Just as I was about to leave for the airport, I noticed that my aunt had tied a hot pink ribbon onto the handle of my suitcase. I thought it was one of her little jokes, and I proceeded to untie it without saying a word.
I went upstairs to get my carry on bag, and when I returned to the living room, I saw that the pink ribbon was back in place. So I untied it again.
“What do you think you are doing?” my aunt asked when she walked back into the room.
“I put that there for a reason.”
“I don't want a hot pink ribbon tied to my suitcase,” I protested.
“You'll thank me when you arrive in Hong Kong,” my aunt said. “Every suitcase looks more or less the same, and they're all either gray, black, or dark blue. You'll be able to spot your's right away.”
My aunt had a way of not explaining things, but she did have a point. But hot pink?
“It will stand out like a sore thumb,” she reassured. And it did. When I arrived at Hong Kong International Airport, my bag was easy to distinguish from the others. That hot pink ribbon remained on that suitcase for years – until it finally fell off.
You Are What You Carry
So what exactly does your luggage say about you? A lot, according to research released by British airline Virgin Atlantic. Your luggage, the air carrier says, tells the world what type of traveler you are.
"Virgin Atlantic carries over six million bags a year to London and beyond, and we've seen a lot of changes since our first flight in 1984,” says Paul Bushell, Vice President of Airport Operations for North America at Virgin Atlantic.
“The standard black case with a colourful pom-pom has taken the backseat as more and more of our passengers choose to show off their personality and make a fashion statement with their bags. Our crew carries almost anything, from leather holdalls to leopard print cases, and too many designer trunks to mention. And following the focus on athletes in London we're seeing more and more travelers taking along their sporting equipment, which Virgin Atlantic carries for free."
What the Stars Carry
Here's a quick look at popular bag types and who favours them, courtesy of Virgin Atlantic (adapted).
- Designer Trunk by LV – for those that want to show off. Favoured by Paris Hilton, Karl Lagerfelds, and Victoria Beckham.
- Corporate Case for seasoned travelers. Favoured by Miranda Kerr.
- Crazy Colored Luggage – for those that seek attention. Favoured by any of the Kardashians.
- Hold-Alls – for those that are practical, confident, and optimistic. Favoured by Angelina Jolie, Prince Harry, and 007 Daniel Craig.
- Backpack – for the young and the young at heart. Favoured by Justin Bieber.
- Multiple Suitcases – for the professional housewife that believes in the adage, “You never know!” Favoured by the entire cast of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and stars from other reality TV shows.
It has been said that employees working in the travel industry tend to be highly status conscious, and they will treat you better if you carry designer luggage.
Who knows? You might be someone famous! As as result, you will have a better chance of scoring an upgrade if your suitcases have expensive labels.
It has also been said designer bags scream, “There is something valuable inside!” Not only that, the bags themselves are valuable. So you will also have a better chance that your bag will be stolen.