Jul 28 , 2021
Over a million miles flying on Delta
Updated December 1, 2019
I’ve done it a few times - usually when flying to, or through an airport where smuggling (drugs usually) or theft from luggage is an issue. The wrapping is easy enough to cut away - as I’ve noticed when I get back home and have to remove the stuff. But it takes long enough to remove that most criminals don’t want to take the time - plus, it makes it obvious that someone has messed with your luggage.
In addition, if you have a piece of luggage that’s damaged the wrapping can help it to hold together so it doesn’t fail utterly and strew your belongings around. And once I even wrapped two pieces together (the combined weight was less than the limit) to save money by not having to check another piece.
I don’t do it if I’m traveling to nations that are largely law-abiding - but it’s a small price to pay for less worry when flying elsewhere.
Thomas David Kehoe
Works at Casa Futura Technologies
Answered November 27, 2019
I had a tightly packed duffel bag rip open along the zipper flying from Denver to Cancun. I had less than two hours to change planes to Havana — too short to find and buy a new suitcase in the airport. I was close to panic when I remembered the plastic wrapping guys! I found one and the day was saved.
Laura M Howat
lives in The United Kingdom
Answered August 29, 2020
Wrapping luggage in plastic at the airport actually saved one of my family’s holidays. Previously we had always thought it was a waste of time.
My mum had just finished packing her case and went to zip it closed. The entire zip broke off and the seal all the way around the suitcase burst. Absolutely no way it could be repaired. My mum’s suitcase could not be closed at all.
We arrived at the airport and of course, some of my mum’s clothes had fallen out of the case and were scattered all over the bus.
We approached the check-in desk at the airport and explained the situation. We asked if they had any stronger tape we could use to secure it. The lady behind the desk (who was so kind and understanding about the situation) smiled and pointed over behind us. She said, “those men over there can help”. We turned and saw the machine for wrapping your luggage in plastic and the staff who were running it standing beside it.
We hurried over and showed them the damaged suitcase. They took one look, smiled and said “we can fix that no problem” and wrapped the suitcase in plastic. My mum nearly burst into tears she was so relieved that the issue was resolved and she even gave one of the men a hug.
So anyone thinking that this service is a scam or a waste of time, I can assure this service helped save our holiday!
lives in Mumbai
Answered December 3, 2019
Certainly helps in some situations…I was travelling Etihad from Mumbai with a 46kg allowance…I had 3 bags…one weighed 23kgs…and the other two were 11kg and 10kg…when I reached the counter they said that I could only carry 2 bags of Max. 23kg each.
The best solution was to cling wrap the two bags together to make one 21kg check in bag!! I still remember the look on the face of the guy checking us in!!
Studied at Footscray Girls High School
Answered July 27, 2018
My grandson and I had our luggage wrapped before flying from Brisbane (Australia) to LAX (USA). Our main worry, was illicit items being put into our bags.
It was an inexpensive price to pay, for a little peace of mind.
PhD Disruptive Technology & Product Innovation, Institute of Technology
Answered July 27, 2018
Once I was traveling from Bangkok to Karachi via Sri Lankan airline and I had a transit of about 03 hours in Colombo. Every thing went well and I reached home after couple of days reaching home I opened my bags and realized many if the gift items I brought for my family are missing. Specially some artificial jewelry that I bought for my mom was missing along with charger for my tab and some other small items.
I am not sure where the items were taken out, but after experiencing this episode I always make sure my checked in bag is wrapped. I have taken several flights on the same route after that with even longer transit but had never any item missing.
lives in A Constant State of Surprise
Answered March 12, 2020
The main reason to do it would be to ensure that nobody plants anything in there. Personally I very very rarely travel with more than just a carry on and personal item.
we are nearsighted because we are brief.
Answered June 11, 2020
So is it worth it to have the suitcase packed in plastic before traveling? For me, it is.
As much as, if someone wants to steal, they will rip the plastic and that's it, I would at least know that it had been stolen the moment I saw the suitcase - I don't know yet if they stole me in Brazil, or in Madrid, or in Lisbon -.
In addition, the people that deals with our baggage is not usually very kind… My main suitcase, which I use on almost every trip, was reasonably expensive… It was hard to see it full of scratches right after the first trip. The plastic would protect it from this, but I was, again, naive and I didn't think they would throw my suitcase on the floor when they loaded and disembarked it from the plane…
So, I don't know about you, but my suitcases, today, travel as if they were going to have sex with the most promiscuous people on the face of the planet.
Senior Business Architect at Delta Air Lines (2019-present)
Answered November 27, 2019
It is fairly common, and no, it’s not really a scam.
It is useful in that it keeps everything collected and secure, so even if you’ve stuffed your bag to the fullest, nothing will pop out.
It ensures your bag hasn’t been tampered with (crazy as it may sound, my luggage has been tampered with on one occasion, after I checked it in).
Administration Services Assistant C
Answered February 28, 2020
It has dual security purpose. First, the safety of the content of the luggage. Second is the luggage itself to prevent from damage.
Worked in hi-fi and A/V 2000-2004.
Answered October 19, 2017
It’s good for a couple of things.
If your suitcase is damaged during transit the risk of your stuff coming out is greatly reduced - the ‘cling film’ is pretty durable stuff. (I had a suitcase damaged pretty badly during my outward flight once but it every time I went to the airport I got it wrapped and it was fine for multiple flights).
Increased security - much more difficult for someone to tamper with your luggage, and if they do it’s going to be more obvious.
I also lay a sheet in my suitcase and wrap it over my luggage before closing to reduce the chance of everything coming out if the zip splits.
Answered November 23, 2019
Companies like “ProtecBag” or “SecureWrap” also weigh your case for you so it's also a way to check for overweight and advises you this before check-in.
Also it will protect against damage, your case flying open, saves having to lock it, protects against surface scuffs etc and straps breaking, odd shaped luggage and petty theft from baggage handlers etc.
I work as a Data Scientist
Answered December 7, 2019
There was a famous case in Bali which involved an Australian girl named Schapelle Corby. Customs officials in Bali discovered 4kg of cannabis hidden in her bodyboard bag. Her lawyers argued that baggage handlers had put the drugs there. She was convicted and spent 9 years in prison.
I seem to remember wrapping of bags becoming common in Australia after her trial.
Royal School of Military Engineering
Answered January 7, 2019
Most airports offer this service; it’s not actually done by the passengers (generally).
It’s perhaps the single best trip to protect the contents of your luggage.
Remember… those TSA-approved padlocks can be opened by most security staff any baggage could be opened for ‘security’ reasons most baggage theft on airlines is done by airport staff baggage theft is occasionally done directly in the hold (as most times, it doesn’t have CCTV)
Security is the main intention of the wrappers - and it works (generally).