How do you keep your checked bags safe and make sure they show up when and where you do? Here are the top checked bag tips every traveler should know.24 December 2021
According to a 2019 report by Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques, or SITA, over 4 billion travelers every year check their bags. Out of that 4 billion, over 28 million bags are mishandled every year.
According to a 2017 study made by the Association of European airlines, 85% of lost luggage is found and delivered within two days, but the delay has been increasing.
Now, it’s closer to 36 hours (on average) before the airline locates your bag. Not so bad if you’re home, but it’s a long time to go without your things when you’re traveling.
Of course, the number one foolproof way to keep the airline from losing your bag is to carry it onboard. When a traveler prefers to check their bags, for whatever reason, implementing these tips and tricks can help ensure you have the items you need when you arrive.
If you start with one carrier and switch to another before you arrive at your destination, it increases the chances of your bag being lost in between.
Try to book your flights with one airline from departure to arrival at your destination. This way, there is less chance that you’ll have to work with multiple carriers if your bag is lost or delayed.
This trick applies whether you’re traveling solo or with a partner.
If your bag is delayed or lost, it’s hard to function with just the clothes you wore on the plane.
That way, at least you’ll be comfortable while you sort out the luggage problem.
Next time you’re at the baggage carousel, notice how many plain black suitcases there are. Sure, some of them will have colored ribbons on them, but ribbons can be torn off as the bag navigates its way along conveyor belts and gets tossed into the belly of the plane.
How distinctive should it be? That’s up to you, but consider this – the odds of a bag that’s recognizable being stolen are far less than a typical black bag.
Hacks for making your luggage distinctive:
Pro tip: identify your bag inside and outside. Do this for your carry-on too just in case you’re forced to check it at the gate.
If your bag is lost, having a photo of the scuff mark that runs along the side will help you identify it on the lost bag form.
Immediately after you check your bag, snap a photo of the checked bag receipt. That’s the little sticker that you’re meant to keep until you’re reunited with your bag.
Loads of travelers lose these or toss them right away, but if you need to file a claim for a lost bag, you’ll need it.
If your bag doesn’t appear with the others on your plane, here’s what to do:
In the US, around 87% of travelers don’t file a claim when their bags fail to show up. Kinda crazy when you consider the fact that there is compensation from the airlines (although it will take time to get it) for lost luggage.
The amount depends on the itinerary:
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Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.