Travelers: Carry-ons are Worth the Trouble

As most veteran travelers know, using a carry-on bag is a trade-off: it usually allows passengers to avoid steep checked-baggage fees but it involves a certain amount of hassle such as getting the tote through security and then trying to find overhead bin space on the plane. Is it worth using a carry-on?

Spirit’s Carry-on Fee Could Rise to $100

Bag Fees vs. Security

Yes, carry-on bags are worth it – at least according to the travelers surveyed by That’s a change from previous years when more people said they’d prefer to check their bags. Back then, the biggest concern was getting a bag through security. Today, it’s all about the money – specifically, paying airline bag fees.

Survey Results on Baggage Trends

According to the survey, the high cost of baggage fees factors heavily in the decision of which airline to fly. Here’s more:

  • About 64 percent of travelers tend to choose airlines based on baggage costs, leaning toward carriers with smaller fees or no bag fees at all (like JetBlue and Southwest)
  • About 48 percent of respondents have either simply maintained or actually decreased the amount they travel due to increased airline and baggage fees.
  • About 76 percent ranked size and dimension of bags as a deciding factor when purchasing luggage
  • About 84 percent say they try to pack less no matter what kind of bag they use to avoid extra fees (overweight fees, etc.)

Southwest: No Free Bags on AirTran Anytime Soon

Baggage Color of the Year

Most travelers are still lugging around black luggage – which may explain why dark bags are said to be the overwhelming favorite of thieves. Of course, so many black bags makes it harder for owners to recognize their bags which is why so many decorate somber suitcases with brightly colored ribbons. However, more and more bright hues are being seen on the nation’s baggage carousels and look for more of that. According to color specialists at Pantone, the hot baggage color for 2012 color is tangerine.

The survey was administered in March 2012, through an email-newsletter invitation, and via Facebook and Twitter. There were a total of 228 survey participants.


Published: May 9, 2012