Your flight arrives at its destination, you disembark and, as you’ve done dozens of times before, head to the baggage claim belt. You look as the bags pass by and fellow passengers reach for theirs. Your couple of minutes wait turns to an hour. Your bag simply does not show up.
Misplaced luggage is one of the worst nightmares for a traveler. Fortunately, you don’t have to leave it to fate or good luck to prevent your bags from going missing. Flying by private jet is one way to do it (Chapman Freeborn private jet charters for example). However, if you are flying commercial as the vast majority of air travelers do, the following tips can make losing your bags that much harder.
Simple and Nondescript Bags
When you cannot locate your bag, two things are likely to have happened. Either the airline or airport misplaced the bag or it was stolen. Most of us love the finer things in life so it isn’t unusual for one to want to splurge on flashy designer luggage. To reduce the chances of your bag getting stolen, it’s in your best interest to minimize the amount of attention your bag attracts.
For persons with less than noble intent, a visibly expensive bag is a pointer to potentially valuable items inside. Stealing is a risky undertaking where time is of essence. Ergo, the thief will target bags where they have the highest chance of success. By using an ordinary and less extravagant bag, your luggage acquires an anonymity that allows it to blend in.
While simple bags are an effective way of keeping thieves at bay, that doesn’t mean you should settle on a ubiquitous design. A fellow traveler could pick your bag not because they want to steal it but because it looks near identical to theirs. There are a number of ways you can set your bag apart from the rest.
Bag design is one option but it can be difficult to find a good quality but completely unique design. Another technique (and a more practical one at that) is to place unique markers. For example, you can stick bright labels or write your name in conspicuous colors. You could buy a striking bag strap or harness your creativity using everyday household items like duct tape and bright ribbons.
Verify Luggage Labels
Once you check in your suitcase, request the attendant to confirm that your luggage label matches your flight and destination details. Do not rule out human error. Just those few additional seconds it will take for the attendant to perform this confirmation can save you needless headache later on.
Be careful not to lose the label. Ideally, you should stick the label to your passport so its within easy reach whenever you need it. This label is your weapon in tracing your luggage if it ever gets lost along your trip. Referring to the label will also ensure you do not pick up someone else’s identical-looking luggage by mistake.
Despite your best efforts and the most robust airline and airport procedures, there’s no guarantee that your bags won’t go missing. That’s where luggage tracking technology can come in handy. Different trackers have different capabilities so you’ll have to check which ones deliver what you need and at the right price point.
Some trackers can identify your bag even when your tags are lost. Others have microchips that make geolocation easier. One goes as far as tapping into satellite technology that integrates with an app on your smartphone meaning you know exactly where your bag is at any given time. Trackers make it easier to approach the airline with precise information that can make bag recovery faster.
A bonus tip? Check in early. When you are one of the last people to board a flight, you are at higher risk of your bags not getting loaded in time.
While there’s no silver bullet to keeping your bags 100% secure, the above tips can increase the chances of your bags getting to your destination safe and in time.