ying Ribbons Onto Luggage
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
June 21, 2024 ·  4 min read

Baggage Handler Warns About Tying Ribbons Onto Luggage

Trying to get your luggage together after a long exhausting day of travel is frustrating. Especially because many suitcases look the same, people often risk grabbing the wrong bag. As such, Many people have learned a great hack for recognizing their luggage on the conveyor belt; they tie colorful ribbons or string on so their bags are easily recognizable. However, a baggage handler has shared why that isn’t always a great idea. 

A Luggage Handler’s Observation

Vintage luggage stacked. Chairs and home décor in the background.
Image Credit: StockSnap | Pixabay

Recently, John, a luggage handler at Dublin Airport shared a few tips regarding packing and handling your luggage. One important tip notes the negative effects of placing ribbons or bows on your luggage to make it more recognizable. 

“Ribbons that people tie onto their suitcases to help identify them can cause issues with the bag being scanned in the baggage hall. If the bag can’t be scanned automatically, it can end up in manual processing, which could mean your bag doesn’t make it to the flight.” He said.

Read More: Many Travellers Do The Exact Same Superstitious Gesture Before Getting on a Plane

Alternatives to Make Luggage Stand Out

Luggage with flags from all over the world.
Image Credit: RitaE | Pixabay

For many, it’s stressful, inconvenient, and an annoyance when their luggage doesn’t meet them at their final destination. As such, it’s worth considering his warning and looking for alternatives. For example, buying unique or personalized luggage guarantees you’ll be able to recognize it. Additionally, fabric paint or stickers will also help add notable features and a pop of color without interfering with the dimensions or labels that need to be scanned. 

Sharing Other Bits of Wisdom

check-in employee attaches a luggage tag to suitcase of passenger - closeup of hands
Source: Shutterstock

John explains a few other helpful, if not out of-the-box, tips. Another detail he notes is regarding labels or tags from previous flights. He explains that they should be removed because they can confuse the electronic scanners, causing luggage to sometimes travel to unplanned destinations. 

Next, he shares another luggage hack that nearly everyone instinctively does. Most people put their luggage down when weighing it or laying it on its side before handing it off to airline personnel. However, he shares that luggage should be placed with the wheels facing up because they’re prone to damage but, this will help minimize the risk. 

Lastly, he shares a final tip. One that likely isn’t common but still worth mentioning because you never know what people hope to bring home when they travel to other parts of the world. He shares that Marzipan has the same density as some explosives. As such, packing it in your checked luggage leaves you subject to removal from a plane and a mandatory search. 

Effectively Packing Luggage

Travel suitcase, bedroom and hands of woman packing for Europe holiday, vacation or adventure tourist journey. Hospitality, hotel bed and photographer with luggage bag, clothes and camera in Madrid
Source: Shutterstock

John isn’t the only expert regarding how to pack luggage. Seasoned travelers, other airline personnel, and travel experts have also shined some light on how to pack your luggage so it’s as hassle-free as possible.

Lay It All Out

Suitcase, woman and packing clothes, bag and luggage for travel, vacation and international journey, summer adventure and tourism. Closeup female tourist, hotel room and holiday clothing in baggage
Source: Shutterstock

When packing luggage the best method is organization, otherwise, you risk added weight to lug around, or pay for if it exceeds the airlines’ limitations. It’s recommended to lay everything out to see how it will go together, ensuring you have an outfit for every occasion.

Read More: 8 Reasons Why Traveling with Family is So Important

Soft Bags to Carry-On

A woman holding a tote bag. White background.
Image Credit: Satchuset | Pixabay

Although people may prefer a hard suitcase for their checked luggage, a soft bag is ideal for a carry-on because you can “shape the bag” to fit your stuff.

Extra Bags

Reusable travel bag with cosmetics and star-shaped rainbow glitter.
Image Credit: KYTRNA | Pixabay

It’s also recommended to travel with a couple of disposable bags. This includes grocery, sandwich, snack, or gallon bags. They’ll come in handy for numerous reasons from organizing jewelry and other small items to protecting the rest of your belongings from wet or dirty clothes. Alternatively, eco-friendly options like lined reusable bags are available for those who prefer to avoid disposable plastic.

Roll Instead of Fold

Pairs of rolled jeans stacked together.
Image Credit: Kranich17 | Pixabay

Many people have shared methods of folding clothes that are organized and great for saving space. One popular method is to roll clothing rather than fold it. This ensures you can see each item while simultaneously saving space. Furthermore, rolling clothes up with one another may also help add more space to your luggage.

Read More: Airline offers adult-only section for travelers avoiding babies and kids


  1. How to Pack Lighter, Smarter, and Faster, According to T+L Editors.” T+L. May 14, 2020.
  2. Travellers issued warning against tying ribbons onto luggage.” Tyla. Kya Buller. June 5, 2024.
  3. Don’t tie a ribbon on your suitcase, warns Dublin Airport baggage handler.” RSVPLive. Megan Martin. May 30, 2024.