We’ve all experienced the headache of losing our luggage. You step off the plane all excited about the possibilities of the week ahead, you walk down to baggage claim, anxious to get started on your trip, then you realize that your bag didn’t come. Every other member of your family has got their bag and they are ready to go, but yours is missing. What a terrible way to start your trip. Since no one wants to start out their vacation with the hassle of losing their luggage, here are some tips for how to prevent it.
Check in Early. This seems easy enough. The earlier you get to the ticket counter, the longer the airport has to process your bags and get them to your plane. Airports tend to work very quickly when it comes to processing bags, but if you give them just a little more time, you can increase your chances of seeing your suitcase on that baggage claim conveyer belt at your final destination.
Put your itinerary in your bag. The best place to put it is in a top pocket of your suitcase or on top of all of your clothes. This way, whoever has your bag has your itinerary, and your final destination, making it much easier for them to get your bag to you. It’s a good idea to put it in the top pocket or on top of your clothes, so that whoever goes looking for the itinerary doesn’t have to sort through all of your personal belongings. This is also easier for the people who are helping you locate your bag. If your final destination is already with the people who have your bag, its one less step for the person locating your bag and hopefully your bag will arrive much sooner than it otherwise would.
Take pictures. Take a picture of the outside and inside of your bag. This helps in two ways. First, you can show the picture to the airline attendant helping you locate your bag so they can better explain what kind of bag to look for. If they know what the bag looks like specifically, there is a much better chance that the correct bag will be delivered to you. Second, once your bag does arrive to you, you can make sure that everything you packed is still in place and that nothing was taken or lost. If anything is gone, you can file a complaint with the airline, and hopefully get compensation for your lost items.
Avoid short layovers. Airports work fast, but they can’t always redirect your luggage in a short amount of time. If your flight arrives at a layover later than expected, and you are forced to run through terminals to get to your next gate in time, there is a slim chance that your luggage will make it. If you barely made it, you can only hope and pray your luggage did. To avoid this problem, look for direct flights when you are booking your vacation, and if no direct flights are available, you should give yourself at least a two hour layover to account for any possible delays or problems that could occur. This way, you can relax, knowing that your luggage will arrive safely at your final destination.
Give your bag a makeover. Make it stand out. If you add a ribbon at the top, use a funny and noticeable luggage tag, or even buy an unusual bag, it will be easier to locate. A boring black or gray Samsonite bag will be incredibly difficult to locate, considering they account for a majority of the baggage population among travelers. When trying to locate your lost luggage, an identifiable feature helps people to spot your luggage and enables them to return it much faster. Who wants to spend the majority of their vacation without their clothes, and other personal items? Not me, that’s for sure.
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