Airports are stressful places without the added worry of baggage pilferage.
Strap it, lock it, tie a ribbon on the handle, let’s face it, once your bag’s tagged, and disappearing down the black hole that is baggage handling in an airport, the fate of your suitcase is…er, sealed.
Or not. Because if some kleptomaniac baggage handler decides that your suitcase looks better open, with his/her fingers rifling through your personal stuff, than closed – well, sorry for you.
Binding your luggage in a cocoon of cling film at baggage wrapping is one way of trying to prevent baggage break-ins at the airport.
However, we’ve all stood at the carousel, and seen a suitcase slide past that looks like a disintegrating mummy starting to unravel, with the owner’s toothbrush, and knickers on display, and their laptop, or gift of Bombay gin for grandma is gone.
So along comes the Bbagzz™ (pronounced bee-bagzz) – basically, a giant (1m x 1m) transparent courier bag for your luggage. It’s a thick, brightly branded, plastic envelope that slips over your suitcase and seals closed completely.
Useable worldwide, it makes your bag easy to identify, traceable, and comes with luggage insurance.
Each Bbagzz™ is printed with a unique 6 character, alphanumeric code. Prior to check-in (not more than 6 hours), you sms the code, your initial, surname, and flight number to a South African cell phone number (normal sms rates, including free sms apply).
Each Bbagzz™ item of luggage is then insured against pilferage, loss of luggage; damage, or a luggage delay; to a maximum value of R5000, for the duration of your out- or inbound flight, for up to 72 hours after departure.
When you purchase your Bbagzz™, whatever you do, don’t rip the packet open, and throw the leaflet away with the wrapping.
You’ll need the package insert to activate your insurance, and in the event that you need to claim. Printed on the back, in fine print, are the T&C, which rival War and Peace in length, and will ensure you don’t need to buy a book to read on your flight.
The upside of using Bbagzz™ is
A) a baggage thief is likely to go for a suitcase that’s easier to burgle
B) you have some recourse to try and recover any loss suffered
C) it’s compact, light-weight, and worth carrying a Bbagzz™ for the return flight
D) it’s made from recyclable plastic
E) Bbagzz™ are assembled, packed, and labelled by Epilepsy SA.
F) Won’t interfere with airport x-ray machines or scanners
The Bbagzz™ seems to work best if you’re able to slip it on immediately before your luggage is checked and tagged. Not easy when the airport check-in is crowded, or if your luggage is odd-sized, very big, or too small. Alternately, you have to puncture the plastic to access your suitcase handle.
My experience is that I’d try to fit the Bbagzz™ before arriving at the airport, so you don’t have to struggle to pierce the plastic as well as juggle, tickets, passport etc. at check-in. Also, if your suitcase is on wheels, it’s tricky to pull with the Bbagzz™ fitted. If your bag’s large, you’ll likely want a trolley.
Ultimately, Bbagzz™ is a pilferage deterrent with benefits. No baggage insurance is ever going to prevent your precious iPad or Rolex from being stolen if you’re dumb enough to pack them. The cost of a Bbagzz™ is R50. Not much to pay for a little extra peace of mind.