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Hardside carry-on luggage is most often found in situations where a traveler has important items to protect -- computer equipment, pro photographer's gear or product samples. However, these hard-side bags have a following among ordinary travelers who have had (or heard of) bad experiences with rough treatment of airline passengers' bags.
Hard-side luggage enjoyed renewed popularity after the 2001 terrorist attacks, when many people became more concerned about safety issues while traveling. While larger hard luggage is often chosen for its ability to withstand the rigors of baggage checking, hard-sided carry-ons are the choice of those who are traveling with important, expensive or delicate items.