If you've been in an international airport in the last, oh, 20 years, you've no doubt seen thosetravelers: the ones wheeling plastic-covered suitcases or getting them spun in several layers of the stuff at kiosks like Seal & Go, TrueStar, and Secure Wrap sprinkled throughout the terminal. But what are the rules surrounding plastic-wrapped baggage, and what's it actually for? We dive in.
First things first: Why are people doing this?
An extra layer of protection, for starters. Baggage handlers have to move bags off and on planes quickly, and don't discern between run-of-the-mill luggage and your more expensive pieces when loading and unloading. (One handler even previously told Traveler contributor Cynthia Drescher, "I see a lot of Louis Vuitton luggage, but having an expensive bag doesn't mean I'm going to treat it with kid gloves.") The plastic acts as a shield against scrapes, gashes, bumps, and bad weather, and will help prevent a full bag from bursting open. It may also deter would-be thieves from rifling through your stuff.