Air Travel: What You Need to Know About Your Checked Baggage
When it comes to air travel, many travelers are more concerned with their carryon luggage than they are with their bags that will be handed over to airport staff. These bags, commonly referred to as checked baggage, are just as important, if not more important, than your carryon luggage. For this reason, there are a number of different factors that you should take into consideration, when packing your bags for your next flight.
One mistake that many travelers make, when it comes to checked baggage, is including prohibited items in their bag. In addition to prohibited items, there have also been instances of travelers trying to hide illegal items in their checked luggage. Although it may seem like a good idea at the time, it isn’t. In fact, with today’s airport security screening, it is virtually impossible for you to get away with storing prohibited or illegal items inside your checked baggage. This is mostly due to the fact that the screening process has dramatically changed from what it was in the past, say ten years ago.
In the past, certain airlines only randomly searched checked baggage. Many times, these searches were only implemented if airline officials or airport security had probable cause. Today, all bags are checked, including your checked luggage. Most checks will quickly be done, but, in some cases, more extensive searches may be conducted. A quick check of your luggage may include rummaging through all of your belongings, looking for anything out of the ordinary. An extensive search could include searching all of your clothing pockets and baggage compartments. In the event that you are subject to one of those checks, it is likely that you will be caught if you are trying to conceal a cigarette lighter or other prohibited items.
Since your bags will be checked, all of them, you are advised against locking your baggage before heading to the airport. After your bags have been properly screened, some airlines will allow you to replace the locks on your checked baggage, but not all will. For this reason, you may want to reconsider storing expensive items, such as electronic equipment, in your bags. In addition to the possibility of theft, you will find that items packed inside your checked luggage are at a higher risk for being damaged then those that are in your carryon bags.
When packing your bags, which will be checked at the airport, it is also advised that you carefully pack them. There are a number of items, including sharp objects, which are prohibited from being stored in your carryon luggage, but those items can be placed in your checked baggage. As previously mentioned, airport security will likely examine those bags. Even during a quick examination, they will rummage through your belongings. For that reason, you are advised to properly package and secure all items that can be considered dangerous, such as those with sharp edges or points. This extra precaution may not only affect your safety, when you to go unpack your bags, but the safety of all airport security officials, especially those screening your luggage.
By taking the time to famialrize yourself with all travel rules, including the airport screening process, you should be able to pack your bags for your next flight, the right way. The wrong way, although you may not necessarily think about it at the time, could have serious consequences.
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