How not to lose your luggage

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Did you know that one piece of luggage for every 100 passengers gets lost at the airport? That means on a fully packed Boeing 737 flight, two people will be without luggage at the other end. Here are some handy tips to make sure that poor sucker isn’t you.

Pack for the worst-case scenario
Pack your carry-on luggage as though you expect your checked luggage to get lost. This means carrying a change of clothes, a toothbrush and any documentation with you. Even if your checked luggage gets lost, you will be able to get by until it arrives.

Take a photo
Before leaving for the airport, take a photo of your luggage, as well as the contents. This way if it is lost, you can just show the photo to the staff at the airport, instead of trying to describe your bag. The contents photo will also help with any insurance claims you (hopefully never need to) make.

Tag it
Make sure all old tags are removed, and only tags with your present destination and contact details are on your luggage. Be especially careful to remove any barcode stickers that may have been left on after your last trip, to prevent your luggage from ending up elsewhere.

Get a colourful case
Make sure that your case stands out from the crowd. Trying to describe how your 62 cm black-wheeled suitcase is different from all the other lost 62 cm black-wheeled suitcases can be a challenge, and makes it more likely you won’t get it back. There have also been instances of airlines removing the wrong piece of luggage from the aircraft, thinking it belonged to a no-show passenger, when, really, your bag just looked the same as theirs.

Do not decorate
Although it is important for your bag to stand out, do not tie ribbons onto your luggage. These can get stuck in the conveyor belt mechanisms, and may cause your luggage to be left behind.

Why not share your tip for keeping your luggage safe?

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Written by Debbie McTaggart


Total Comments: 8
  1. 0

    All good advice. I also print out an A4 page detailing my address and email contact and put this in ever piece of luggage.
    The more care you take the more likely you will get your luggage back.

  2. 0

    I also have ribbons on my suitcase. I haven’t had one get stuck yet. My friend lost her mobile phone on the plane. It didn’t reappear in lost and found until she cancelled her phone account after a few months – …mmm someone enjoyed the phone for awhile!

  3. 0

    Using a white piece of chalk, write your initials in large capital letters on the base of the suitcase. This can help identify your case if it is lost, or it just happens to be exactly the same as a fellow passenger

  4. 0

    I dont mind if I lose my luggage
    Its insured , so I get a new brand new wardrobe for nothing

  5. 0

    I have a ribbon attached so that I know it is mine. I only have the current stickers and I always have a the minimum in my carryon to be able to survive for 48 hours without my suitcase.

    Some years ago I flew from Melbourne to London with an overnight stop in Bangkok my bag was checked through to London. The last flight was a FINNAIR/BA code share flight operated by FINNAIR. My baggage did not appear and BA was responsible for tracking it down. I had only a few days in London before heading to St Petersburg in Russia and then the wilds of Kazakhstan (an orienteering camp). I had to have camping equipment etc and after a few days BA agreed that within a certain limit I could buy what I needed to continue the journey so I did and continued the journey. When I was about to leave St Petersburg I received imformation that the bag had never left the airport in Melbourne. In the end BA considered that the bag had been lost but refused to compensate me at all so I “lost several hundred dollars”. Consequently I no longer fly BA because of their very poor customer service in this regard or JETSTAR because they failed to load the bag.

    I have had problems where there have been connecting flights and luggage left behind because the first flight was late and there was not enough time for the luggage to be transhipped Madrid to Istanbul on Air France and I received advice as to when it would be delivered to my hotel and was delivered early next morning. I also have a problem with a transit through Moscow and the bag left behind because the baggage people didn’t load it (I had come from Simferopol in the Crimea and was going to Pavlodar and despite my best efforts to ask and have them check that it was loaded on the flight to Almaty I arrived and found that it was not a priority item (I was business class) and had a rushed entry (Immigration) and waited for as long as I could before being the last person to check in for the Almaty – Pavlodar flight and onto the flight itself. I spoke with the departure gate person and explained the problem and was told when I arrived in Pavlodar that my bag would be coming on the next flight (the next day) and it came.



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