I've just had an opportunity to try out two products that can provide travelers with sizable savings. While they're unrelated, they each offer ways to fight those extra costs we encounter while traveling.

The carry-on overcoat

Images When I packed for a recent weeklong trip to Japan, I struggled to fit all my clothes into a wide-body, 20-inch carry-on wheeled suitcase, the largest capacity allowed for a carry-on. So my choice was to take a bigger suitcase and check it, and possibly pay a baggage fee, or to leave some of the stuff behind. But I found a better option. I could take the carry-on and "wear" the clothes that didn't fit in my suitcase. No, not wear them on my body, but wear the new SeV carry-on coat from ScottEVest that's designed to hold a huge amount of goods in its 33 pockets.

From the outside it looks like any attractive, conventional, full-length beige overcoat. But inside are pockets of many shapes and sizes designed to carry everything from shirts to shoes, ties, underwear, as well as electronic devices. There's a special waterproof pocket for a water bottle, a pocket for eyeglasses with a pullout cleaning cloth, a camera pocket with a slot for memory cards, and an attached keychain. There are several huge pockets designed for packing clothes, as well as a pocket for shoes. There's even a pocket to carry your liquids in the standard TSA zip-lock bag.

I packed several folded shirts, pajamas, socks, underwear, magazines, a Nook Color e-reader, and a pair of Bose headphones into the coat lining. The coat hung straight and did not appear unusual. As a result, I reduced my suitcase load by about 30 percent. Had I needed more room in my suitcase, I could have also packed my toiletry kit, and even an extra pair of shoes in the coat.

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Scott Jordan, a lawyer-turned entrepreneur, developed a vest ten years ago that became a hit among the tech community.  The Scottevest contained more than a dozen pockets to carry all sorts of travel and technology items including MP3 players, cell phones, cameras, travel documents, eyeglasses, a water bottle and much more.  Over the next decade his line expanded to include jackets with even more pockets including some that could hold a change of clothing. I've recommended his products after using them on vacation and business travel. They are well-made and full of surprises that delight. For example the eyeglass pocket has a pull out cleaning cloth and the water bottle pocket is waterproof.

As the airlines began to impose fees for checking luggage, customers have discovered the jackets can hold so much that it can substitute for a small carryon bag. This angle has been noted by travel correspondents including CBS's Peter Greenberg.

Last month Jordan ran an ad in the NY Times Travel Magazine with the headline "The Most Stylish Way to Beat the System". The add described how his travel clothing has specialized pockets to help you stay organized and avoid extra baggage fees. It received a positive response and he decided to run it in Delta Airlines Sky in-flight magazine. That's when his troubles began.

Delta Sky rejected the ad based on the content. Jordan offered to replace the original headline, “The Most Stylish Way to Beat the System” with “Travel the World in Style & Leave Your Baggage Behind,” but that was also rejected.

When Jordon posted his reaction on YouTube, the magazine told him to take it down, which he refused to do. So as of this date Jordan's adds have been banned, ostensibly because they offer a way to reduce the checked luggage charges.

The rejection of the ad has only served to create greater awareness of his products as well as the industry's dependence on luggage fees, which, in some cases, has been the difference between an airline making a profit instead of taking a loss. Frankly, I wouldn't feel sorry for Jordan. This is the kind of publicity he couldn't buy, being pitted as the David against Goliath. He should only hope they keep rejecting his ads!

One point to note is Jordan's argument appears to be with the magazine's publisher. That's a different entity than Delta Airlines. Whether Delta is behind the rejection in not clear.  I asked that of a Delta PR spokesman and he promised to get back to me.(Update: Delta has commented and indicated they are in agreement with the magazine's actions.)

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