A Hefty Dose of Skepticism
I'm all for geegaws and whatnots and thingamabobs to help improve the lives of travelers. Things are rough out there. But something popped into my mailbox yesterday that made me cringe.
Okay, maybe I'm easily cringe-able, but let's see how you feel. According to a press release, "Pactiv Corporation, maker of Hefty brand products, today announced it has expanded its line of Hefty OneZip slider bags to include the new Hefty OneZip Travel bag." The release included a sample of the product.
Here's what this revolutionary new product is: a standard zip-top, one-quart plastic bag with an airplane printed on it and the words "MEETS AIRPORT SECURITY GUIDELINES." Seven of the bags come in a flat box, which, the press release notes, "can be easily stored in an outside pocket of a carry-on travel bag." I called the company and was told the suggested retail price is $1 for the box of seven bags.
Doesn't matter, though. I wouldn't buy them -- and while we're at it, I don't buy the pitch either.
When I compared the Hefty OneZip Travel bags with a one-quart Ziploc Easy Zipper bag (which I picked up on sale recently for $2.50 for a box of 20), they were basically identical -- sans that little airplane and the print about it meeting security guidelines. The good news is that the price difference is negligible (12.5 cents per bag vs. 14.2 cents).
But do people really need this much hand-holding? I find that most travelers are pretty savvy months after the TSA liquid/gel rules went into effect, and I'd wager that the vast majority a.) know they need a plastic bag for their carryon toiletries and b.) probably already own one or two or 20 of the boring ol' generic types. (What you can and can't put in them is another story.)
John Schwab, senior vice president and general manager of Hefty Consumer Products, is quoted in the release as saying, "I have heard from both fellow travelers and TSA screeners that the quart-size Hefty OneZip bag is the perfect solution to make the security screening process much smoother. When you use a Hefty OneZip Travel bag, and follow the TSA 3-1-1 guidelines, you eliminate the guesswork."
He's right about the importance of following the TSA guidelines. Using his bag? Not so much.
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