suitcases

Snaps from a visit to an airport bag well

As part of research for an upcoming story, I spent two days visiting the ‘bag well’ at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport finding out what happens to your checked lugagge once you hand it over to your airline.

The short version: your bag travels on a freeway-like conveyor system that sends the bag to and through a TSA explosives detection machine and then back to the airline for sorting so can be sent to your airplane and loaded onto it.  The bag tag is scanned multiple times along the way to keep tabs on its whereabouts.

Here are some snaps from my adventure. Stay tuned for the full story.

 

 

Souvenir Sunday: a journey with “Luggage”

On my travels this week I’ve been toting a review copy of Susan Harlan’s book, Luggage, which is part of Bloomsbury’s charming Object Lessons series.

The slim book is travel-sized, but densely-packed and Harlan has stuffed it with stories and side-trips that touch not just on the actual history and development of suitcases, bags, trunks, carry-ons and valises, but on the role baggage plays in literature, art and films.

Remember Mary Poppins’ carpet bag?

“It contains all of her desires,” writes Harlan, and is a “powerfully enabling object” from which the nanny is somehow able to produce a lamp and a mirror (in the 1964 Disney movie) and, in the novel by P.L. Travers, everything from an apron to an armchair.

Poppins’ luggage was not only magical, notes Harlan, it gave her freedom. “She can come and go as the wind changes, which would hardly be possible with a steamer trunk,” Harlan writes.

In “Luggage,” Harlan tells us about her own collection of vintage luggage, a bit of how she and others approach packing and of her visit to to Alabama’s vast Unclaimed Baggage Center, which is not just a store but a tourist destination.

Along the way she unpacks the role and relationship baggage has to everything from home and gender to class, memory, loss and, of course, travel.

“The history of luggage is the history of travel: how we traveled, and why, and where, and what we have packed,” Harlan tells us at the beginning of this journey, “It is virtually impossible to think of traveling without luggage.”

 

 

 

 

Exhibit uses suitcases to explore ‘baggage’

Joel Ross – Room 28

Baggage Claims, an exhibition currently at the Orlando Museum of Art,  includes the work of 17 artists who have used suitcases, trunks and crates to create work that explores various meanings of ‘baggage” and “the impact of today’s vast global commerce and travel on contemporary life.”

Co-curated by Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox, of c2-curatorssquared.com, the exhibit will also travel, to the Weatherspoon Art Museum, in Greensboro, NC (January 27 – April 22, 2018) and later to Greencastle, Indiana and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Orlando Museum of Art was kind enough to share these images from the show.

 

Yin Xiuzhen – Portable City, Dunhuang

 

Avery Lawrence – Arranging suitcases

 

Kathleen Vance – Traveling Landscape

 

More new bags and gadgets

Because you can never have too many bags or gadgets, here are a few more items displayed at the International Travel Goods show in Las Vegas last week.

3_FlyBelt

Taking off a belt before going through an airport metal detector can be a hassle and putting it back through your pants loops on the other side just wastes more time.

The Royce Fly Belt (MSRP, $75) tackles that problem with a metal belt buckle you can just detach from the leather belt before walking through detector and then reattach it on the other side.

6_Nuki front opening suitcase

No need to unzip and fully fold open a suitcase to access or repack an item with the Nuki line of front opening hard shell luggage.

Available in three sizes: 20″ carry-on (MSRP: $199), 24″ medium checked bag (MSRP: $249) and 28″ large checked bag (MSRP $299), and in four designs: Hounds tooth, rococo, black and silver.

7_Zensah - blue coffee bean socks

Zensah has a new line of environmentally-friendly Coffee Comfort Socks (MSRP: $29.99) made with yarn infused with coffee-bean shells, which help make the socks comfortable and odor neutralizing.

Available colors include sky, rosy, cloud and twilight — but not cappuccino.

New travel gear & gadgets

Blackpool SuitcaseArrives

The latest designs in luggage and the newest ideas for travel gadgets were on display for three days at the International Travel Goods show in Las Vegas last week.

For CNBC.com, I put together a slide show of the product innovation award- winners and several other items that caught my eye. Here are some samples…

4_Arm-share

Tired of fighting over who gets to use those middle armrests on the airplane? The inventor of the Arm-Share gadget thinks he’s got a solution figured out.

1_OrgoLite

“Boutique” hotel often equates to “no room for your stuff in the bathroom.”
The Orgo Lite inventors came up with a solution for that: an expandable cosmetic kit that can sit over the sink.

5_Baseball bag

Sports fans can carry their gear in bags made out of the same material used to make basketballs, golf balls, soccer balls and baseballs – stitching included. From Zumer Sport.

8_Walter + Ray BendyMan Flashlight and stand

Fun, inexpensive and useful – the quirky and colorful Bendy Man from Walter + Ray is a flashlight and a gadget holder in one.