doing a load of laundry mid trip.

    Reply
    1. The C Boarding Group Post author

      I approved your previous comment. Not sure why it didn’t show up. Approving this one too.

      Bye Felicia…

      Reply
  7. Charlie

    I agree, so no mind changing needed here. Travelling on budget flights in Europe, it sometimes costs more to check a bag then it does for the actual flight. Crazy logic!

    Reply
  8. Bandmeeting

    Pretty silly that this is the third time I’ve commented here and had to ask several hours later if you will pretty, pretty please go ahead and publish it.

    Reply
  9. carl

    The fewer bags in the cabin, the safer the cabin is incase of severe turbulence or if an evacuation is needed.. Every second counts.

    Reply

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