Home TIPS Airport Attack Lesson: Don’t Check Your Bags!
Airport Attack Lesson: Don’t Check Your Bags! PDF Print E-mail

It was a horrible moment at the Fort Lauderdale airport recently when the terrorist randomly murdered people waiting at the baggage area. The panic and police takeover caused hundreds of waiting passengers hours of delay, and in some cases lost luggage.

If anything positive can be gained by senior travelers from the tragedy, it’s to avoid carrying heavy luggage for flights whenever possible. Unlike many younger air passengers, seniors traditionally take more clothing, footwear and other bulky items when they fly. They dress more stylishly and change clothing more frequently. Maybe the time has arrived in this violent era when older flyers should cut back on the heavy stuff. For example, on the day before a journey, gather and pile everything you absolutely need on a bed. Then, with a realistic plan, take away duplicates and other items you can do without. You may be surprised that you’ve reduced your stack by half or more.

Instead of the traditional suitcases, consider a carry-on that fits into the aircraft overhead. If it can’t hold all your gear, also take along a knapsack that can be stashed under your seat. Also, wear an outer jacket with many large inside and outside pockets that can be stuffed and sealed with button-down flaps.

Terrorism isn’t the only reason to travel lighter. As airlines look for more ways to make money, they keep raising the fees for checked luggage. Is it worth paying $300 for a round-trip flight, plus another $100 to check your big bags? Also, when you land at your destination airport, there’s no wait (nor danger) by the crowded carousel for your bags to arrive.

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