5 Tips for Lost Luggage
Summer travel is in full swing. Airports are crowded once again and that means… the dreaded lost luggage scenario. It seems like a small thing, but it can really throw a wrench in your whole trip. So here are just a few tips for avoiding lost luggage and making it less stressful if you do!
➡️ Related: Your Guide to Safe Summer Travel
1. Label your luggage
This seems really obvious, but many people forget to put contact information on their luggage. This leaves them scrambling to add tags at the airport, which are easily ripped off. Get good, sturdy luggage tags for your bags in advance. Expert travelers will often include a copy of their contact information inside the bag as well. That way, if a tag comes off, airport staff will have a backup way to identify the owner.
2. Include a bag marker
If your suitcase is a simple, black piece of luggage that looks like every other piece out there… there’s a good chance of someone else grabbing yours off the conveyor belt by mistake. You don’t have to get a wild, designer pattern to make your bag distinct. Just add a brightly colored identifier such as a bandana or a strip of neon tape to make your bag stand out from the rest.
3. Pay attention to stickers
Occasionally luggage is lost due to mismarked or swapped stickers at check-in. Airports are always a little chaotic and tensions are high. It is, unfortunately, all too easy for an airline employee to put the wrong destination on your bags. I’ve had it happen. Pay attention to what they are doing and you could save yourself from a really long, frustrating vacation.
4. Get luggage protection insurance
Travel insurance is one of the most important things to take care of before any trip. But not all travel insurance includes lost luggage protection. Read the policy carefully before purchasing and find out what exactly is covered, and what the limits are. Pay close attention to limits for technology – the value for technology replacement often diminishes for older items.
5. Keep a list of contents
A list of contents has two purposes. First, if your luggage is lost without tags, an accurate description of the bag and what is inside may help you retrieve your luggage from the airline. Secondly, a list of contents can help with an insurance claim if your luggage is lost for good. You will typically need to know exactly what is inside and what the value is. If you have something of great value inside, it doesn’t hurt to have a picture as well.
What are my rights if luggage is lost?
While the Department of Transportation has some baseline passenger rights for lost luggage, every airline has a different policy specifics. They will often replace toiletries or personal items that you need to get through while you are waiting for your lost things to arrive. Be sure to hang on to any receipts you collect for replacements. You will need to show these either to the airline or your insurance provider.
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