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Should I wrap my bag when I fly?

by on May 18, 2015
 

What is wrapping?

Wrapping is the process of tightly wrapping thin clear stretch plastic around your bags before you check them in. The machines used for the process ensure the bag is well covered, with a space left around the handle. As it is done quickly and is reasonably affordable, more and more customers are opting of wrapping bags they might be worried about putting through the rigours of a trip through a couple (or more) of airports, as well as being stuffed in the underbelly of an aircraft in the hold of the plane.

Why wrap?

  • You don’t want to buy a new bag for your trip, but the locks on your existing one might not be trustworthy, or worse, you’ve lost the key.
  • You’ve bought so many souvenirs or new clothes that you’re worried your bag will pop open under the strain.
  • You’re a returning expat / foreign worker and have some of your things packed in cardboard boxes or canvas bags.
  • You have a bag with pockets or compartments that others might put things in without your knowledge.
  • You’re worried about theft. (Obviously you won’t pack valuables like cameras, jewellery, cash or laptops inside)

Even if these don’t sound familiar, you may have a flimsy bag, a soft bag with zips or pockets, boxes, odd shaped items, backpacks, bags with straps than may get caught on luggage handling equipment or perhaps a baby’s stroller.

All these may be wrapped securely. The wrapping will keep things in and stop things like strollers from opening at the wrong time.

** It gets quite cold in the hold, which may cause some shrinkage of the plastic, so make sure you haven’t packed anything that can easily be squashed.

Where can I get my bag wrapped?

A selection of airports (and railways stations) where wrapping is available. ** Please Note that some airlines and some countries may not allow you to wrap your bags. For example, Jetstar passengers out of Phuket will notice the sign saying you may not wrap your bag.

Australasia
Australia
  • Brisbane and Melbourne  – “Protectabag” $13 per piece, maximum weight per piece 32kg. For more information HERE
  • Sydney International Airport and Central Station, Perth International Airport, Brisbane, Melbourne and Gold Coast Airports Baggage Storage operating as ‘SmartCarte’ from $10.  Bag wrapping / strapping, storage and various related services available.
New Zealand

Auckland International Airport –Baggage Storage  and wrapping operating as ‘SmartCarte’ from $10.

Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur – SuperStrap+ at both KLIA and KLIA2 RM10 per bag. They also offer strapping and other services including cardboard boxed and bubble wrap. Excel Wrap & Go at KLIA2 are open 24hrs.

Kuala Lumpur Sentral (for KLIA Express Check-in). – Wrap & Go – Normal sized bag, RM10, Large, RM15, Extra Large, RM20.

Singapore

Singapore International Airport, Changi

  • Terminal 1 – ‘Secure Bag‘ – Full service wrapping, S$15 per piece
  • Terminal 2 – self service at a small multi service booth called ‘Changi Recommends‘ – S$13
  • Terminal 3 – no service
Phillipines

Manila International Airport, Terminals 2 & 3, also has services available from Protectabag at a cost of Php160/wrap, regardless of size of item.

Europe
United Kingdom  

Bag Wrap cost is £10.50 per item at the following locations:

  • London Heathrow Airport, Terminals 2, 3, 4 & 5
  • London Gatwick Airport, North & South Terminals
  • London Stansted Airport Zone H
  • Manchester AirportTerminals 1 & 2
  • London Victoria Station, Platform 8
France

Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports – SafeBag €10 (for the basic wrapping, Premium service will cost €14)

SafeBags can also be found at other airports in France as well as in Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and USA. Click HERE for more information.

What happens to your bags after you check them in?

You’ve probably seen the horror story viral videos on the internet of baggage handlers tossing bags on or off planes /conveyer belts. Chances of this happening in a busy and highly mechanised airport are reduced, but if you are travelling in an area where most of the work is done by hand and must be done quickly, it’s possibly they may not treat your bag with the same care you would use.

To allay your fears, many airports (who are generally the ones responsible for bag handling) have produced videos showing what happens to your bags.

This one (1min 52 secs) is from Brisbane Airport, Australia.

London Heathrow  Airport has this one (1min 04 secs)

and Qantas seeks to ally your worries with this offering. (1min 18 sec)

Also see our story on getting your bag safely when you arrive, because sometimes your bag has made it all the way safely, but disappeared before you can actually collected it off the carousel!

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