Which? says passengers suffering from cabin bag pressure
Preparing to fly home from Italy, Marion Budgett packed her souvenirs carefully in her hand luggage - but they still didn't survive the journey.
At the last minute passengers were told their carry-on bags would have to go in the hold.
"We had to leave our cases on the tarmac. There was no chance to get anything out," she says.
A Which? report is warning that travellers like Marion are often losing out in such circumstances.
The consumer organisation says passengers forced to put their hand luggage in the aircraft hold are unlikely to be compensated if the contents go missing, are damaged or if they miss a connecting flight as a result.
"When we got the cases back all the stuff was smashed," says Ms Budgett, a retiree from Lymington, Hampshire.
What she lost were only "knickknacks" she says - a terracotta jug, a dish and a piggy bank - meant as gifts. Nevertheless she felt annoyed - and complaints to the airline, Ryanair, received no response.
Travellers aiming for a quick getaway on landing, or hoping to avoid the extra charges for putting a suitcase in the hold, are increasingly packing the largest carry-on bags allowed, and putting the rest in their pockets.
But many planes don't have the capacity for a full size bag for every passenger, if the aircraft is full, according to Which?
For example, it says Ryanair's Boeing 737 has a capacity of 189 seats, but its overhead lockers will manage only 90 of the maximum sized cabin cases.
A recent survey of Which? members suggests around one in ten short-haul passengers are being asked to hand over their hand luggage just before boarding, often with little warning and little time to rethink what you need to put where.
Which? heard from travellers whose carry-on bags had been damaged in the hold, or went missing.
Hand luggage is not usually padlocked as passengers expect to keep it with them and those surveyed reported money, electronic tablets, jewellery, wallets and keys that had gone missing.
Next time Ms Budgett says she'll put up more of a fight: "I think I'd just argue and say it's my hand luggage it has to go with me."
But she can see why problems keep occurring, even if people know they've left valuables in their hand luggage.
"You can't be faffing around at the bottom of stairs. You can't go through your case getting everything out."