Redditors Share Some Highly Questionable Carry-On Luggage Hacks

Hands laying down a carry-on baggage on an upper shelf


Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Image of woman kneeing on overfilled luggage to close it

Unethical Or Genius?

If you’re not a light packer, flying can be an exercise in frustration. Luggage fees can range anywhere from $30 to $100 extra for a flight, leaving most travelers stuffing as much as they can into their TSA-approved, 21-inch carry-on luggage. 

Bringing a large carry-on versus a checked bag is a no-brainer for saving money. But how to fit it all? In a popular r/UnethicalLifeProTips thread, some sneaky Redditors shared their ethically-questionable hacks for bringing more than what’s allowed in their carry-on. 

Related: Ways to Get Through TSA Airport Security Faster

CPAP portable .

Medical Device Bags

One Redditor explains that they use a bag meant for an “approved medical device” as an extra carry-on suitcase, since airlines do not count these bags towards the carry-on allowance. The user says they flew over 40 weeks per year with a CPAP bag (don't worry, their bag actually contained a CPAP machine) and were only questioned once about what was inside.

Another Redditor points out that pulling this stunt ends up hurting people in a later boarding group who will no longer have space for their carry-ons. It's also important to note that, according to the Department of Transportation, an assistance device bag that contains personal items may be counted towards your baggage limit and subjected to a baggage fee.

Related: Ridiculous Things Passengers Have Tried To Bring On Planes

Child safety seat in the back of the car. Baby car seat for safety. Car interior. Car detailing

Car Seat and Stroller Bags

A Redditor says that using a CPAP bag to hold personal items is a rookie move. They suggest getting a car seat or stroller travel bag and putting your extra belongings in there. Car seats and strollers fly for free on every airline.

Another Redditor says that, while traveling with a stroller bag but without a baby, they were asked a couple times by gate agents what the deal was. They explained that the mom and baby were meeting them on the other end, and were able to bring the stroller bag onto the plane.  

For more travel tips, please sign up for our free newsletters.

Electric breast pump

Breast Pump Bag

One Redditor shares how their wife brought a breast pump bag on the plane, but actually used it as extra storage — and no one checked. Other Redditors point out that using the bag could look extremely sketchy if you are clearly not a parent or with someone who might be one. 

Rear view of curly female at airport.

Gate Checking

This is the least sketchy suggestion here. These days, flights are usually full and overhead bins fill up quickly, prompting airline staff to ask for volunteers who can check their carry-on wheeled luggage for free.

If you’ve somehow made it this far through security with extra items, this works perfectly for avoiding luggage fees. But many Redditors say to be careful with this method if you have a connecting flight, as it’s easier to lose a checked bag than one that's been in your possession the whole time.

a woman zips up her jacket around her throat
Oleg Opryshko /istockphoto

Jacket Pockets

One Redditor says they load up all their heavy extra items into large jacket pockets, then shove them all into a carry-on once they’ve passed through the gate. This doesn’t answer the question of why they don’t just keep those items in the bag to begin with if they fit, but the idea certainly works if you’ve got extra stuff. Deceitful or brilliant? We're not going to tell you what to do.