The Type of Luggage Most Likely to Be Mishandled by Baggage Handlers

by SharonKurheg

For some of us, checking a bag is part of the process of travel. Sure, some people can get all their stuff into a carry-on bag (this woman still impresses the crap out of me. How does she get so many items into such a tiny bag?). But for longer trips, most people check at least one bag when they fly.

Of course, once a bag is out of our hands, we never know what kind of condition it will be in when we get it back. It could still look good. Or it might have a scrape or a ding. Or it might look like this poor guy’s bag. Or…you might not see it again for half a decade.

Let’s assume the latter two aren’t the case with your checked bags. There’s still a way to help your bag not get tossed around so much. At least according to a luggage handler named Rachel Bacha.

Bacha lives in Boise, ID and has a TikTok account where she shares various parts of her work day. Several months back, she explained why having a suitcase with 4 wheels is better than having one with 2 wheels.

She explains that, depending upon the equipment available, one handler will throw the bags into the hold area of the plane while another handler will line them all up inside, so they can fit as much in there as possible.

But to get the bags from the entry to the back, the bags will be, as Bacha says, “…Rolled. Slid. Tossed. So if your bag has 4 wheels, it’s getting rolled. If your bag has 2 wheels, it’s gonna get tossed.”

Here’s the video:


Also you can scoot around on four wheeled bags. So for that reason alone they are superior #luggagehandler #suitcaseseries #rampagent #ramprachel #traveltiktok

♬ Music For a Sushi Restaurant – Harry Styles

A few replies to the video suggested that the wheels of 4-wheeled luggage tend to break off more easily. Someone who said they worked baggage X-ray also suggested that 4-wheelers got stuck in front of the machines sometimes. But for the most part, people (airline workers and passengers) said they preferred 4-wheeled bags to those with 2 wheels.

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RaflW June 16, 2024 - 1:45 pm

I’ve been a two wheel guy for well over a decade. And not planning to change. Why? Lemme tell you about a trip from Brussels airport to the center of town. The city’s express bus was super duper late arriving, picked us up, and then with no advance announcement just stopped over a kilometer from the destination.
The driver was out of time, we finally surmised from a local who could understand the driver. Everyone out! What’s next? No one (maybe six of us) knew.
So I walked to my hotel.
That KM+ would have been murder with a fourwheeler. The tiny wheels do not work with cobblestones. They’re not even great with chipped concrete. Try Buenos Aires falling apart sidewalks!
I think I’ve made my case. 🙂
Four wheels are fine on airport terrazzo. And good if one can always avoid urban walks, esp outside the US. But any sort of adventure-ish travel it’s two wheels good IMO.

David June 16, 2024 - 4:08 pm

It’s not uncommon for some of us to have to drag our luggage for some distance over rough and uneven surfaces. I wonder which wheel type (two versus four) holds up better under those conditions?


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