Losing Baggage While Travelling – What Can I Do About It?

Lost luggage is a nightmare for travellers, but you actually don’t have to worry about it. While you may think that what happens to your luggage is completely out of your hands, that’s not entirely true. There are actually several steps you can take to avoid having your luggage misplaced by transportation companies. Here is what you need to know before you take another flight, bus trip or train ride.

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Before you Go

Your luggage should have one luggage tag, and that should be updated with your current contact information. Before you travel, check the tag to make it is still legible and has an accurate phone number. You can also invest in special electronic luggage tags that actually have embedded microchips for easier tracking.

In addition to having the luggage tag on the handle, place a copy of your itinerary inside the bag. If the tag is ripped off by accident, the agency can still find you and get your bags to you with this information. Finally, make sure you drive to the airline early. When you are punctual, baggage handlers will have plenty of time to get your bag to the plane.

Try to make your bag stand out a little more from the crowd. You can tie a neon ribbon around the handle, or you can give it a big mark with zebra print duck tape. Remember that bags are mass produced, so the chances are pretty good that someone else will have a bag that looks like yours. With a little extra item on it, it will be easier to tell them apart.

Before you turn the bag over to the airline, take a minute to photograph the exterior and interior of your bag. You can also snap a picture of your baggage claim ticket in case you lose it. This way, you will have a picture of your bag to show attendants in case yours goes missing.

Stop Making your Luggage a Target

Airlines and other companies try to hire honest people, but it’s impossible to weed out every person with an inclination to steal. If your luggage looks attractive enough, or employees think you have valuables inside it, then it could easily disappear while you are en route. Make your bags less tempting by taking the following steps:

  • Use well-worn luggage that won’t draw a second look and won’t appeal to criminals.
  • Secure the bags only with paper clips or twist ties to send a message that you have nothing valuable inside.
  • Remove the old airline tags so you aren’t advertising all the travelling you have done.

Ensure that it won’t be a Huge Deal

There are times when lost luggage is genuinely lost. It has been misplaced, or maybe you made a connection but your bags didn’t. The companies will usually provide you with a stipend to pick up toiletries and a change of clothes, but you can make sure it’s not a big deal by packing carefully. Never put items of great value into your checked bags. Either place them in your carry-on bags, or have them shipped to your destination or home address through the mail. Not only will your electronics be safe from theft if they are with you, but you also won’t have to worry about them being damaged by temperature variations or being tossed around by baggage handlers.

With the right steps ahead of time, you won’t have to worry as much about losing your bags. Follow these tips to deter criminals, and avoid losing bags through other mishaps. With this advice and preparation, you will also be ready in case your bag does go missing.