Lost luggage when travelling abroad (or even on domestic flights) is a huge problem – waiting at the airport to be told that they’ve flown your bags to another airport is really going to get your vacation off to a bad start. Not only do you have the frustration of being in a destination without your personal belongings but there’s always the chance your lost luggage becomes permanently lost. Losing luggage can be a thing of the past if you read my list of 7 Ways to Minimize the Risk of Lost Luggage.
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It is basically a passport for your luggage identified by a personal identification number - PIN. A computer database holds all your details so when lost luggage with a PIN is found all they have to do is look up your contact information and hey presto – lost luggage = returned luggage.
If you are a regular flyer, you will know that lost luggage is a common problem. Often though, when your luggage arrives safe and sound at the correct destination, you’re likely to find that your cases have been damaged in some way. If you only buy cheap luggage, you won’t feel so bad about it being lost. Plus don’t forget, your travel insurance probably doesn’t cover the value of everything that is in your suitcase so, only having cheap luggage means your insurance payout is more relevant to your belongings than the bag in which they were lost.
Although it’s nice to be able to trust your airline crew, we cannot overlook the fact that «lost» bags can sometimes end up mysteriously disappearing when they contain valuables. All money, electronics, keys and jewelry should be carried on-board the plane with you just in case your bags go missing while in transit.
Sometimes you will have no choice but to check your expensive items in, especially if it’s sporting equipment that is too large or dangerous to carry on-board. In this case you should look into investing in airline insurance for a reasonable price: American Airlines, for example, offers insurance on valuables at a rate of $2 per $100 value.
It’s a fact of life that sometimes bags go missing. It’s always a good idea to make sure that your essentials, such as a change of clothes and any medication that you require, are in your hand luggage. It may also be a good idea to carry-on any items that would be difficult to source while abroad. If you have some essentials you won’t be totally scuppered whilst they try and locate your lost baggage.
You can never stick too many name tags on your cases! A good idea is to stick two different name labels on your bag along with something with your name on it inside. Unnamed baggage is classed as lost luggage and very often sold after a period of time, so you don’t want your bag having the same fate as all the irresponsible travelers who do not adequately name their baggage!
Make sure that you keep all receipts for clothing and other items packed into your case. If you have to make a claim at the airport, you will be asked to prove the amount that was in each suitcase, so keep the evidence to ensure that you are reimbursed the correct amount of money. Having to deal with lost luggage is bad enough as it is, without having to deal with losing your money too!
The most obvious way to avoid lost luggage is to only ever pack a carry on. Of course for many of us this is nigh on impossible if we are taking a vacation of any length. Practical for a few days yes, but for a week or longer, no!
I hope that you have found this list of ways to reduce the risk of lost luggage helpful. Although vacations aren’t a time to worry about your bags and you want to think about relaxing in the sun or skiing in the Alps, it’s always best to make precautions against the very worst case scenario. Please feel free to leave a comment detailing any experiences you’ve had with lost luggage, as well as any additional tips that I may have missed out. To those of you going on vacation, have a lovely time – hopefully without the risk dealing with lost bags whilst you’re away!
If you’re not sure of just how big a problem lost luggage is – take a look at this picture
Top Photo Credit: weheartit.com
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