Avoid the headache of missing luggage
Lost luggage may not happen often, but when it does, it can throw a major wrench in your plans. Instead of enjoying your trip, you find yourself rushing to buy replacement items and spending hours on the phone with your airline. With a little preparation, you can avoid the headache of lost or delayed luggage. Here are a few steps you should take to prevent missing items.
1. Label your bags
This sounds like a no-brainer, but many people forget to buy sturdy luggage tags for their items. Doing this leaves your personal belongings at the mercy of a flimsy paper tag. Luggage handlers move hundreds of bags a shift, so they’re not exactly going to carry your suitcase with kid gloves. Don’t expect a paper tag to survive the flight. Get quality luggage tags made of metal, leather, or plastic. You might even consider placing an additional tag inside your suitcase as a backup.
2. Make it distinct
Some luggage is misplaced, not by the airlines, but by other passengers. If your simple, black suitcase looks similar to 20 other bags on the conveyer belt, you run the risk of another passenger taking off with yours by mistake. Pick luggage with a unique color or design. Mark plain luggage with a colorful bandana or bright strips of electric tape. It might not be the classiest method, but it will certainly be easy to identify!
3. Pay attention to stickers
Checking in for a flight to Detroit, I watched as the agent assisting me stepped away to help another agent. When she came back she was holding the sticker for another traveler’s luggage. She slapped a big FRA tag on my suitcase and started to move it to the conveyer belt. “Wait!! I’m not going to Frankfurt (unless you’re changing my ticket too…)!” Crisis averted, thanks to knowing my airport codes. One little sticker can make a big difference. If the airport is a little crazy or the desk agent seems stressed, pay attention to what happens at check-in.
4. Know what’s inside
If all else fails and your baggage is lost without a label, you may be able to retrieve it if you can properly identify what was inside. If you are not able to give a rough description of what’s inside, the airline may not give it to you. After a certain amount of time, unclaimed luggage ends up donated or maybe even sold.
5. Get insured
A good travel insurance product will help you cover the cost of new essentials during a baggage delay or replace your items if they are lost completely. Pay close attention to your policies’ restrictions on cost per item, especially when it comes to technology. There may also be diminishing reimbursements based on how long ago the item was purchased.
What if you do lose your luggage?
Know your rights and what your airline will do for you. Each airline has a different policy for lost or delayed luggage. If you need to purchase toiletries, clothing, or other personal items during a baggage loss or delay, be sure to save all of your receipts. You may need to give these to the airline or to your insurance provider if you file a claim.
Fly For Good has travel insurance policies to meet a variety of needs and trip lengths. Talk to one of our agents about travel insurance today!