How To Prevent And Recover Lost Luggage

Lost Luggage

When you fly, do you carry your bags with you or check them in at the kiosk? If you check them in, then I recommend that you rethink your flying habits. Why? According to the Department of Transportation, 5 out of 1,000 bags of luggage are permanently lost. The odds might not seem that bad, but what if fate one day chooses you to be the next victim of lost luggage?

How Does Luggage Get Lost?

First of all, luggage doesn’t just get lost. Sometimes, it gets damaged instead. Throughout my life, I’ve seen bags soaked in rainwater, covered in suds, and even missing wheels and handles.

Second, here is a list of the top reasons for either delayed or lost luggage:

  • You sign in too late. If you arrive too late, there may not be enough time for airport employees to place your luggage on the airplane.
  • Your flight is full and many people are checking in more than one bag. There may not be enough space for your luggage.
  • Your luggage tags get ripped off while passing through a conveyor belt. Without tags, airport employees cannot identify the bag’s destination.
  • A distracted airport employee misreads your luggage tags.
  • Your luggage gets jammed on one of the conveyor belts.
  • Somebody else accidentally picks up your luggage.

Taking into consideration all the things that might occur to your luggage, it is shocking that so little luggage actually goes missing. So what can you do to avoid becoming the next victim?

Take Your Luggage With You

The only way to completely protect your luggage is to not check it in. If you take your luggage with you, there is no way that the airline will accidentally screw up and lose it. Keep in mind though that most airlines only allow you to bring one carry-on bag along with you on the plane. In addition, the bag must be no longer than 45″ and no heavier than 40 pounds.

I realize taking your luggage along with you can be annoying. It means stuffing all your belongings into one bag, and tugging it along with you everywhere you go. However, at least it stays in your possession and your sight through the whole voyage. Furthermore, consider the fact that many airlines are now charging anywhere from $15 to $50 just to check in one piece of luggage. Any additional luggage can easily cost you a couple hundred extra dollars. Wouldn’t it be a lot cheaper to take your one bag with you instead?

Forward Your Luggage

If you have enough money, consider forwarding your luggage instead. Be aware that it is quite expensive though.

Take Precautions

If you do decide to check in your luggage, make certain that your contact information is readily available. First, tie a tag with your info to the bag. Second, print out a copy of your info and put it in the bag. Third, print out another copy and tape it onto the outside of the bag. In case your bag gets lost, this will make it much easier for the airline to track you down. Lastly, always arrive at least one hour before your flight is scheduled to depart.\