When we’re travelling, one of the biggest fears we have is finding out our bags end up in lost luggage. We’ve been lucky in all of our travels. Or have we just been careful?
Well here are five top tips on what you can do to try to minimise the risk of your baggage ending up as lost luggage.
1. Make your baggage distinctive
With the amount of accessories on sale today, it should not be too tough to make your bag stand out. Even designs nowadays are made just to be eye-catching.
So accessorize your bag with something unique and visually appealing. Perhaps an old strap tied to the handles of the bag?
Or maybe some patches or badges stitched to your bag?
Whatever you need to make your bag recognisable.
2. Stick barcode stickers over your bag
When you check in baggage, you typically get some small stickers on the label which goes onto your baggage. Have you noticed them before?
These small bar-coded stickers are further proof that your checked-in baggage is yours. By sticking them in a range of places around your case, if the big checked-in baggage label falls off, then it’s less likely your bag will end up in lost luggage (as staff can still scan these smaller barcodes).
If the check-in person doesn’t stick these barcodes over your bag, ask them to – the more varied the places, the more chances you’ve got of proving your baggage is yours. Here’s a full explanation of what the barcode stickers mean by InsideFlyer.
3. Pack some essential items in your hand luggage
“Great, I have checked in baggage. Now let’s put everything in there!”
WRONG. When we get more space, we always want to fill it with something. The same goes for checked-in baggage, where we often find ourselves dumping all of our clothes, shoes, technology and so on, just so we don’t have to carry anything through the airport.
But out of sight is not necessarily out of mind. With all your belongings in one place, what’s your backup plan if something goes wrong? Do you have any clothes spare even?
Avoid the possibility of re-using smelly clothes, losing your iPad forever more, or throwing your camera away by packing essential items into your hand luggage, including a day or two of clothes just in case.
4. Keep all proof of your checked-in baggage
While we’ve heard some success stories of people going to lost luggage and describing their items, which the staff then retrieve, it’s incredibly unlikely you’ll ever see your luggage again if you cannot prove you even checked a bag in.
So don’t throw away receipts or that small tag you get when you check-in baggage. It could be your only proof of purchase.
5. Don’t be paranoid
Not so much a tip, but more to put things in perspective: only around 7 bags per 1,000 passengers suffer some form of damage or loss.
Considering eight million people fly each day, that’s a low rate of error.
So don’t panic! Do your best to keep things smooth and traceable, and have a good time.
Don’t know what to do if your bag ends up as lost luggage?