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07th Jun 2024

Baggage handler issues warning to people who tie ribbons onto their suitcases

Ryan Price

If this is a habit you do, it might be time to drop it.

An airport employee who works as a baggage handler has advised against passengers adopting an age-old luggage hack.

We’ve all stood at the baggage carousel watching out for our precious suitcase, just praying to god that it won’t be the last one to come out.

Most of us have also experienced the pain of going to grab what you think is your suitcase, only to realise as you get closer that someone has tied a bandana around the strap and it wasn’t you.

Yeah, that’s someone else’s bag.

It’s a little travel hack that certain people have been carrying out for a lifetime, believing that it helps them identify their luggage quicker and avoids any confusion or awkward encounters.

Instead, according to Dublin airport baggage handler John, it’s causing more problems than advantages for you.

Speaking to RSVP Live, John advised holidaymakers to remove the identifying ribbons often fastened onto luggage, as they can cause delays in your bags getting to the plane.

“Ribbons that people tie onto their suitcases to help identify them can cause issues with the bag being scanned in the baggage hall,” he said.

“If the bag can’t be scanned automatically it can end up in manual processing, which could mean your bag doesn’t make it to the flight.”

John was kind enough to share some other travel do’s and don’ts with RSVP Live’s Lifestyle Editor Megan Martin.

John advised travellers to “take old stickers off the bag”, stating that it can cause confusion with the scanning process and cause delays.

He also suggested that you place your suitcase wheels up for less damage, and to not ever pack Marzipan in your luggage.

According to John, it has the same density as some explosives so your bag will be removed and you’ll be called from the plane for a bag search.

Who knew Marzipan could be so troublesome?

Instead of the old-fashioned act of tying a ribbon, technology now allows people to track their suitcases easily and sneakily – via the AirTag.

Although we’ll caveat that by referencing a 2023 case whereby a woman lost £1000 worth of luggage, despite her AirTag telling her exactly where it was.

Sarah Waite, 25, had travelled from her home in Los Angeles to Athens, where she was going to learn modern and ancient Greek literature, a lifelong dream of hers.

But when she landed in the Greek capital, Sarah discovered her luggage had not made it onto the plane and would arrive later.

The journey had involved a layover in Paris, and her luggage had been left in the French capital.

A week later though, Sarah received a notification from her £35 AirTag, which was on her luggage, saying that the bags had left Paris and were finally in Athens.

But when she went to pick it up, Sarah claimed Air France staff told her they didn’t have it despite the AirTag showing its location at the airport.

The registered nurse spent two months without her luggage, and when she was finally able to retrieve it, she claimed her suitcase had been damaged and £1,000 ($1,200) worth of items were missing, including shoes and makeup.

She described the whole experience as “horrible and traumatizing”.