If you’re like any other traveler, you would want to avoid checking your bag in—and it’s for a reason. Nobody wants to wait at the baggage claim when all you want to do is stretch your body after sitting in the plane the whole day. And what’s more irritating is when you have waited for an hour already only to be told that your luggage is missing or stolen. It makes you wish you just brought a carry-on luggage, which of course is impossible since you have important items you have to bring.
With that in mind, we offer you some suggestions on what to do to avoid losing your luggage and what to do in case it still gets lost.
See video at the end
Don’t use expensive suitcase
When you use flashy luggage such as Louis Vuitton, Globe Trotter, Tumi, etc. when traveling, you are unknowingly inviting thieves to check out your bag. If you are using expensive bags, potential robbers would assume that what’s in your bag is even more expensive. When traveling, always use the simple and least fancy luggage.
Avoid putting valuables in a checked bag
In 2010, Giorgio Gucci (yes, the Gucci brand) checked a luggage with contents worth $50,000. Unsurprisingly, his bag was stolen. The lesson? Never place your valuables on a checked luggage. Personal items such as cash, jewelry, gadgets, medicines, keys, and fragile items are likely to get stolen, so it should be put in your carry-on bag. Remember, the airline can only reimburse lost luggage up to $3,500 per passenger for domestic flights and $2,500 for international flights.
Attach a bright-colored ribbon to your checked bag
Do you know that a lot of lost bags are not actually lost? Many bags today do look alike. When a customer is in a hurry, as soon as he sees a similar-looking bag, the passenger erroneously takes the bag without checking if it’s really his luggage. To avoid this, put a bright-colored ribbon or any unique identifier in your luggage to easily spot your bag and others to mistake your bag as theirs.
Attach a name tag and contact information to your bag
Putting a tag in the bag has become a habit for most passengers. On the tag is your name, flight, and contact details. But sometimes, the tag is not sturdy enough and it gets damaged at one point while in transit. In case your luggage is misrouted and your tag is teared, it will be difficult for the airline to contact you. To avoid this scenario, make sure that you insert a second tag in the outer pocket of your luggage.
Avoid booking connecting flights with a short connection
Booking multiple flights with short connection times is not recommended because the possibility of missing your bag is big. The process of transferring of passenger from one airline to the next is simple enough but not your luggage. Your bags have to undergo series of stops and inspection before they can follow you. So always leave enough time in between flights for your luggage of at least an hour.
Airlines That Handle Checked Bags Best
Based on the data provided by the Department of Transportation, of every 1,000 bags, Airtran Airways mishandled only 1.97 bags, while Atlantic Southeast Airlines mishandled 8.22 bags out of 1,000. If you will notice, the airlines with best records are all low cost carriers.
Usually, when it comes to handling luggage, international airlines are better, although there is no available data that would confirm the number of bags lost by foreign airlines. Noticeably, airlines like European Union, with clear government regulation about passenger rights, handle passenger luggage better because of the large amount of money they have to reimburse if they lose it.