Lost Luggage? Solutions for Lost Baggage

Dealing with lost luggage can be a headache. Here's how to prevent that from happening.

Lost luggage is a fact of air travel. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, consider yourself lucky. Even on the same flight, it is possible for one of your bags to make it to your destination, while another goes inexplicably astray.

The following are some tips to reduce the chance of your luggage’s getting lost, or at least increase the chance of having it returned to you quickly.

Check in early. Many times, luggage isn’t “lost” at all — it just didn’t make it on the plane. Give yourself and your bags time to get on. If you’re rushing to make boarding, there may be a chance that you’ll get on the plane, but your bags won’t. It just takes time to put them on the plane in the proper compartments. This problem also occurs when connecting flights are just a little too close together, or the first flight is late.

Bring a change of clothes with you in your carry-on bag. For international flights, you’ll already be into your second day wearing the same clothes. Don’t make it any longer. Pack some casual clothes that you can roll up neatly and fit in your carry on. You may not need them, but if you do, you’ll be glad you brought them.

Put your name and address inside each piece of luggage, and remember a distinct item in each one. If a bag does get lost, these measures will help the airline identify the bag as yours and get it to you quickly. Put both your home and destination addresses on a card taped to the inside of each item.

Lastly, keep your baggage receipts from check-in. These are usually in the form of a small sticker attached to the back of your ticket. Each sticker has a number corresponding to a piece of luggage. This will help the airline know exactly which piece is missing, and where it may have gone.

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