Tag Archives: baggage

A bag, in a pouch, in a bag

My Love Affair With Dorky Luggage

Rick StevesPBS travel writer and presenter Rick Steves is a lot of things. A good writer, an intelligent and passionate traveller and someone who successfully preaches to Americans that there’s a world out there (OK, Europe) that is worth not just travelling to, but really seeing and experiencing. But, no matter his qualities, I’m happy to consider him the friendly old uncle of travel writing, encouraging the emptynesters to get out there and explore. But my guilty secret is I lust after his bags. Particularly his convertible carry-on and his daypack – all sorts of cool features, the best of all of which is they’re durable but damn light. But they’re so lacking in badass cred that they ought to come with a pair of slippers and a bus pass. But the design! The practicality! However, they don’t appear to be available anywhere in Australia and Amazon, fortunately my own self image, won’t ship them to Australia.

Today The Geeky Traveller caught my eye with the Kiva Keychain Backpack, made by the same company as Rick Steves line.

Kiva Keychain Backpack 1

Kiva Keychain Backpack 2

The Kiva Key Chain Pakc is a 120 gram nylon backpack (around 40 cms x 30 x 7) that collapses into a keychain pouch roughly 10cms x 6 x 3. A great idea for a daypack or extra capacity for things picked up along the way, even if the few Amazon reviews seem to (predictably) warn that it won’t carry a whole hell of a lot of weight. Like the Rick Steves bags, Amazon will only ship to US addresses. Saved from my own unconcious yearning for naff baggage again.

All in all, I reckon Kiva are a company that deserve a more active, better, or just bigger, Australian distributor.

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Luggage Logged

Luggage TagOne of many interesting outcomes of Heathrow’s T5 scandal has been stories about the life of lost luggage. Unclaimed and untraceble luggage ultimately it finds its way to an auction house where it’s flogged and the proceeds given to charity. If the prospect of someone ‘winning’ your dirty underwear at auction doesn’t thrill you there are some interesting services promising to unite you with your baggage, no matter where it ends up.

i-track, TraceMe and GlobalBagTag all work on basically the same theory – by providing stickers or luggage tags with a unqiue serial number which register against your contact details – if your bag is found the finder contacts the company and the serial number matches the luggage with the owner. You’ll be contacted by SMS or email to let you know where your luggage ended up. Are there any real advantages over clearly labelling your luggage? Well, obviously the service allows for greater anonymity and saves having to label your luggage with an address and phone number, and you may be re-united with your luggage sooner. Beyond that, I’m not convinced that luggage tagged in this way isis any more likely to be returned than luggage which is clearly labelled with texta inside and out.

The real question mark over these services is whether they’re worth the asking price of £9 plus per bag. I’m not sure I can justify the extra cost over scrawling my name and details inside and outside my backpack which, in most situations will be sufficient to have your bag returned, but if you travel with checked luggage frequently or have very valuable items checked it may be worth your while.

How do you label your checked luggage? Let me know if you have any experiences with such services, whether or not you think they’re worth the money or any lost luggage stories!

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Useful flowchart of Australian carry-on liquid regulations

Poking around the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government website I found this useful flowchart of Australian regulations regarding carry-on liquids. These restrictions apply to flights into and out of Australia and when transiting on international flights within Australia. Worth consulting, of course, before you pack.

Carry on Flowchart

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You may have missed… (12th of April)

Baggage handlers claim QANTAS’ 32kg baggage limit is breaking their backs and that the maximum limit should be 16-20kgs. QANTAS, for its part, feels the baggage handlers are breaking its balls.

‘Since privatisation, Australian airports have increased operational revenue by 42 per cent while reducing operating costs, and made capital investments amounting to $2.3 billion’. Sydney Airport in particular is doing quite nicely off budget travellers, thank you very much.

The Federal Government has launched a review about, well, everything, to do with aviation in Australia.

Oasis Airlines, the ambitious long-haul budget carrier connecting Hong Kong with London and Vancouver, suddenly ceased operations this week when its owners decided that losing $128,000 USD per flight had lost its allure. The immediate liquidation left many passengers stranded and, because the airline was not an IATA member, it could effectively tell passengers to find their own way home.

Indonesia has withdrawn flight permits for grounded budget airline Adam Air, but the airline may re-apply for the routes at the end of the three-month ban imposed in March if it was found to have improved safety standards.

The Age has a rather optimistic article claiming that VAustralia entering the trans-Pacific market will lead to a ‘shake-up’ of fares on routes to LAX which reads not-at-all like a Virgin press release.

Frontier Airlines in the US has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The International Herald Tribune surveys the industries woes in the U.S.. One reaction from airlines – off-shore maintenance.

The perfect time for the lazy traveller to see Machu Picchu – the four day Inca Trail is trek booked out until the end of August.

Australian regional Mac Airlines has been purchased and the new owner plans to rebadge the airline ‘Ansett’, presumably having discounted PanAm, TWA and Compass.

The EU, in what is obviously some sort of mistake, has done something that may benefit consumers – oredering that passengers should actually be able to find out which items are prohibited in carry-on luggage.

Boeing’s Dreamliner will remain just that for the foreseeable future. The gnashing of teeth has begun and the lawyers are circling.

NYT examines inflation in South East Asia.

6 people were injured when currency exchange workers were robbed of $1m at gunpoint at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Virgin Blue signed an interline agreement with Vietnam Airlines.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad expects to establish its third route to Australia within two years.

Laos highway number 3 will be paved, a move which could when completed ‘cut driving time between northern Thailand and southern China to less than a day’.

Wired asks if planes of the future will fly on pond scum.

The Age examines the dramatically shrinking numbers of European flag carriers flying to Australia in the last few years.

UPDATE

A rail connection to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport will reportedly be operational from December.

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AirAsia to impose charge for checked baggage

AirAsia will impose a comparatively reasonable charge of between RM3 and RM5 for checked luggage (around Aus$1 to Aus$1.50) depending on whether credit for the baggage was purchased over the internet in advance or the fee was levied at check-in. This is, of course, only one of a growing multiplicity of fees the budget-conscious traveller needs to be aware of when travelling on low cost carriers – either in order to factor into the total cost or to avoid. Presumably, this also means that carry on limits will be enforced even more strictly on AirAsia in the future.

There is no mention of AirAsia X, although presumably this or a similar policy will apply.

The extra charge will apply to flights booked after the 21st of April.

UPDATE

The link which I omitted.

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