Scanty baggage means little or no baggage, or it can also refer to a traveler or hotel guest carrying light or no baggage.
Many hotels mark guests with little or no luggage so as to keep an eye on whether they’ll skip out on their bill in the morning. Hotel receptionists would notice a guest carrying a suitcase trying to leave without paying, but it’s harder to know if a person who comes in with just a laptop bag is going to a meeting or not.
Aside from marking a hotel guest as “scanty baggage,” the front desk clerk or the hotel manager may decide to ask for the entire payment up front to lessen any “crash and dash” risks.
Larger hotels often have a procedure for scanty baggage guests. First, a hotel porter will inform the reception staff. Then, the receptionists will fill out a guest registration card identifying the guest as a “scanty baggage.”
Finally, they determine one of several actions to minimize any potential risks, such as asking for payment in full or lowering their credit limit (on room service, for example).