Losing your luggage is not very likely but it still may happen, so how do you avoid it? Read our 10 tips, and your luggage will never be lost.
- Remove luggage tags (barcode stickers) from your bags and suitcases after every trip. Those might confuse the handling personnel.
- Buy a colorful suitcase or mark your bags with something, say, with a ribbon. This will make life easier for you by making your luggage more visible on the luggage claim conveyor; airport personnel will thank you for this assistance as well. A lost orange suitcase is easy to spot amidst hundreds of black ones.
- Buy or make a baggage tag with your contacts. Specifying your flight date and number helps as well. Alternatively, put a contact information sheet into your suitcase. If the baggage tag is lost for some reason, airport personnel opens bags to identify the owner.
- There are a few baggage search services abroad. For example, www.okoban.com, www.i-trak.com or www.tracemeluggagetracker.com
Here’s how it works: you buy a uniquely numbered baggage tag and register it on the service website. In case your baggage is delayed or lost, the finder can submit the tag ID, and you’ll be sent an SMS with lost-and-found details. In some cases, airport personnel just scan the barcode, and you get an SMS notification with your bag’s location immediately.
- There’s one more way to keep your baggage safe, the U-Wrap service by Global Baggage Protection Systems Inc. (www.uwrapbags.com). U-Wrap is a special packaging for your baggage. It basically functions similarly to the stretch films used by airports; however, each package has a unique ID to find the owner easily. Besides, U-Wrap helps you find your baggage and even reimburses its costs if the baggage is lost.
- Buy a GPS location device. It will help you track the location of your baggage. A fully-charged battery lasts for about a week. PocketFinder® Vehicle is a popular location device. This is a small device you can invisibly attach to your suitcase or bags. Go to www.pocketfinder.com or use the app to locate your baggage. The only drawback here is that the device needs GSM coverage to work.
- Use a baggage delivery service. Your baggage will be delivered by FedEx, UPS, or DHL, all of which provide IDs for tracking. The service picks up your suitcases right at your doors and delivers them to the hotel whenever you need it.
Traveling without your baggage is way more convenient and saves you a lot of time; it also means you can travel to your hotel by public transport rather than a taxi. If you need to deliver a heavy suitcase, you might also save money, as overweight baggage fees are often more significant than delivery fees. However, there’re a few drawbacks here as well: you have to pay for the delivery, and the price depends on the weight, the terms, and the distance; secondly, baggage must be sent several ways in advance of your departure.
- Ensure your baggage against damage and loss. This service is offered by numerous insurance companies, sometimes as an addition to the mandatory health insurance. However, before you sign your insurance contract, specify the maximum insurance premiums: the higher the insured amount, the heavier are premiums. Sometimes insurance partially covers your expenses on essentials; this amount is fairly limited and depends on the insured amount. That being said, if you’ve lost your baggage, you can at least buy a toothbrush and a razor (don’t forget to keep the receipts); when back home, the insurance company will reimburse these expenses.
- Never ever leave securities, documents, or jewelry in the checked baggage. Airlines are not responsible for any loss or theft thereof, whereas insurance companies mostly do not cover such things. Here’s more info on what kind of things you don’t want to check in.
- Check-in in advance. If you are late, there’s every chance your bags won’t be loaded into the aircraft in time and will be sent onboard the next plane. Don’t want to lose your time in queues? Use your PC or phone to check in online.