In the 13 years I’ve lived in Bangkok, Thailand, I have traveled in and out of Suvarnabhumi Airport too many times to count. In all that time, I have never had my luggage plastic wrapped.
On my next trip, however, I will be having both bags plastic wrapped at Suvarnabhumi for one main reason. I am leaving Thailand and moving back to Europe for a few years, and so am taking a lot more items with me than I normally do. In order to fit them into the airline’s low luggage allowance, however, that has meant downgrading my usual heavy hard-cased luggage to softer more lightweight canvas bags, and canvas bags are much easier for baggage handlers to get into and to rip.
With plastic wrapping around both of my bags, however, it will be much more difficult for them to do so. And, once I get on the plane, I will have more peace of mind.
There are, of course, other reasons for having your luggage plastic wrapped at Suvarnabhumi Airport regardless of which airline you’re flying. These are just a few of them.
Prevent drugs or other illegal items being planted in them — While Thailand is not the worst place on the planet for having drugs planted in people’s luggage, it can happen. In fact, it happened to one Australian couple just a couple of years ago.
With plastic wrapping around your luggage, however, someone who wants to plant drugs is far more likely to move on from your suitcase and use someone else’s instead.
Stops theft — Things get stolen from suitcases and other travel bags every day. In every airport in the world. Baggage handlers go through bags and steal clothing, souvenirs, jewelry, cameras — anything that any unsuspecting traveler has packed in their luggage and that a baggage handler can use or sell.
The last time my parents came to Thailand they had several DVDs, some silk scarves and some bars of gift chocolate stolen out of their suitcase between their departure from Bangkok and their arrival in the United States. Not even expensive items, but somebody obviously wanted them.
With your luggage plastic wrapped at Suvarnabhumi Airport, however, you are far less likely to have that happen.
More proof it was tampered with for your insurance — Have your bags plastic wrapped at Suvarnabhumi Airport, and then take photos of them as they are being checked in. Upon your arrival at your destination, if the bags have been broken into and items stolen, or they have been damaged, you have even more proof for your insurance company that you attempted to protect them well.
Keeps damaged bags from bursting open — If you are on the last leg of your trip and a zipper keeps opening or there is a rip in your bag, this makes your bag far more likely to burst open mid-trip and you to end up with your belongings scattered all over the airport carousel at your final destination.
Wrapping your bags in plastic, however, will keep your bags together for your journey home, and prevent any accidents from happening between Bangkok and then.
Stops damage occurring — Every time I have traveled in the past few years, my bags have come down the carousel scratched, ripped or dented, and once with the handle hanging off. In fact, baggage handlers in Bangkok and everywhere else are notorious for not being able to care less about how they treat passenger’s bags.
With plastic wrap around your suitcase or canvas bag, however, your bags are less likely to get scratched or ripped, and even any denting that happens may be less simply because the plastic wrap keeps the integrity of the bag together a little bit more.
All in all, I’m not a paranoid person, I don’t put valuable items in my luggage, and I don’t usually care that much about my luggage being scratched. That is why I have never used a luggage wrapping service at Suvarnabhumi before. This time, though, as I will be traveling with just about everything I own, it makes sense to me to pay the small fee and have my bags wrapped.
After all, the per bag wrapping charge at Suvarnabhumi is only 120 baht ($3.38) and, to me, well worth it for a little peace of mind.
Meanwhile, you can watch how it is all done in the video below, and maybe you will decide to go that route as well on your next flight out of Suvarnabhumi.