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The modern traveller can be expected to have packages containing clothing, toiletries, small possessions, trip necessities, and on the return-trip, souvenirs. For some people, luggage and the style thereof is representative of the owner's wealth.
Baggage (not luggage), or baggage train, can also refer to the train of people and goods, both military and of a personal nature, which commonly followed pre-modern armies on campaign.
Luggage has changed over time. Historically the most common types of luggage were chests or trunks made of wood or other heavy materials. These would be shipped by professional movers. Since the Second World War smaller and more lightweight suitcases and bags that can be carried by an individual have become the main form of luggage.
With more and more passengers travelling by air the baggage handlers have seen an increase of passengers using the airline transport industry's ATA 300 Specifications for baggage designs acceptable for air transport, including both 'hand luggage' and 'hold luggage'.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word baggage comes from Old French bagage (from baguer "tie up") or from bagues ("bundles"). It may also be related to the word bag.
Also according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word luggage originally meant inconveniently heavy baggage and comes from the verb lug and the suffix -age.
Types of luggage
- Trunk - A wooden box, generally much larger than other kinds of luggage. Trunks come in smaller sizes as in the case of footlockers and larger ones called steamers. These days trunks are more commonly used for storage than transportation. Items large enough to require a trunk are now usually shipped in transport cases. Some of the better known trunk makers are Louis Vuitton, Goyard, Moynat, Haskell Brothers, M. M. Secor, Leatheroid, Clinton, Hartmann, Oshkosh, Molloy, Truesdale, and Taylor.
- Suitcase - A general term that may refer to wheeled or non-wheeled luggage, as well as soft or hard side luggage.
- Garment bag - A style of luggage that folds over on itself to allow long garments such as suits or dresses to be packed flat to avoid creasing. Garment bags come in both wheeled and non-wheeled models, and are usually one of the largest pieces in any set of luggage
- Tote - A small bag, usually worn on the shoulder
- Duffel bag - A barrel-shaped bag, almost exclusively soft side, is well suited to casual travel, with very little organization inside. The spelling "duffle" is also valid.
- Carpet bag - travel luggage traditionally made from carpets.
- Locks - locks serve multiple purposes; a deterrent to dishonest airport workers and locks also help keep baggage closed during handling. Since 2003 most locks integrated into luggage use the TSA Lock standard developed by Travel Sentry to allow opening by the US Transportation Security Administration.
- Expandable Luggage - suitcases that can be unzipped to expand for more packing space.
Rolling suitcases were invented in 1970, when Bernard D. Sadow applied for a patent that was granted in 1972 as United States patent 3,653,474 for "Rolling Luggage". The patent application cited the increase in air travel, and "baggage handling [having] become perhaps the single biggest difficulty encountered by an air passenger", as background of the invention. Sadow's four-wheeled suitcases, pulled using a loose strap, were later surpassed in popularity by rollaboards, suitcases that feature two wheels and are pulled in an upright position using a long handle, and were invented in 1987 by US pilot Robert Plath.
Some vehicles have an area specifically for luggage to be held, called the automobile "trunk" in the United States. Items stored in the hold are known as hold luggage. A typical example would be a suitcase. If travelling by coach passengers will often be expected to place their own luggage in the hold, before boarding. Aeroplanes in contrast are loaded by professional baggage handlers.
Hand luggage (carry-on)
Passengers are allowed to carry a limited number of smaller bags with them in the vehicle, these are known as hand luggage (more commonly referred to as carry-on in North America), and contain valuables and items needed during the journey. There is normally storage space provided for hand luggage, either under seating, or in overhead lockers. Trains often have luggage racks at the ends of the carriage near the doors, or above the seats if there are compartments. There are differing views between North America and Europe in relation to the rules concerning the amount of baggage carried on to aircraft. In North America there is considerable debate as to whether passengers carry too many bags on board and that their weight could be a risk to other passengers and flight safety. US airlines are beginning to introduce weight and size restrictions for carry-on baggage. Whereas in Europe, many airlines, especially low-cost airlines, impose what is commonly known as "the one-bag rule". This is a restriction imposed to stop excessive weight on board and airlines claim that this policy allows them to speed the boarding of the aircraft. Airports in Europe have mounted a campaign with the European Commission in an attempt to overturn these hand luggage regulations. They claim that it is affecting their duty-free and other airport retail sales and is reducing their revenues.
In airport terminals, a baggage claim or reclaim area is an area where arriving passengers claim checked-in baggage after disembarking from an airline flight. At most airports and many train stations, baggage is delivered to the traveler on a baggage carousel.
Left luggage, also luggage storage or bag storage, is a place where one can temporarily store one's luggage so as to not have to carry it. Left luggage is not synonymous with lost luggage. Often at an airport or train station there may be a staffed 'left luggage counter' or simply a coin operated or automated locker system. With higher threats of terrorism all around the globe, this type of public storage is disappearing. Since the terrorism attack in NYC on September 2001, all public luggage storage has been closed. Only a few private companies still offer baggage storage services.
Luggage forwarding, also known as luggage shipping or luggage logistics, is a type of specialty shipping service that has been available for approximately 10 years and has grown in demand, particularly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The purpose of luggage forwarding is to reduce the hassles of baggage handling commonly experienced by airline passengers at airports. Travelers have the option to call a company to pick up bags at their home or office, then have them delivered to any destination of choice. The process is usually repeated for round-trip traveling. See, for example Luggage Forward, Luggage Free, and LugLess.
Baggage can also refer to the train of people and goods, both military and of a personal nature, which commonly followed pre-modern armies on campaign. The baggage was considered a strategic resource and guarded by a rear guard. Its loss was considered to weaken and demoralize an army, leading to rearguard attacks such as that at the Battle of Agincourt.
- Luggage scale
- Luggage lock
- Travel pack
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- Emotional baggage (colloquialism referring to unresolved psychological issues)
- "Luggage" is more or less a synonym of "baggage" but is normally used in relation to the personal baggage of a specific person or persons (e.g. I have lost my luggage, he has prepared his luggage, but not normally I have lost my baggage, he has prepared his baggage).
- Joe Sharkey: Reinventing the Suitcase by Adding the Wheel New York Times, October 4, 2010
- United States patent 3,653,474
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- Luggage delivery service travel guide from Wikivoyage