With staff shortages at airports delayed or lost luggage has become more common this summer season. There isn’t enough staff to handle the increased luggage loads after countries removed COVID restrictions and people started traveling once again. But you can’t always avoid checked bags,
Every flight trip ends at the baggage claim carousel. What if your bags don’t show up? Go to the nearest airline counter as soon as possible to file a lost luggage report. It will initiate a procedure with your carrier to start looking for your missing bags.
Remember that airlines have the responsibility to deliver your luggage to its final destination by law. If bags are missing they have to find them.
Here are several tips to prevent your luggage from being lost
Travel with luggage that stands out
Pieces of luggage often look alike. It is not uncommon for someone to pick up your bags by mistake. In such cases, the luggage is considered missing unless it makes its way back to the airport.
Have you noticed how some passengers double-check the luggage they pick from the carousel to make sure it’s theirs? This is a very useful habit, even if you’re sure the bags are yours.
Using a suitcase that stands out from the rest of the bags on the carousel is a way to prevent from being pucked by someone else. Bright colors, special logos, or signage are what make the luggage unmistakable.
If your bags are just the usual color and shape there’s a solution to it, too. Tide up a color ribbon to one of its handles or place a distinctive sticker on one of its sides. Alternatively, attaching a tag with your contact information also works. They will all help recognize your bags at the end.
The ribbon has to be short so it doesn’t get caught by the transporting belts at the airport. Name tags are also at risk of being caught in the transporting belt and being ripped apart as a result.
Traveling with luggage that stands out has one more important advantage. In case of a loss, you will need to file a missing luggage report which requires a description of the luggage. Any distinct feature, color, or shape will help locate it easier.
Remove old airline tags
Remove old airline tags from your luggage before your trip. Check the bags on all sides as some small tags with bar codes may remain attached. Old airline barcode stickers or tags can send a bag to the wrong destination or cause unnecessary delays.
Use tracking device
Tech-savvy travelers can opt-in for devices designed specifically for tracking their luggage. The Apple Air Tag and the Samsung Galaxy Smart Tag claim they can locate your luggage no matter where it is.
While you can find more information on their manufacturing websites keep in mind that the Samsung Galaxy Smart Tag is compatible only with Galaxy smartphones with Android 11 or higher to be fully functional. Similarly, the Apple Air Tag works with iPhone 11 and higher.
As an alternative, other tracking devices on the market are not branded specifically and work on both Apple and Android phones.
Try to book direct flights
Booking a direct flight will take you and your luggage directly to your final destination. It will eliminate the need for luggage transfers at airports and thus the risk of getting lost.
However, direct flights are not always possible. They cost more. And to certain destinations simply there are no direct flights.
Use travel insurance
Travelers often think travel insurance is an unnecessary expense. What would possibly go wrong on this trip? However, purchasing insurance for your luggage will help cover unexpected expenses due to luggage delay or loss.
Many airlines or travel credit cards offer the benefits of travel insurance including for luggage. The only condition is using that credit card to purchase that travel.
Check with your credit card for possible travel insurance benefits. Many airlines or travel websites offer passengers to purchase insurance at the time of sale.