American baggage giant Superpak has designed a range of ‘climb-in’ cases and bags which could allow people to board planes in their own baggage, cutting the cost of air travel significantly for smaller travellers. At a demonstration in Cleveland Ohio, journalists watched as a man folded himself into an on-wheels solid bodied valise , closed the lid and secured it from inside using special InCase™ fixings.
“Calling the quick release internal lock system InCase™ is just our way of saying that if there was a problem at 60,000 feet, users could easily unlock themselves.” said Superpak CEO Norman Spange. “We have had some problems with prototype climb ins, but now we can ensure a customer can get out of the bag as quickly as he or she got in. The top range has its own interior lighting, and we’re developing an InCase™ hygene unit for long haul flights, just in case.”
Spandage also told journalists about a new range, as yet untested in the market place, of climb-in hand luggage. “This range would only suit a certain size and type of traveller, but we have managed to get successful results in our test labs, thanks to increased carry-on dimensions.” It’s understood that climb-in hand luggage has hit a logistic snag. “Travelling as your own hand luggage needs a little thought and preparation,” said Spandage. “ Once you’ve climbed in, you’re unable to carry yourself to the aircraft, or secure yourself in the overhead locker or under the seat in front of you. In flight snacking opportunities will be limited, too. The obvious solution is to travel as someone else’s hand luggage, so they can do the carrying on. We envisage special "carry on" meeting places in airports where luggage can hook up with people willing to carry on, perhaps for a small charge.
When the new ranges launch, airline staff will ask modified security questions. They will be trained to shout into random luggage items "Did you pack yourself?" and “Did you pack yourself, yourself?”
Ryanair immediately announced a range of surcharges for passengers intending to travel as or in their own luggage, but a British Airways spokesperson welcomed the development. “Flexibility has always been an important part of the way we do things. We welcome the idea of customers who are also willing to be flexible”