Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Carryon Luggage in 2018

It is admittedly early days, but so far Marcus is thrilled to report that his Aerolite Smart Carry On Suitcase is everything that I hoped for ...

Is your Carryon a Statement?

I define the Carryon as the luggage that you intend to take with you on the aeroplane except when that airline forces you either always or when the cabin is full to check the bag into the hold.

I think the point that I am making is that in 2018 and beyond whilst you might like to take your carryon luggage onto the plane, and in most cases you can, it's not always a certainty,

Bearing that in mind, what are you looking for in a carry on

- Longevity?
- Capacity
- Looks good and makes a statement
- Looks ordinary so as not to make a statement
- Cost effectiveness

The Size and Weight Issue

Normally airlines follow IATA sizing which is  55 x 35 x 20 cm, however some airlines have mandated a purposefully smaller size to catch you out and force you to pay luggage fees.  Yes, how shitty.

Usually weight restrictions are relaxed or non existent,  most airlines say you must be able to put in into the overhead lockers un-assisted.  to check ...

Something Different

Marcus and Agata cannot afford for unlimited air travel but our theory about carry on's is

- They can all get damaged, even those fancy 700 GBP+ Rimowa aluminium cases

- Also no matter how tough they are, if checked they can get lost too

- You want a sturdy bag, but one that is discrete and does not shout steal me or look at me, comma, therefore steal me

- You need a lock, and it needs to have a TSA lock so the Americans (and others) can open it without consulting you if they decide it contains likely terrorist material

- Wouldn't it be nice if our Carry On could do something interesting

Our Smartish Carry On

After some research we found a subtle IATA sized carry on suitcase that whilst plain looking has some good facilities which are ...
The standard retractable handle

And decent wheels that have a standard Allen key mechanism so might actually be user serviceable

Overall the bag is just as sturdy as my outgoing carry on.  It seems decently made and in the sub 100 GBP carry on class I don't see it as in any way inferior.  Of course if you want to pay > 700 GBP then an Aluminium Rimowa or equivalent is going to be stiffer.

BlueTooth Lock
Whilst it does come with an emergency set of keys, the idea is that this Suitcase is locked and unlocked via Bluetooth, in particular via an app on your Smartphone

First note there is password security so if somebody else installs the same Application they need the password else the case will not open

Next, whilst you can manually lock and unlock the case you can have it autounlock when you start the application and it's within your proximity

This is powered by 4 removable AAA batteries. The failsafe is that if the batteries die or are removed the case will not lock

Also it will send you alert when it loses Bluetooth reception, the idea is that this will alert you if somebody steals the bag whilst you are not looking

As shown above it does have a TSA lock and some physical keys that you can use to unlock the case manually if you really must!

Oh, and excitement ... Imagine the bag is checked.  Then when it is close to coming down the conveyor fter the flight it's going to send a notification to your Smartphone that it is in range.  How cool would that be, right!

An Inbuilt Weight Scale

 Yes, in the fixed handle is a small removable coin cell battery powered weight scale, reading out in oz, kg, lbs etc.  it's backlit and seems to work.  Unbelievable!

 USB Power

 There is a pocket on the inside with a Velcro stay that allows you to place a Power Bank, and then via a supplied cable wire to a socket in the inside of the case.

Then from the outside you can either charge your power bank, or take power from it as shown.  So you can smugly sit at the airport, surfing on your phone whilst you charge it.   We like!

Batteries Issue
I checked via Mr Google and batteries are allowed in carry on, but sometimes not in hold Luggage.  And sometimes there is a rule that the batteries must be removable, and these are.  So in all cases this luggage is Airport legal.

In Summary

Although it is early days I would say that I am very pleased with the Aerolite Smart Suitcase.  It is moderately priced yet has some useful features to make my cattle class air transit just a little more palatable.  

We make this seasonal present #11