The rise in the popularization of air transport in the last two decades is due, along with other factors, but in large part, to the spread of the characteristics of the low-cost model throughout the industry.

And one of the pillars of this is based on the personalization of services to the passenger, offering only transportation from point A to point B, and charging for all the «extras» such as hand luggage, checked-in baggage, seat selection and catering, among other things.

This – again, along with other factors – allows fares to be pushed down by giving people the opportunity to pay only for what they use.

Of course, it also often leads to confusion, disagreements, and complaints, mainly regarding baggage and the differentiation between what is the «personal item» still carried free of charge on most airlines and which must go under the seat, the hand luggage that is carried in the overhead compartments of the cabin, and the checked baggage that goes in the hold.

To somehow solve this and allow passengers to avoid having to pay for cabin baggage, one company has developed a (suitcase?) (backpack?) (bag?) that looks exactly like a rigid carry on and has the same functionality but incorporates detachable wheels that do not allow it to exceed the maximum size of what most airlines consider a «personal item» so that it can be stored under the seat.

The case is 20″ high by 14″ wide and 8″ deep (45 x 35 x 20 cm), and when the wheels are removed the height drops to 18″. The price starts at USD 119, so the company that created it points out that considering what airlines charge for carry-on or checked baggage, the suitcase pays for itself on the first trip.

«Being a frequent low-cost airline passenger, to save costs, I couldn’t believe it when they started charging me to carry my own suitcase up to my flight and up to the overhead bin,» said Take OFF Luggage founder Stephen Davis.

«Since under-seat bags are still free, I tried to find one in that size that would still fit everything I needed to carry.» And it was when he couldn’t find one that he and a friend decided to design this model.

Stephen Davis – Take OFF Luggage founder

Now, how long will it be before airlines move even on the personal item, or even reduce its size, and will they consider a bag that looks like one even if it does not exceed the maximum size as luggage?

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