It’s something that happens to 30% of travelers and it could happen to you. Having your luggage lost or stolen can seem like the worst thing in the world at the time. But whether you’re trying to prevent it from happening again, or happening in general, take some of these easy tips to follow to ensure a better, more pleasant traveling experience.
Most of those misplaced bags and suitcases are eventually returned to their owners, on average of about 30 hours after being reported missing. Most luggage that goes missing is indeed not stolen, but misplaced by airports. There is no bottomless pit of unclaimed luggage in airports, instead sometimes luggage is simply sent to the wrong terminal.
But there are steps you can take to help prevent your luggage from getting lost or stolen and to make your travel experience more secure and less of a hassle if this unpleasant ordeal happens to you.
Here are some great tips for a safer and more secure travel when it comes to your luggage:
· Use a durable identification tag with a durable strap on each and every bag. The best tags have a cover hiding your name to protect your own privacy. In fact, use your business address and phone number whenever possible. Durable usually means hard plastic, leather, or even metal. Paper tags can easily be snipped or ripped off.
· Include your identification information inside your bag and luggage, just in case the outer tag is lost. Place a travel itinerary in an outside pocket or inside your bag on the top so airlines can easily track you down no matter where you are.
· Put a colorful marking on your bag to easily identify it belongs to you. You can even mark your initials in big letters so no one else will take it from the luggage carousel. Take a digital photo of the bag to show to the baggage agent should it be misplaced.
· Remove your old baggage tags to avoid confusion among baggage-handlers.
· Check your bags early. Airlines suggest 90 minutes in advance (two hours for international travel) but at daily high-traffic times, you should add 30 minutes. Last-minute checked bags may not even make it onto your plane and certainly not back in your possession.
· Always try to make sure your bags are ticketed and marked correctly before you leave the luggage check-in center. Most people just brush this step off, but this is a major error which leads to lost or misplaced luggage.
· Be sure to complete the lost-luggage reports at the airport you arrived at. Never leave without your claim number and up to date contact information so you can check the status of your missing bags whenever.
· Create a written list that includes every item in each bag and leave a copy at home in case you need to claim compensation.