Here in the United States, we have a plethora of brands and styles of checked and carry-on bags to choose from. We’ve talked about some of them in the past, like the stupidest luggage in the world and the carry-on bag that doubled as a stroller (I’m not sure if that last one is still a “thing” anymore). We’ve also reviewed several pieces of luggage, such as the Bento bag, luggage that fits under the seat in front of you, and the world’s lightest carry-on bag.
However, some people may not necessarily use traditional hard- or soft-sided “luggage” bags if they fly by air. That may be because of convenience, lack of storage space at home for “real” luggage, or choosing not (or not being able) to spend the amount of money required for “traditional” luggage.
Those experiencing these three predicaments may choose to use matted woven bags.
Traditionally made of recycled plastic bottles, we in the U.S. have used these bags for everything from laundry to grocery bags. But in other countries, particularly in Africa, they’re used as large, relatively study travel bags – bonus! -they cost significantly less than traditional luggage.
Here in the US, we call them “recycled bags,” but in some African countries, their nickname is “Ghana Must Go” bags. This name was coined in the 1980s when thousands of foreign nationals were forced to exit Ghana. Many people who had to leave the country used these bags for their belongings because they were large, cheap and easy to obtain.
However the bags, although strong enough to hold one’s belongings, are also relatively fragile. Because they’re made of loosely woven plastic, they’re prone to catching on airport equipment and unraveling, causing damage to bags, belongings, and said equipment.
Air France and KLM banned the use of matted woven bags some time back.
Dis one that @airfrance and @KLM have decided to ban matted women bags a.k.a our beloved Ghana-Must-Go bags, can they please give us an explanation? This can traumatise some people o! Lol @ogundamisi@walegates @ideribs @Omojuwa pic.twitter.com/3fbrXj2nuw
— Abass Tijani (@DJABASS) July 9, 2021
Concerned about the bags causing damage and disrupting their baggage system, Dubai International Airport also banned them several years ago.
However, the case against these woven bags has increased, and Ethiopian Airlines has also banned them from their network, citing steadily incurring costs.
As explained in a statement, the airline will no longer allow the bags to be checked because of, “the frequent occurrence of damages to the conveyor belts at various airports, resulting in significant costs incurred by the airlines involved.”
According to the airline, the bags are causing serious breakdowns in airports’ conveyor belt systems.
The ban began late last month.
“Please be informed that effective November 25, 2023, the usage of Ghana Must Go to travel on our flight is hereby prohibited.” Ethiopian Airlines passengers are advised not to use these woven bags, or to pack them inside cartons “or hardcover rectangular containers” for packaging items for traveling.
Feature Image: Vanderlande
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