Is there a worse feeling than lost luggage? These things happen in life, but that doesn’t make it any less of a stressful setback. There is a stomach dropping dread that takes over when you see the seemingly endless line of bags on the carousel quickly dissipate and realize that none of them are yours. Lost luggage is an unexpected stress that no one wants while travelling. While there’s no way to prevent this from ever happening, there are ways to make it preventable.
- Don’t rely on the routing labels provided by the airline – Our bags have to go through more checkpoints than we do. By the time it reaches the distribution area, the labels that may been provided by the airline could very well be removed or damaged making its destination (and owner) unknown. Ultimately it is placed to the side until someone (you) claims it after filing a report. The report you file after you’ve reached your destination to find out that your luggage was not so lucky. Complete the attachable tags that are usually provided at the check in desk and ensure all of your information is legible. Also, fill out those nice identification tags/cards that are sometimes provided when you purchase luggage.
- Set your phone alarm before departure to remind you to pick up your bags – It sounds simple, right? You get off the plane, head straight for the baggage claim area, and pick up your bags. Although, believe it or not, it’s easy to get distracted when getting off that plane. The “single serving friends” you just shared a flight with have now become a stampede and all headed in the same direction as you. Or that in-flight cocktail you had became two or three in-flight cocktails. Whatever the reason may be, forgetting your luggage is a reality. Most of us check our phones the second we get off the plane, so if you set your alarm to go off a few minutes after your scheduled landing time, you should have a friendly reminder waiting for you when you turn your phone back on.
- Take a picture of your luggage – While you would probably prefer to keep pictures of sunsets or your children on your phone, storing a picture of your luggage on that same phone may save you a sizable amount of stress. If your luggage does not make it to your destination, whether it be damaged tags or the bag-check attendant enters the wrong destination code, it is likely sitting in the abyss normally called the unclaimed baggage area. If this is the case, you will have to file a lost-baggage report (because we all need one more report to fill out) so that a search can commence. Although if a picture can be presented it will provide more detail for the agents searching for your bag. This will make it easier to locate and you can get back to capturing those sunsets.
- Place your itinerary inside each bag – Multi-stop trips can lead to missed connections, for you and your luggage. In an attempt to identify a bag’s owner, the airline staff may look inside for hints as to wear your luggage may have been headed. How fantastic would it be if your itinerary was sitting there waiting for them so that they can forward it to the correct destination?