Consumer Advice

Ways to Avoid Lost Luggage

Lost LuggageHave you ever gone on a trip and waited at the baggage claim for your luggage to arrive—and it never shows up? Well, most of the time, it arrives “eventually,” but I wanted to share some tactics that might ensure that your bags arrive when you do.

  • Upgrade Luggage Tags: Bags get lost because the paper identification tags that you may have attached or the airlines’ coded tags get ripped off in transit. Purchase sturdier name tags; you’ll even find some that include a microchip to help the airlines trace your luggage.
  • Check In Earlier: Many experts say that baggage handlers need at least 30 minutes from the time you check it until your luggage makes it to the airplane. So the earlier the better.
  • Place Your Flight Info Inside Your Luggage: When searching for your luggage, the airline rep will first ask you what it looks like (most of them are black). However, if you tell them to look inside an outside area for your itinerary, name and address and cell phone number, they will have a better chance of finding it quicker.
  • Ship Luggage Ahead of Time: If it is critical that your luggage must arrive (wedding, important presentation), FedEx or UPS it to its final destination. It may be a little more expensive but you will be assured (usually) that it will arrive on time.
  • Take a Photo: Take a photo of the both the outside and inside of your bags with your cell phone. You can easily email or text it to the airlines to help them identify your bags.
  • Luggage Straps or Colored Ribbons: This not only helps airlines identify your luggage, it also helps avoid someone else taking your bags by mistake.

Do you have any other tips that you have used in the past?


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