Should You Shrink-Wrap Your Checked Luggage?
As you walk around the airport, you will notice that most passengers have this plastic covering around their luggage. That plastic covering is shrink-wrap that most people get done for a number of reasons. Wrapping your luggage can be very beneficial, whether it’s to protect your luggage against damage or to prevent thefts. However, should you get it done before getting it checked? We answer all your questions ahead!
How Does It Work And How Much Does It Cost?
Shrink-wrapping your bag essentially means that you wrap it around with layers of plastic that form an outer covering, protecting your bag from damage. To do so, a bag is placed on the turntable. There are machines specialized for this function.
The turntable moves the bag, which another part of the machine wraps around with plastic. This process is very quick and does not take much of your time. Depending on the size of your bag, most of them can easily be wrapped around in under 1 minute.
Pricing for this process can vary from place to place. The pricing also depends on the size of your bag. In the United States, a standard-sized bag can be wrapped for around $15. If you have a bigger bag or irregular-shaped items, then you can expect the price to increase to $22 or more.
Benefits Of Shrink Wrapping Your Luggage
When you go to airports, you will see that many people have plastic wrapping around their luggage. The reason is that there are many benefits that come with it. Here are some of those benefits:
- Theft Prevention: When you are at airports, there is a huge chance that someone might open your luggage and steal something. Having a plastic covering prevents the chances of that happening. Shrinkwrapping helps you save your belongings from thieves.
- Protection against damage: If you have a new bag, then a plastic seal wrapping helps protect it from any wear and tear. Bags at airports go through a lot of manhandling, especially on the belts. A plastic wrap reduces any damage caused to the belts as well. This can increase the longevity of any bag.
- Weather Protection: A layer of sealed wrap not only prevents any wear and tear to your luggage but also provides protection against weather conditions. This is especially beneficial if your bag is not waterproof and you have to take it out in the rain.
- Smuggling: One of the biggest fears anyone can have is the risk of being falsely accused of smuggling something illegally. At airports, smuggling is a big concern, where people can secretly place illegal items in your bag and have you get blamed for it. To prevent such risk, getting shrink wrapping is a great idea as it prevents anyone from reaching the insides of your bags.
Drawbacks Of Wrapping Your Luggage In Plastic
Although plastic wrapping your bag comes with many benefits, it does have a few drawbacks that you should know about.
- Use of Plastic: Wrapping your luggage uses a lot of plastic. If you are concerned about the environment, then it is no surprise to you how damaging plastic can be. Plastic is non-biodegradable and has existed in the environment for a long time. Using that much plastic might not be good for the environment.
However, there are some airports that offer specific wrapping material that is not toxic or harmful to the environment. You can try asking for such material. Or you can try reusing the plastic.
- Safety Checks: Ever since 9/11, airports have maximized their security. This means that your luggage has to be checked before you board the plane. If you have pre-wrapped your luggage before the checking, then there is a high chance that your wrapping will be removed for safety and security purposes.
However, you can also get your bag wrapped from the airport after the checks to avail the benefits of a plastic shrink wrap.
Can Wrapping Be Done At Home?
Yes, wrapping can also be done at home. However, it can be quite time-consuming. You would need to buy at least three films of plastic wrap. You can find these at any local grocery store. Then start off from one corner and keep looping the plastic around until the entire bag is covered.
There is, however, a risk of some airline rejecting the packaging that you did at home. This is because your bag might slip on the belt or clog up the system depending on the type of plastic used.
If you want to get your checked luggage wrapped, then you should definitely go for it. Getting your luggage wrapped offers you additional protection against damage or theft. If a wrapped bag needs to be checked again, it can also be re-wrapped at the airport.