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Luggage Problems

  Tips Home >> Travelling Tips >> Luggage Problems


How can I decrease the chance of losing my luggage?
Get to the airport early so your bags will make it on your flight.
Carry on as many bags as the Airline allows.
Allow plenty of time between connecting flights so your luggage will be able to transfer on to your next flight.
Never leave your luggage unattended; always keep an eye on them.
Label your bags clearly with your name, address and telephone number.
Keep the paperwork you are given by the Airline when you check your bags so that they will be easier to track if your bags go missing.
If your fashion sense can handle it, mark your bags with bright colors by using colored tape. It will be easier to find and criminals know they are more likely to be noticed and remembered carrying out a unique bag.
Remove any old flight information tags, they may route your luggage to your last destination.
Make sure the new tags placed on your bags are from the correct Airline and they have the proper Airport's destination code on them.
You should label both the outside and the inside of your bags, in case the outside tag gets pulled off.
You should include the hotel information where you are staying with dates so the bags will have a better chance of finding their way to you.
Pay attention to what type of luggage you are carrying so you’ll have a good description of them if they go missing. Medium size black nylon probably describes half the luggage on the plane. Identifying the brand name, size, color, material, and distinguishing marks will help the Airline to locate your luggage.
If you are traveling with a friend, you might consider switching some of your items with each other. Putting a few outfits in their bag will give you something to fall back on incase your bags go missing. In exchange, you can offer to carry a few items for them in case their luggage goes missing.
Avoid using an Airline that loses or damages lots of luggage.
Where can I find information on how often an Airline loses or damages baggage?
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report web page. This site contains information on flight delays, mishandled baggage, oversales or overbooking of flights, consumer complaints, and disability complaints for the ten largest U.S. Airlines. Each of these sections provides valuable information to assist the traveler in evaluating which major Airline would provide them the best service.
How can I protect my luggage once I’ve made it to my destination?
Once you have arrived, find out where your luggage is being unloaded. It usually takes some time for the luggage to get there, but it might also take a while for you to get there. You don’t need to run, but it is better that you get there and wait for your bags then to have them waiting for you. Remember they come out on a conveyor belt and anyone can come up and get them. How is anyone else in the crowd supposed to know to stop someone because they took your bags?
It may not just be criminals, but other passengers who mistake your medium sized black nylon bag for their medium sized black nylon bag and off they go. You want to be able to watch them drop and if they are not there, notify the Airline immediately.
Since so many bags do look alike, make sure you check to make sure that the baggage you take is really yours.
Check your bags and notify the Airline of any missing or damaged luggage before you leave the airport. This is where making a packing list will come in handy.
As you leave the airport, watch your bags until you get to your hotel room. Taxicab waiting lines, rental car counters and hotel or rental car shuttle vans and even hotel lobbies are all good places to loose your bags.
Don’t assume the drivers will unload all your bags, they may be hurrying right back to the airport.
Don’t assume that if you just leave them in the hotel’s lobby that someone will bring them to your room.
Rental car shuttle vans often have several drop off points and another customer might accidentally grab your bags and be out the gate before you even realize your bags are gone.
What should I do if my luggage is lost or delayed?
Make a claim before you leave the airport; some claims will only be honored if they are made before you leave airport property.
Leave a good description of your luggage; it will help the Airline to locate your luggage.
Leave complete contact information and itinerary for both your home and where you are currently staying.
Notify those where you are staying of your situation to make them aware for phone calls or deliveries.
Find out whom you should call and when they’ll be available for updates on your luggage. Some Airlines are beginning to offer an online tracking service that you can access if your bags are lost.
Find out the Airline’s policy about missing luggage. The Airlines will have a policy in writing that they can provide to you. You want to know what will happen if you buy replacement items and your luggage is found the next day.
How can I avoid damage to my luggage?
Remove any shoulder straps; pull handles, or other loose elements that could get caught on a conveyor belt.
Buy luggage with only retractable wheels.
Consider using a shrink wrap service for your luggage if your airport has one.
If your bags have locks, use them, but better yet avoid putting anything of real value in your checked bags.
Avoid using an Airline that loses or damages lots of baggage.
What will the Airline do if they have damaged or cannot find my luggage?
It depends on the particular Airline, but almost all Airlines currently set their liability maximum at only $1250.00 USD per paid passenger fare on domestic flights.
Particularly valuable items such as jewelry, cash or electronics and fragile or perishable items are usually not covered at all.
You may also need to provide receipts for the items lost.
The value of the items will also be depreciated so don’t expect to get replacement value.
International flights base the value of your luggage on weight so make sure the weight of your luggage is noted at check-in. If your luggage is not weighted, they generally assume a weight of 70 pounds.
How can I get a better reimbursement for lost luggage?
Purchase travel insurance.
Declare and pay for a higher valuation of your luggage.
Check to see if you have any coverage under your homeowner’s policy.
Check to see if any of your credit cards offer coverage for your luggage.
Keep the receipts for items you brought with you.
Keep the receipts for any replacement items you purchased while your luggage was missing.
Make packing list and leave a copy in a safe place at home. This will not only help you to organize and remember all the essentials, while cutting down on the fluff, but it will also help you make out a claim form if your luggage goes missing.
Make a claim before you leave the airport; they may not honor a claim made after you leave the airport property.
Appeal to the Airline’s customer service department for help with the claim since this issue may effect your future use of the Airline’s services.


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