Travel etiquette tip: Watch for top-heavy luggage

Last week I was waiting at the gate to board my plane when I had nice kick to the knees.  No, it wasn’t TSA paying me back for all my suitcasecomplaints. Someone had let go of their top heavy luggage for just a split second and tipped over and it nailed the side of my knee.  I consider myself to be a pretty tough gal, but my knee is no match for a heavy suitcase. Luckily I was leaning against a column so I was able to keep my balance and not fall down.   It hurt for a few minutes but I got over it. The gentleman was very apologetic which was nice (unlike the last time I was hit by someone’s errant luggage).

While I’ve been lucky to not get hit by falling luggage in a while, but this is the first time it actually hurt. And I see it happen all the time. Unfortunately I’m also guilty of having my luggage tip over on someone.  A few years ago my luggage fell on a women and hit her from behind.  It didn’t hurt her, but I was really embarrassed.  The Home Warrior has also had his luggage fall on someone.  When boarding a cruise ship his luggage tipped over onto an older lady who was in a wheelchair.  She wasn’t too happy and my poor husband felt horrible.

That brings me to the obvious etiquette tip (you knew it was coming!).  Don’t let go of your top heavy luggage unless it’s flat on the ground.  Try and pack heavier items at the bottom of your suitcase, and before you leave the house stand up your luggage to see if it will tip over.  If it does adjust your items accordingly. Many suitcases have a front pocket for a laptop (like my Victorinox, pictured), but definitely test it out before leaving to make sure it doesn’t fall. I still recommend you keep your hands on your luggage or lay it down even if it doesn’t seem to be off balance.  Better to be safe than sorry!

Readers, have you been victim of luggage tipping over on you? Been guilty of having your luggage fall on someone?

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  1. I have had top heavy luggage fall on me from the top of an escalator. I was minding my own business and was about half way down when I heard this thud, thud, thud coming from behind me. I turned around only to see this suitcase falling towards me. I managed to move but it still clipped me on my ankle.
    No one had shouted watch out and no one apologized.
    I hate to think what would have happened if it had actually hit me and sent me the rest of the way down the escalator.

  2. I learned my lesdon on getting whacked. I operate an airport shuttle and typically extend the handles after unloading bags. I have a nasty bruise on the back of my legs from a top heavy bag falling forward. Never again !

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