Being on the road is difficult enough, but try it with the wrong crew bag and the results lead to misery for the rest of your trip. Learn 5 ways to ensure that your trip becomes a nightmare.
Tip No. 1 Tear your bag up quickly because it is the wrong size
Having the wrong size bag quickly leads to deterioration of the protective fabric and destruction of the zippers. This problem works in two ways: First, if your storage space is small, say under the jump seat in your aircraft, the constant rubbing against the rough aluminum framing under the jump seat will fray the fabric, tear up the side handle, and destroy any waterproof characteristics of your crew bag. This is all assuming that you can even get it into the storage space. Second, if your bag is too small, you stand a fantastic chance of overstuffing for your 3 day trip, which will definitely cause your zipper track to fail. Try lugging your bag around with a failed zipper!
Tip No. 2 Buy a crew bag with a flimsy handle.
Okay, we are all tempted…should I get the $85 bag, or should I get the $250 bag? Times are tough for all of us, but as a travel professional, you should always go for better quality. The first time the handle on the cheap bag doesn’t retract or extend (because it’s broken already), you’ll be having a ball for the next 3 days on the road. Plus, you can absolutely count on your new cheap replacement handle taking until next week to get to you, ensuring that you have to travel on your trip next week with the same problem, or buying another $85 bag! The handle is one of the most important features of your overnight bag, so you want to look for bags that have better quality materials (metal…not plastic). As a side note, quality bag manufacturers will warranty their bags and even provide a “loaner” bag if you need to send it in for repairs.
Tip No. 3 Pay attention to the wheels
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to drag a bag around the world with cheap, small, plastic wheels. They will wear out very quickly after toting your worldly possessions from the hotel to the gate and back. By the way, I have personally drug my bag two miles each way at Dulles International Airport! It was an easy effort with my quality crew bag, but would have been frustrating with a cheap crew bag. The wheels are absolutely the most important aspect of your airline crew bag, but here’s the rub; cheap bags have wheels that are not only inferior, but they are riveted onto the frame of your bag. In fact, most travel bag wheels will wear out long before the rest of the bag, so it is nice to be able to easily and inexpensively replace your crew bag wheels. Quality crew bags use the 76mm roller wheels commonly found on roller blade skates and usually cost between $10 and $20.
Tip No. 4 Pay attention to the material
I don’t know about you, but my crew bag usually goes under the jump seat and sits on the cockpit floor of my 737. Great place to store your crew bag because it is secure and out of the way. However, it is also right next to the front galley and the forward lavatory, creating the potential for puddles forming under my crew bag. Quality crew bags are absolutely made with durable, waterproof material that protects your clothing over the life of the bag. It is hard to imagine a worse time on your trip than dealing with wet clothing, especially if it is caused by blue water.
Tip No. 5 Is your crew bag “accessory-able”?
When you’re on a trip, it can get really crazy grabbing that quick burger during airport appreciation time if your crew bag does not conveniently allow you to connect your brain bag, cooler, and/or computer bag securely. The problem is, if you cannot easily maneuver all your belongings with just one hand, most common tasks quickly become impossible, making for a miserable trip. Custom features like J-Hooks and Fast Clips that can easily attach to your overnight crew bag are paramount. Leather bucket bag