This blog was originally published in 2014; we have since updated it to reflect the most current and accurate information possible.
If you have been a frequent user of limo service in Chicago, you are probably most familiar with the Lincoln Town Car sedan and stretch limousine, the two most prominent livery vehicles in the industry over the last two decades.
The Town Car offers voluminous interior room, with enough opulence to keep both corporate travelers and retail clients comfortable.
But, as the song goes; those were the days my friend, and unfortunately, those days are flying by rapidly.
Production of the Lincoln Town Car ended a few years ago, and the new incarnation of livery sedans has experienced difficulty in establishing a front runner.
Some of the most popular alternatives to the Town Car have been The Cadillac XTS, Mercedes E and S series sedans, the Chrysler 300, and the Lincoln MKT “Hatchback” sedan.
None of these will ever offer the interior room of the Town Car. This we know. But it’s the trunk space that really set the Town Car apart from it’s competitors.
The Flying Experience Has Changed
Let’s back up a little. There was once a time where travelers could basically bring everything they owned onto a plane, and many people did. This helped make the Town Car dominant, since – aside from its comfy interior – the trunk was basically large enough to accommodate almost any luggage size.
But this was also prior to 9/11, when national security wasn’t as intense.
Since then, the entire flying experience has changed. Travelers are now forced to be more economical, thanks to higher ticket prices and add-on fees.
Carry-on bags have replaced checked bags, and as you know, a carry-on must fit certain dimensions to be deemed acceptable.
The Effect on Limo Services
So what is the effect on limo services? Why does any of this matter?
Simply, changes at the airline level will eventually trickle down to other feeder industries.
Limo services are eventually impacted. Fast forward to the current state of the industry. The newest Lincoln Town Cars still in operation are 5 years old this year. What’s more, there are no “apples to apples” replacement vehicles on the horizon.
If we go back to the list of the most popular options mentioned earlier, none of them offers trunk space that compares to the Lincoln Town Car.
So while luggage may have gotten smaller out of necessity, the space to haul it got smaller as well.
Items like golf bags or snow skis, large suitcases, and even wheel chairs that used to fit in the trunk of an old Town Cars may now become a huge issue.
So The Answer to the Luggage Question Is…?
So, how much luggage is too much?
The answer is that there is no strict rule excluding any single piece or type of luggage (unless people are still trying to carry steam trunks).
However, it has become necessary to trust in the judgment of the traveler. Sometimes it’s as easy as asking yourself if the luggage you’re carrying will even fit in your own car.
If your luggage won’t fit in your personal car, it probably won’t fit in ours.
Golf clubs and skis can vary in size and bulk depending on the travel bag they are in, but it is a safe bet most of the current model sedans will not be able to accommodate them.
This could mean opting for an SUV or limousine when you book.
It is safe to say that – going forward – sedans should be limited to small parties of one or two people with “light” luggage for a short trip. Larger parties would probably be most comfortable opting for a larger vehicle.
A solid and reputable limousine service like OML Worldwide will have a diverse fleet of vehicles to choose from, so you have choices…and enough room for your luggage.
*Just don’t pack your circus animals…