Virgin Atlantic recently released research that shows the luggage we carry and what we pack says a lot about the type of travelers we are and also the type of people we are in general.
According to the study, one in five people (20 percent) can’t remember the last time new luggage was purchased, while more than half (55 percent) would only upgrade their suitcase if it was worn-out or broken.
At the other end of the scale are the luggage kings and queens. Ten percent of those surveyed admit to buying luggage to trump their travel companions. Young people are also influenced by the designer cases they see on the arms of celebs, with 25 percent of 16-24 year olds admitting they would buy new luggage to copy a celebrity.
“Virgin Atlantic carries over six million bags around the world each year and we have seen a lot of changes since our first flight in 1984," said Joe Thompson, general manager of Airport Operations at Virgin Atlantic. "Gone is the standard suitcase and luggage is now seen as a fashion statement with many passengers checking in a variety of designs including leather holdalls, leopard print cases and designer trunks.”
But what does your luggage say about you? Virgin Atlantic has teamed up with behavioral expert Judi James to put your suitcase under the microscope.
“For these passengers, luggage defines their achievements and their status in life and they believe all economy class passengers should stand aside in respect as they sweep through the airport in true A-list style," James said. "This is the Greta Garbo of holiday makers, someone who is outwardly saying ‘I want to be alone’ although with all the matching designer gear and huge, blackout designer shades what they’re really saying is ‘Look at me! Aren’t I rich and famous?”
The Crazy Colored Set
Leopard print, zebra stripes and fluorescent colored cases are easily spotted on the conveyor belt but what sort of person chooses this type of luggage?
“Attention-seeking and slightly scatty, this is the noisy, dramatic traveler who will hold up the queue while they hunt for their passport or dash off to get duty free just as boarding has been announced," James said. "They’re the zany friend you take on holiday only to wish you could tip them off the pier on day two of your break, although by the end of the first week, you've probably given up fighting it and bought the same sombrero and fluorescent bikini and started to join in the fun.”
Packing light is something that not many people can do but what type of passengers can fit their holiday essentials into a holdall?
“This is the Mary Poppins of travelers, the one who manages to pack everything they need into one piece of luggage, finding space for things the rest of us forget like adapter plugs and baby wipes, and yet still has room for a different bikini for every day of the holiday," James said. "Frighteningly practical and terrifyingly confident, this optimist will tend to be the most seasoned traveler of the lot because for them it’s all about low drama planning rather than last-minute panics."
The Corporate Case
“These passengers know they’ve made it so there’s no need to be flashy, especially during the financial crisis when they believe it might seem crass to flaunt their wealth," James said. "There’s a very practical side to this rather focused and determined person, too, meaning a time-managed flight that includes working on the laptop or catching up on some well-earned power-napping.”
“Still living in the glory days of their gap year, this traveler is unashamedly the eternal teen, loving to imagine that they can lead the freewheeling, commitment-free lifestyle forever," James said. "They hate being pinned down or pressured into any form or responsibility, and they like to think they can go anywhere the wind decides to blow them. They cherish their good causes but they can also have a tendency to be tactless or unfeeling at times, usually with the excuse that ‘I was just being honest’ or ‘I was just being myself'."
Personally, I'm the holdall. What kind of luggage do you carry?