I have seen more posts asking how to handle panniers and other small parts carried on the bike when going by air/bus/train.
By air itīs a natural question, because more than 2 items normally cost money.
By bus, car or train I think itīs an issue of easy handling and to be sure you are getting all your stuff at the end station.
My way, I know they love it all of them, bus drivers and handling staffs. I have for two years been a bus driver myself, so I know what it means when people take care of their luggage. From my last trip to New Zealand I learned from busdrivers down there, that they were very annoyed of bicycle tourists just trowing there bicycle and panniers along the bus and then donīt care further about it. Thats why they charge a fee. Doing it my way, I got it for free.
My travelling so far is two years bicycling in Asia and Australia and 2 months resently in New Zealand and then of course more tours in Europe. It means no camping gear itīs light touring with 2 rear panniers and above 1 bag with photoequipment and other valuables and then in front 1 handlebarbag. From the very beginning I have used the same plastic bag to collect my panniers and small items. The plastic bag is strong and normally used for garbage. To strengthen it I have put an extra plastic bag inside. Folded together itīs easy to carry along the trip.
Now Iīm planning to go camping too (US) and it means I need a plastic bag a bit higher. But itīs impossible to get for money, so I cut out the buttom of one plastic bag and folded it and fixed it to the top of the old plastic bag with gaffa tape or semilar. In that way I have increased the hight from 105 Centimeter to 125 Centimeter. The circumference is 140 Centimeter. Okay in one unit it now can hold all I carry on the bike except the bag with my most important valuables.
To close the bag itīs important and most practical to learn how to make a "Larks head" itīs effective and easy to pull up for unpacking. Remember handling of luggage sometimes are carried out in a hurry and in a very tough way, thatīs why you also need to put an address label on the panniers in the plastic bag. How to do a "Dobbelt halvstik"? Look here: http://www.soulconnected.dk/k.htm
I hope some of you will use the system and make life easier both for yourself and the handling personel. Anyway itīs my way.
Last edited by Per Kuhlwein; 11-07-05 at 05:43 AM.
Personally, I use a laundry bag ... same idea as yours except the bag is canvas and has a shoulder strap. I usually line it with plastic too, just in case.
I think the laundry bag idea is GREAT because:
1) It is durable - it's not too likely to get ripped open.
2) At the beginning of the tour, I'll have my two neatly packed panniers, but by the end, I usually have two badly packed panniers and a bunch of extra stuff that I seem to have accumulated along the way that doesn't fit in the panniers anymore. I can just stuff that stuff into the bag along with the panniers.
3) It can be folded down to quite a small shape and tucked into a pannier, and it is light.
4) It can be used underneath your pillow to add some extra bulk and comfort.
5) It can be used under your mattress as a sort of ground sheet to block the cold a bit and add some extra comfort.
6) When you're doing Randonneuring events like I do, you can stuff all the things you don't want to take with you on the Randonnee into the laundry bag (like camping gear, and extra clothing, etc.), put it into storage, and send your panniers with the stuff you do want to take on ahead to the bag drops.
7) You can even use it as a laundry bag when you've got to take a lot of stuff to the laundromat.
And about that shoulder strap ... I used a regular laundry bag without a shoulder strap for a few trips, but it was hard to carry around through airports etc. Then I got the one with the shoulder strap, and it is perfect!! I can sling the whole thing onto my back, and my hands are free to carry my bicycle it his cardboard box.
Incidentally, one of these large laundry bags with a shoulder strap costs about $12 and lasts ages. It can also get your stuff onto airplanes (especially Air Canada) without the additional $175 charge for having more than 2 pieces of luggage.
Yeah - your way is great too and especially the shoulder strap is a good idea, because sometimes itīs difficult to find a baggage car. But remember a shoulder strap can be jammed and cause problems in the airport arrival baggage roundabout.
Strange that producers of panniers havenīt introduced a bag with different strap possibilities sewn on the bag. Thatīs why I have asked Arkel to take a look at the string here.
Further good ideas how to carry out such a bag are velcome, I think.
Bruce Gordon Ti Rock N Road , Fat Chance Mountain Tandem 
For consolidating and protecting gear for alternative transport consider the Osprey Airporter LZ. I have used the original Airporter for 8 years on planes ferries buses and trains. It weighs only 12 ounces with 8200 cubic inches and has proven durable.
I have seen something semilar in the local outdoor store but the circumference doesnīt fit very well. Thatīs what I like with the plastic bag, it fit to two upstanding panniers without leaving air around it.