baggage travel tips

Travel Chaos - 7 Tips For Your Baggage From a Pilot

Dear Aviator,

Summer time has landed, Corona restrictions are almost non-existent, everyone wants to travel again but the aviation industry is not ready for the post Corona boom. Personally I knew that something like this travel chaos would happen. Airports and airlines shorten their staff extremely and now this is the result. The aviation industry was not prepared for this and cannot react fast enough because missing staff need time to be trained. In the end you and other Aviators have to take the bait of the mismanagement. Next to a lot of flight cancellations a lot of luggage gets lost or delayed. a lot of chaos. I am here to help you!

baggage travel tips

Living a travel life for over 12 years, I have some useful hacks. Here are my baggage tips, which help to keep your stress level low, reduce waiting time and enhance your travel experience. Not only this crazy summer but whenever you travel to see the world.

1. Invest In High Quality Baggage 💸

That’s my golden rule when it comes to baggage. Do not attempt to save money on cheap products – invest in high quality luggage pieces. Really thank me later for that! What’s the point of buying cheap when it breaks after a few journeys or you cannot repair it because it is from a no-name brand. There is a saying in Germany. “Those who save, pay double in the end”. 

When I started flying 12 years ago I bought a pilot business trolley and a medium size suitcase made of aluminium, from the brand Rimowa. Even then the set was quite expensive but I still have them and use them. I’ve only had to have minor repairs done to them, like fixing the wheels or the rubber sealing. 

I recommend getting hardcase suitcases made of aluminium and not poly carbonat. The downside of a “plastic” suitcase is when the case breaks you will not be able to fix it. But with an aluminium case you will be able to remove the tend.

baggage travel tips
baggage travel tips

My suitcase set I got 2010 when I started flying

2. Fly With Hand Luggage Only 🛫

I know  it is not easy. I always have huge problems packing lightly but in this current travel chaos it is definitely a lifesaver. Of course, when going on a 3 week trip it will be extremely difficult to travel light,  but when going on a city trip for a few days, it should be possible. Think carefully about what you really need on your trip. You can always get heavy toiletries at your destination and when you need extra clothing go shopping!

Due to overloads at the airports, a lot of checked-in luggage does not reach their destinations with your travels. So it is advisable to travel with just hand luggage at the moment.

baggage travel tips

3. Track Your Baggage 📲

It is the worst feeling to discover  that your luggage has got lost and the airport does not have a clue where it is. On one of my last trips, my check in luggage was gone for over 10 days. Only by annoying the airline hotline and being proactive in finding my suitcase, was I able to retrieve it. I took a taxi and drove to the luggage depot close to the depot myself. Luckily I did, because otherwise I would still be waiting on the delivery! Due to an IT issue, all personal data connected to the suitcase was incorrect. 

So consider getting a GPS tracker, which shows you where your precious piece of luggage is at any moment. Apple offers their Airtag (please note it only works when an iPhone is close by) but there are cheaper alternatives on the market as well.

baggage travel tips

Approaching Cannes Airport, South of France

baggage travel tips

4. Know Your Baggage Rights ⚖️

It is extremely important to know your passenger rights when your piece of luggage gets lost or is delayed. There is a maximum compensation for a lost suitcase; there are deadlines to notify your issue; and there is a limited budget when your baggage is delayed at your destination. Here you can find all relevant passengers rights concerning baggage. 


Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an


Ein Beitrag geteilt von Patrick Biedenkapp | Captain (@pilotpatrick)

5. Know The Maximum Dimensions 🎛

Knowing the maximum dimensions of your luggage will definitely avoid hassle, anger and save you a lot of money.  Be aware that the hand luggage dimensions and the maximum weight guidelines differ from airline to airline. Double check before heading to the airport or even when booking your flight ticket because nowadays a carry-on piece is not included with some operators. In instances where your high quality travel accessory is too big or heavy at the airport, the airline can charge you significantly extra for it. This can definitely ruin your travel mood.

baggage travel tips

Uniform photo shooting in Barcelona 2016

6. Back up in your Hand Luggage 💼

This is another pro trip I learnt from travelling non stop. Try not to be dependent on your checked in luggage. Always pack important stuff like medicine, documents and valuables in your carry on luggage. Moreover, put some clothing in there as well so you will be able to survive a few days without your checked in bag. This can be a life saver should your baggage be delayed – so you do not need to spend unnecessary time buying clothing you might not use again.

baggage travel tips

Pack the things you really need!

7. Get Insurance for your Baggage 💳

For example, the maximum compensation you can get for a lost bag is 1.385€ per passenger and piece. My Rimowa trunk suitcase is worth over 1.100€ without any content. So when travelling with expensive stuff it is advisable to get extra insurance for your luggage. Online I found an insurance company which protects your bag for up to 5.000€ for 60€ a year. Flying and travelling a lot increases the probability of losing a bag significantly. Keep this in mind!

