The Real Reason Why Some People Wrap Luggage in Plastic


Plastic wrapping luggage takes a lot of effort, yet several people do it every time they travel. Why do they do it? Is it worth the hassle?

People wrap their luggage in plastic to protect it from thieves, general wear and tear during travel, and smugglers looking to add items to your suitcase. Some companies add a GPS-enabled sticker to their plastic wrap, which lets people keep track of it at all times.

The rest of this article will explain the benefits people hope to achieve by wrapping their luggage in plastic and some downsides of doing so in detail. Keep reading. 

Why People Wrap Their Luggage

While it may seem troublesome, it has become common practice for many people to wrap their luggage in plastic when traveling. It’s not exactly a foolproof method to secure your luggage, but it does have advantages. Let’s look at some below:

Luggage Is Protected From Thieves 

People who wrap their luggage in plastic hope to deter thieves from going through their luggage and stealing any of their valuable belongings. 

You can’t tell what a suitcase has inside it without opening it. 

Since thieves will want to get their hands on as many valuable items as possible, they’ll likely steal individual items rather than several huge bags. Taking bags without knowing what’s in them would usually just lead to the thieves getting strangers’ clothes. 

So they’ll typically look through a bag before deciding what to take. 

Plastic wrap is a deterrent for these thieves because undoing it takes a lot of effort. It’s much easier for them to look through bags that don’t have a plastic wrap. 

Luggage Is Protected From Wear and Tear

People wrapping their luggage in a plastic wrap also hope to keep it safe from general wear and tear like natural elements and rough treatment.

Natural elements like rain and dust can be quite harmful to bags. 

Unless your suitcase is made from special dust-proof and water-proof materials, it can get damaged while it’s being transported from one area to another. The plastic wrap protects your bag and the items inside it from such situations. 

Moreover, all suitcases and bags are placed together in one small section of the plane or bus you’re traveling on. 

The people handling this luggage tend to be quite rough with it and are very rarely gentle with the bags. Having a layer of plastic wrap keeps the bag safe from getting torn at the edges. This keeps the items inside the bags safe because it ensures they aren’t exposed. 

Luggage Is Protected From Smugglers 

Smugglers looking to sneak illicit goods avoid suitcases with plastic covering because it’s too much of a hassle to work around. 

Airlines have very specific rules regarding what is and isn’t allowed on planes. If you’re found in violation of these regulations, your luggage can be confiscated, and you can face consequences like legal action and not being allowed on the plane. 

Smugglers sometimes try to transport their contraband by putting it in other people’s bags and collecting it from there once the plane lands. 

For instance, if someone wants to take drugs on a plane and doesn’t want to take the risk of keeping them in their bag, they may try to sneak it onto someone else’s bag. This wouldn’t be possible if a suitcase was covered in plastic. 

Removing and then redoing the plastic wrapping isn’t a feasible option when you’re trying to be inconspicuous in the middle of an airport. 

You Can Trace Luggage Through Inbuilt GPS Stickers

Many companies producing plastic wrap for luggage give out free stickers that allow the bag to be traced. This GPS feature adds an extra layer of security because it means people can keep track of their belongings at all times. 

Many suitcases look very similar to each other and sometimes people mistakenly take other people’s luggage. In such situations, having a GPS tracker on your bag can come in handy. 

While it’s unlikely that someone will intentionally steal a suitcase, a tracking sticker can help you get your luggage back if it does happen. 

Why Most People Don’t Bother Plastic-Wrapping Luggage

As discussed, wrapping plastic around your luggage takes much time and effort. However, there are more pressing reasons why some people avoid it altogether. Here’s why:

TSA’s Random Luggage Checks Can Remove Plastic Wrap 

The TSA, as well as all other global transport authorities, have random luggage checks. If your plastic-wrapped bag is picked for one of them, you’ll have to remove and redo the covering in the middle of the airport. 

These checks are done for the safety and security of the passengers and staff on planes and are a vital part of airline protection policies. 

There’s no way to tell whether or not airport authorities will pick you for these checks. But if you’re chosen, your effort will go to waste. 

Plastic as a Nonbiodegradable Material Harms the Environment

Plastic is super harmful to the environment

Plastic wrap is particularly bad because you can’t reuse it. Once you’ve landed wherever you want to go, you’ll take it off your luggage and throw it in a bin. 

Unlike plastic containers, there is no way to recycle them by yourself. 

So the best thing you can do is reduce the use of plastic wrap in the first place. Many people, especially those in the younger generation, avoid plastic-wrapping luggage because there’s a lot more awareness regarding the importance of protecting our environment. 

As a result, you’ll see several people refusing to wrap their suitcases. Instead, they’ll invest in locks to keep their luggage safe. These are easier to reuse and don’t harm the environment as much.

Final Thoughts 

Some people choose to wrap their luggage in plastic because it keeps their belongings safe from thieves, wear and tear, and smugglers. Others have their luggage plastic-wrapped by a professional company to get a free GPS sticker to keep track of their bags at all times. 

However, not everyone wants to go through the effort. This is because TSA’s random luggage searches can undo your hard work in just a few seconds. Moreover, using a lot of plastic wrap for luggage when there are alternatives like locks is harmful to the environment.

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