You’ve confidently waited at the airport’s carousel for your luggage. But it wasn’t there. Your hands began to perspire as you become more apprehensive.
Next comes the migraine.
If an airline has ever lost your luggage, you know how aggravating it is. It’s a major inconvenience.
Plus, you’ve experienced the fear of the unknown – not knowing where your belongings are. And if you’re on medications, it can be life threatening.
Not to mention the aggravation from your airline when you’ve complained about your lost baggage.
It took a week or more before the airline declared your luggage to be lost.
You had to accurately itemize what was in your luggage.
You had to declare the cost of your luggage, too.
Even then you didn’t feel adequately compensated by the airline.
You were reimbursed for the depreciated value – not the actual replacement costs.
Not only that, the reimbursements vary widely depending on whether you were on a domestic flight, international flight or on a domestic flight in another country.
Obviously, if possible, your best bet is to book a nonstop flight or to pack your belongings in a carry-on bag.
But if you need to check a bag, your best bet is to take seven precautions:
1. Update your luggage tags with SuperSmartTags
Forget paper airport tags. They can be easily torn off.
In the event your luggage is lost, high-tech brands of tags have codes which can be tracked by airline employees. Some even come with embedded microchips for easy tracking.
2. Put a copy of your itinerary inside your luggage
Make a copy of your post-flight schedule and contact information.
Because tags can be easily ripped off your luggage by airport workers, put your itinerary prominently on top of your clothes just inside your luggage.
So if your luggage is misplaced, this will make it easy for airline employees to contact you and forward your luggage after it’s found.
3. Take cellphone pictures
Take pictures of the inside of your luggage, the outside of your luggage and of your baggage-claim ticket.
Pictures of your luggage and baggage-claim ticket will aid the airline workers in reuniting your luggage with you.
A picture of your belongings inside your luggage will be good documentation in the event you have to file an insurance claim.
4. Distinguish your luggage
At a crowded airport’s baggage carousel, luggage is often errantly picked up by other passengers.
So set your luggage apart from others by applying a colorful strip of tape on it.
5. Ship your luggage before the flight
Plan ahead. By shipping your luggage to your destination, you get two possible benefits.
Firstly, you’ll minimize the risk of losing your luggage. Secondly, you’ll avoid being nailed with pricey over-size, over-weight, or with checked baggage fees.
6. Avoid layovers
Layovers increase your risk for losing luggage. Sometimes flights are late which allows precious little time for airport workers to efficiently transfer your luggage to your next flight.
If you can’t avoid a layover, make sure it’s not a short one. But be careful if you book a trip with an online travel agency. Many times they schedule flights with short layovers.
It’s even more problematic on international connecting flights. You should allow at least two hours for layovers.
Why? You might have to pick up your checked luggage, go through customs and airport security and re-check your luggage – all before you can board your new flight.
And when you check in at the connecting flight, ask airline employees if you’ll be required to re-check your luggage.
7. When leaving for the airport check-in early as possible
Get an early start for the airport.
You can minimize the likelihood of lost luggage by checking in early. This gives baggage handlers adequate time to put your luggage aboard the plane.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are related travel tips:
Before You Travel Abroad, Take 6 Financial Precautions Today — Whether you’re traveling to a foreign country for business or pleasure — there are at least six steps you should take. You need to do more than just making sure that your passport is current, planning your itinerary or deciding what to pack.
13 of the Best Business Travel Tips — Jet lag, bad hotel beds, and lost luggage – just a few of the miseries of business travel. But travel is vital to manage operations, close sales and to build relationships.
Travel — How to Avoid Foreign Currency-Exchange Fees — When traveling abroad for vacation or business, foreign currency-exchange fees can get costly for thrifty-minded people. There are steps you can take to avoid extra fees in exchanging currency. The pitfalls to avoid range from using airport exchange tables to using credit cards that surcharge the purchase of products and services.
4 Tips to Defend Against Hackers When Traveling Overseas — The finger-pointing continues over the sources of cyber attacks on the U.S., including the media sites of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. The U.S. government and the publications have accused China of malfeasance. But China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and two Chinese academics dispute the allegations.
11 Travel Tips – Save Money, Prevent against Cyber Theft, Fraud — The most vulnerable travelers are businesspeople. That’s because they have to use Internet and e-mail. They’re in danger expressly from vulnerabilities, such as from wirelessly accessible passports to using WIFI.
8 Strategies for Business Tax Deductions on Your Vacation — Did you ever notice professional organizations hold their conventions at favorite tourist destinations? Why? It’s possible to deduct some of those travel costs as business expenses. If you’re careful, you can write off some expenses on your vacation. That’s not to say you can turn your vacation into a tax deduction.
“Just got back from a pleasure trip: I took my mother-in-law to the airport.”