I hope you enjoyed my article: “Travel Chaos – 7 Tips For Your Baggage From a Pilot”. Please do not forget to like the blog post and let me know in the comments if you have another great tip!

Happy and relaxed landings!

Your PilotPatrick

Christmas charity

Christmas Charity for DKMS

Christmas charity UPDATE of 07.01.2017:

I am happy to inform you that my charity auction of my suitcase was really successful.

The company MIG Isoliermontage GmbH auctioned the suitcase for 700,-€. Peter Ludwig, the CEO of this company, found that the proceeds were not high enough. That is why he doubled the sum to 1.400,-€ without taking the suitcase.

In the end the second highest bidder received the suitcase. The proceeds of 310,-€ go additionally to DKMS. Myself increased the donation with 90,-€. Therefore I was able to donate a total of 1.800,-€ to DKMS for the fight against blood cancer.

Thanks to all who supported this auction by bidding, liking and sharing my posts.

Donation to DKMS

Update vom 07.01.2017:


Der Koffer wurde freundlicherweise von der Firma MIG Isoliermontage GmbH für 700,-€ ersteigert. Die Summe war dem Geschäftsführer Peter Ludwig jedoch zu gering, sodass er auf den Koffer verzichtete und den Betrag auf 1.400,-€ verdoppelte.

Dadurch kam der zweithöchste Bieter zum Zuge, sodass noch einmal 310,-€ zusätzlich für DKMS erwirtschaftet wurde. Ich selbst habe die Spende noch einmal um 90,-€ auf 1.800,-€ erhöht. Somit konnte ich die DKMS mit Hilfe meiner Aktion mit 1.800,-€ im Kampf gegen den Blutkrebs unterstützen!

Danke an alle die meine Aktion unterstützt haben!

[youtube]Hello my Aviators!

(Deutsche Version siehe unten)

Welcome on board of my Christmas charity event. Christmas is the time of giving that is why decided to do my first charity event for DKMS. I will auction a smart suitcase worth 450€ through my Instagram and social media. This fancy hand luggage, which has GPS, a build in scale and power bar, can be controlled with a App.  The entire proceeds of the auction will be handed to DKMS Deutschland.

Who is DKMS? It is a non profit organization which tries to delete blood cancer. There are 6,8 millions of registered donors world wide, but still 6 out of 10 do not receive a bone marrow transplant. Every 3 minutes an American and every 15 minutes a German is diagnosed with a blood cancer.

Christmas Charity Auction for DKMS

The auction will start December 12th and ends on December 16th at midnight. You can bit on the suitcase via the comment function on Facebook and Instagram on December 12th. Whoever bits the highest will receive the suitcase.

To support my charity auction please like and share my event on facebook to make aware of blood cancer and raise a lot of money for DKMS.In case you are not interested in the suitcase you can become a donor. It is for free and does not hurt at all. You can be become a donor in: Germany, USAUKPoland and Spain.

Together we can delete blood cancer together!

Your Pilot Patrick

Hallo meine Aviators,

willkommen "on board" meines Wohltätigkeit- Weihnachtsevent. Weihnachten ist die Zeit des Gebens und deswegen habe ich mich dazu entschieden meine erste Wohltätigkeitsaktion für DKMS Deutschland, DKMS US, DKMS UK Fundacja und DKMS Fundación DKMS. Ich werde über Instagram und Facebook meinen persönlichen smarten Koffer im Wert von 450€ (mit integriertem GPS, Wage und power bar) versteigern. Die gesamte Summe, die bei der Versteigerung erwirtschaftet wird geht an DKMS Deutschland.

DKMS ist eine non Profit Organisation, welche sich dem Kampf gegen Blutkrebs verschrieben hat. Es gibt bereits 6,8 Millionen registrierter Stammzellenspender, doch trotzdem erhalten 6 von 10 erkrankten nicht rechtzeitig die dringend benötigte Stammzellenspende. Alle 15 Minuten erhält ein Patient in Deutschland die Diagnose Blutkrebs.

Stäbchen rein Spender sein - Become a donor for free!

Die Auktion startet am Montag, 12.12.2016 und endet am 16.12.2016 um Mitternacht. Die Gebote können über die Kommentarfunktion unter meinen Bildern getätigt werden. Derjenige mit dem höchsten Gebot erhält den cleveren Koffer.

Um meine Wohltätigkeitsaktion zu unterstützen und auf die Problematik Blutkrebs aufmerksam zu machen, bitte ich Euch an meiner Facebook Veranstaltung teilzunehmen, sie zu liken und zu teilen.

Falls Ihr kein Interesse an dem Koffer habt könnt Ihr dennoch Euren Teil dazu beitragen. Ich bin seit fünf Jahren regestrierter Spender. Eine Registrierung als Stammzellenspender ist kosten- und schmerzlos möglich. Weitere Infos dazu findet Ihr hier.

Zusammen können wir Blutkrebs besiegen!

Dein Pilot Patrick