What Luggage do Pilots Use?

No one flies more than flight attendants and pilots. These busy professionals need strong luggage that can daily travel. A lightweight bag that is easy to handle is also important for the long walks through the airport. This means that flight crew members spend a lot of time finding the right size, perfect material, and most durable bags that will suit their needs. It makes sense, that if you want to know what the best luggage to buy, you ask a pilot or flight attendant.

Flight crew members will tell you that it is extremely important to have a solid set of carry-on luggage. Many flight attendants consider a two carry-on set to be the bare minimum when traveling. The larger bag carries important items that you do not need readily available and goes into the overhead bin. The second bag is much smaller and carries more important items that you may need to access during a flight. It goes under the seat in front of you.

What Pilots and Flight Attendants Look For When Shopping for Luggage

There are two factors that pilots consider must-haves when shopping for luggage:

  • Durability – A virtually indestructible piece of luggage that has a metal frame or hard shell.
  • Warranty – A piece of luggage with a long or lifetime warranty so it can be replaced or repaired if it does break.

Pilots and flight crew members use their luggage daily, so it makes sense for them to buy a durable bag that is backed up by a solid warranty.

Other considerations pilots and flight crew members will look at when purchasing luggage:

  • Weight – pilots usually want their luggage to be lightweight, so it is easy to carry or wheel around the airport every day.
  • Maneuverability – If it is on wheels, the bag needs to be easy to maneuver around a busy airport.
  • Size – A compact bag is important for pilots so that they can fit it into the cockpit with ease. Flight attendants also have limited space for their items, so the size of the bag is extremely important.
  • Appearance – Flight crew members and pilots need bags that look professional while still providing maximum durability.

With that in mind, let’s look at the list of popular brands of luggage that are most sought after by pilots and flight crew members.

Luggage Brands Most Recommended by Pilots and Flight Attendants


Travelpro is well-known in the airline industry for making bags with high quality wheels and durable handles. Travelpro offers a wide variety of luggage including backpacks, carry-ons, and wheeled briefcases. Travelpro does not offer their entire catalogue to consumers, most of their top-rated bags are reserved exclusively for flight crew members.

Briggs & Riley

Briggs & Riley is best known for their lifetime warranty. The high-quality suitcases from Briggs & Riley are extremely popular among flight crew members as well as frequent travelers. The quality of Briggs & Riley bags come with a higher price tag but more than make up for it with an outstanding warranty.


Rimowa bags are never short on style. Every bag they make is stylish and professional. Rimowa is known for making high-end, quality bags. Unfortunately, that quality comes with a high price tag that might be out of budget for the occasional traveler.


Samsonite is a well-known brand that has been making quality luggage for over 100 years. Having been in the travel equipment space for so long, it comes as no surprise that they have gained mass popularity among pilots and flight crews. Samsonite offers a wide variety of bags and suitcases that can fit within any budget.


When they say “StrongBags” they really mean it. StrongBags is known for making some of the toughest bags on the market. They offer a lifetime limited warranty and use only the highest quality materials to construct each bag. While being ultra-durable, StrongBags usually pack on a little extra weight to the base weight of the bag.


For the ultimate in strength and durability, LuggageWorks is the way to go. Most of their bags are built like tanks with solid metal frames and steel handles.


Delsey is a luggage brand with world-wide recognition and fame. They have been making bags for over 7 decades and have been consistently rated by consumers as one of the best travel luggage brands.


Tumi is a luxury brand that offers several travel bags and suitcases. One of their premier features is a tracking technology that helps customers reunite with their lost or stolen bags.

Most Popular Suitcases Among Pilots and Flight Attendants

With so many brands available to choose from, there are even more models available on the market. There are lot of things to consider when looking for a piece of luggage. We are breaking down the most popular bags among flight crews into different categories so you can make the decision that is right for you.

Best Overall

Briggs & Riley Baseline

The Briggs & Riley Baseline is a collection of bags that truly goes above and beyond. The lifetime warranty combined with the small details packed into the Baseline collection make it one of the best models available on the market. The Briggs & Riley Baseline has a zipperless expansion that is unique to luggage. The outside handle means that the inside of the bag is flat for packing. Even the zippers and wheels were designed to be easily replaceable. For a quality-made investment, the Briggs & Riley Baseline will not disappoint. 

Best Budget Pick

TravelPro Maxlite 5

The TravelPro Maxlite 5 series of bags is designed to be budget friendly while still providing superior durability and strength. The Maxlite 5 is everything that the leisure traveler could need and then some. The toughness of these bags is put to the test with several thousand hours of durability testing including drop tests, zipper tests, and extreme weather tests.

Most Recommended

TravelPro FlightCrew 5

The TravelPro FlightCrew5 collection comes highly recommended by pilots and flight attendants. The 22” Pilot Rollaboard was designed by a 747 captain, but it is not commonly available to consumers. TravelPro is a well-known brand that supplies bags to over 90 different airlines. If you cannot get your hands on a FlightCrew 5, the Platinum Elite collection is a good alternative.

Best Carry-on

Samsonite Spinner Underseater with USB Port

Our pick for the best carry-on goes to the Samsonite Spinner Underseater with USB Port. The 4-way spinner wheels and compact size make this bag a breeze to wheel through the airport. The integrated USB charging port is a great feature, allowing busy professionals the ability to charge while waiting for a flight or while in the air. The exterior pockets and back sleeve give it some convenient features not often found on other carry-on bags.

Most Durable

LuggageWorks Stealth Series

LuggageWorks offers a wide variety of luggage styles in their stealth series. These bags are built like tanks. They feature solid aluminum frames, stainless steel handles, and solid rubber wheels. The stealth series is the best choice for shoppers looking for an ultra-durable bag even if that durability comes with a couple extra pounds in weight.  

Best Two-Piece Set

StrongBags Vortex 21 + Ultimate Flight Crew Duffle

For the best of both worlds, StrongBags makes a carry-on and duffle combo that is ideal for travelers on the go. This bag was designed to be a breeze to wheel through the airport. It comes with a lifetime warranty on the bag frame, waterproof material, exterior back pockets, and a convenient front hook for carrying the duffle bag. Being able to wheel around two bags at once is a lifesaver for busy travelers.

How to Find the Perfect Luggage

Finding the perfect travel bag is all about personal preference. Some travelers prefer a hard-side case while others like the flexibility of a soft-shell bag. It may take a lot of searching before you find the case that has all the features that you are looking for, but with so many options available you can be certain that the ideal case does exist. Hopefully, you now have a decent idea of what pilots look for when buying luggage so you can buy the same durable pieces that they do.