It may not be the most stylish of in-flight outfits but a new “flying jacket” could save its wearer thousands of dollars in excess baggage fees.
The secret is its six pockets, which are strong enough to carry a total of 10kg and big enough to store as much as you’d normally be able to carry in a hand luggage bag, including a laptop, clothes and shoes.
The jacket is the invention of British businessman Andrew Gaule, who became frustrated at seeing passengers charged large sums for excess luggage or forced to repack their hand luggage at the check-in counter.
This can be especially true with budget airlines, which strictly enforce luggage limits. Gaule says his Rufus Roo polyester jacket aims to bypass checked-luggage charges altogether.
He says that taken together with one item of hand luggage, the wearer is potentially able to double the amount they can take on board for free.
It comes as a study shows luggage charges associated with budget airlines have resulted in a dramatic change in the way people pack for holidays, with a quarter now taking only hand luggage or sharing a hold bag.
This suggests there are opportunities for other entrepreneurs to introduce air travel-inspired products for consumers’ convenience. While the jacket idea has been taken, surely there is room for custom-made bags or other special clothing.