Preventing Luggage Disasters the Next Time You Travel by Air

losing-luggageIt really is every traveler’s nightmare – reaching your destination airport, stepping off the plane ready to enjoy a great vacation – or breeze through a business meeting – only to find that your checked luggage is not there to meet you. Standing forlornly at the luggage carousel until there are no more bags left and having to come to terms with the fact that your luggage does indeed seem to be missing can be a horrible way to start any trip. And in fact according to the FAA themselves 3,360 bags go missing or are tampered with every hour of every day, which is a rather shocking fact in itself!

Although there is no guarantee that the following tips will make your luggage loss proof, following them should at least help ensure that if your possessions do go astray they are a lot easier for the airline staff to identify and return to you and that your trip will not be a complete disaster if you do have to wait a few days before you and your possessions are reunited.

Choose Distinctive Bags

Often lost luggage is not lost at all. Instead, someone, in a hurry, mistakes a bag that looks very much like theirs and rushes off with it, only to find later on that this bag might have really resembled theirs, but it is actually someone else’s entirely.

Choosing distinctive bags can help prevent this sort of thing. Personalized luggage is a great idea, especially if you also choose a bright and easy to glimpse color. And if you do not want to replace a favorite set of luggage you should, at the very least, attach some sturdy and easy to see personalized luggage tags that will stand out on the carousel.

Add a Lock

If your current luggage does not come with locks already it is essential that you add some. This may indeed be very inconvenient at security checkpoints, but a few extra minutes is worth it in order to better safeguard your belongings. You may also want to take a second look at any locks you already have as many older ones can be opened with something as simple as a ballpoint pen. Replacing them with tamper evident locks may still not be a solution that is 100% guaranteed to stop a determined thief, but it will help you prove that your belongings were illegally disturbed in the event that you have to make a claim for a loss.

Don’t Check Essentials

While it is true that heightened security measures have meant there are a lot more restrictions on just what you can carry onto a plane these days, keeping as many of your essentials and valuables with you as possible, even if that means some things have to be left behind.

Statistics show that the ‘most wanted’ possessions from checked luggage are consumer electronics like iPods and portable game systems and medications that have value on the street (which is unfortunately a great many of them) so these are things that should never be checked. You will have to be prepared to provide security agents with a copy of a prescription for any medications you take on board, but that again, is better than being without them.

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