Posted January 30th, 2010, 02:14 PM
We landed at EZE this week prior to our Antarctic Cruise on the Infinity. We noticed that there is a curbside service for departures that plastic/shrink wraps your luggage before you drop off your luggage at the airline.
Understandably it adds security, but is it also a red flag - come and steal me? Anyone have positives or negatives on spending $10Ar per bag?
The locals seem to use it for small bags.
It can be a MAJOR problem flying back into the USA at Customs. Long lines at Customs generally and often they make you unwrap your luggage with everyone behind you giving you the "eye". You may also be subject to additional Customs inspections, just because they can.
I am a frequent SA business traveler (I am currently in Cusco). I had my luggage wrapped about 6 years ago, thinking it was a novel idea. I also had to unwrap it at JFK when I arrived back in the USA.
In Aisa at certain airports, when they check your luggage through the scanner, they band it with those plastic straps used for freight. Again, EVERY time except one on my return from an Asian business trip, I have had to "un band" the luggage at Customs. It is NOT easy to find something to break those heavy plastic straps. I have NEVER had anything stolen from my luggage and I fly over 100,000 miles per year for business.
I have had my luggage opened occasionally by TSA and in some countries, they go through your luggage (all luggage, NOT just hand baggage) BEFORE you are allowed to check it in. In 2002, South American airports, you actually had to open all luggage and turn on all electrical/electronic appliances. THAT was a time consuming process and if you had your luggage wrapped (as I saw a few people do), you just lost your money, as it had to be unwrapped.
Put brightly colored zip ties on all zippers and openings. PULL THEM TIGHT. And please don't put things in the outside pockets. You are just asking for trouble.
With inbound USA restrictions more severe than a few weeks ago, IMHO, you are wasting your money shrink wrapping your luggae.