Redditor Shares Major Vacuum-Sealed Packing Fail in Viral Post

A traveler who thought they may be able to cut down on space in their carry-on luggage using vacuum-sealed bags typically used for food had to do some problem-solving at the airport when they needed to cut the bags open.

"I thought I was being a real smart guy by taking the time to vacuum seal all my clothing," oldhouse98 wrote in their post, which received more than 13,000 votes under the Subreddit "Today I F**ked Up."

"It took me hours to properly fold everything and seal it all and I spent like $20 on the bags," oldhouse98 explained.

They wrote that they did not think they would be asked to cut the bags open and assumed the bags could be scanned. The Redditor wrote that they were asked to cut all of the bags open and then couldn't fit everything back into the carry-on bag.

"I said to them, 'I guess you guys get this all the time,' and one guy said 'No not really,'" oldhouse98 recalled. "Everyone was looking at me like I was an idiot. I had to buy a bigger piece of luggage for a lot of money and then check my bag at the gate."

According to the Transportation Security Administration's website, vacuum-sealed clothes bags are allowed to be packed with carry-on bags and checked bags but are not encouraged.

"We may have to open the sealed bags if additional inspection is required," Lisa Farbstein, a spokesperson for TSA, told Newsweek. "For example, perhaps something inside the sealed bag triggered an alarm requiring additional inspection."

Items that are permitted in a checked bag may not be allowed in a carry-on bag.

The TSA website stated that an item that is generally permitted may be subjected to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if there are security concerns.

Suitcases
A Redditor shared the story of a problem he ran into while going through airport security due to the packing technique he used. Here, passengers carry suitcases at Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Many wondered how oldhouse98 planned to pack their belongings when they returned home, and they explained that they planned to purchase a suitcase when they reached their destination.

"I intended to buy a suitcase at my destination from a designer store that was not available in my city, and then I planned to check my bag on the way back," the Redditor wrote. "Looking back on it I think the TSA agents thought I was a total idiot. Like I said, everyone was looking at me. I also had to carry half my clothing through the airport until I found luggage to buy."

Some shared their experiences going through airport security and why they were pulled aside, as well as some belongings that were confiscated.

"TSA had to go through all my bags, even though I was precheck, because a binder of cards blocked the sensors," one commenter wrote.

Another recalled a time they were going through security and an agent took apart their toiletry bag.

"Apparently my nail clippers were suspicious," they wrote.

Although the Redditor's plan to travel light was foiled, some commenters said it would have been a smart idea.

Others weighed in and gave their recommendations on what they used to travel light and efficiently. Different brands of bags and techniques were dropped throughout the post's comments section.

One person wrote oldhouse98 went about it the wrong way.

"Backpackers do this all the time, but they put their clothes in those gallon ziplock freezer bags, the heavy duty ones, and they sit on the bags to squeeze all the air out before packing them," the commenter wrote. They continued and said it's helpful that those particular bags are reusable and a traveler can squeeze most of the air out themselves.