What Luggage Do Pilots Use?

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What Type Of Luggage Do Pilots Use When Flying

What type of luggage do airline pilots use when flying? As they spend their career in and out of airplanes, pilots likely know which kind of luggage is most convenient for air travel. However, the requirements for stowing a suitcase in the cockpit are different from the restrictions for travelers’ luggage.

Most pilots tend to choose high-quality suitcases that can hold up to repeated use. Pilots travel frequently and often need to pack belongings for their trips. This frequent use requires durable luggage. They also often opt for smaller suitcases due to the limited space in the cockpit. However, the most important features include a telescoping handle and wheels for easy transport.

Pilots Choose Durable Luggage

The top feature that pilots look for in a suitcase is durability. Their luggage is likely to get a lot more use than the average traveler. Pilots often fly between two and ten flights per day. Some of these flights may result in overnight stays, requiring the pilots to bring their luggage. This repeated use requires a sturdy, well-crafted bag.

Suitcases are constructed with either a hard or soft shell. The hard shell may be constructed from a sturdy, flexible material to withstand impacts, protecting possessions against damage. This hard shell also increases the overall durability of the suitcase. However, soft-shell bags may include additional pockets for extra storage.

It is hard to determine if a piece of luggage is durable by merely looking at a product description. To find out how a suitcase holds up to repeated use, you need to look at customer reviews or a luggage buyer’s guide.

Our Top 3 Overall Luggage Picks

Pilots Look for Compact Suitcases

If you have seen pilots walking around the airport with their luggage, you have likely seen them carrying or wheeling small suitcases. Depending on the airline that they work for, they will often need to place their bags in the cockpit. With the limited space in the cockpit, they need smaller luggage.

Smaller luggage is also a convenient option for travelers. It forces you to limit the items that you pack to the essentials. Packing fewer items in your luggage also limits the weight of the suitcase, making it easy to carry to your terminal.

Unlike pilots, you will need to either check your luggage or place it in the overhead compartment. Compact suitcases are more likely to meet the requirements for overhead storage. The most common size for carry-on luggage is 22” x 14” x 9”. However, pilots typically choose suitcases that are slightly smaller.

Pilots Choose Suitcases with Wheels and Handles

Besides the size and durability of the suitcase, pilots also look for convenience. Wheels and telescoping handles can be found on the luggage of most pilots.

Pilots may walk miles throughout the day while walking between terminals at the various airports that they fly into. They generally need to carry their luggage with them to the next plane or their overnight accommodations. To make it easier to transport their luggage, they choose suitcases that they can easily wheel behind them.

While most suitcases are equipped with two wheels, there are other options. For example, hard-shell luggage may include four wheels. Some wheels are fixed while others are omnidirectional.

The wheels are typically constructed from a durable plastic, which may eventually chip and wear with repeated use. However, some of the more expensive suitcases feature rubber wheels.

The telescoping handle is also an important feature. When shopping for luggage, consider the height of the suitcase and the height of the fully extended handle. For optimal comfort, the top of the handle should at least reach your waist to prevent you from bending over to wheel the suitcase.


What type of luggage do pilots typically use? They look for small, durable, convenient suitcases. They need their suitcases to be small enough to store in the cockpit. These suitcases also need to be durable enough to hold up to frequent use without experiencing significant wear. The convenience is provided by wheels and a telescoping handle.

Pilots need to pack belongings just the same as passengers. However, they have less space for their luggage. When shopping for luggage, make sure that it fits the carry-on requirements. Otherwise, you will need to check the bag.






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