Would the owner of a grey suitcase with four wheels please report to the baggage counter? Ok, so mine’s blue, but you get the idea. Luggage is very, very often alike and unfortunately, it very often goes missing or entirely lost. There are a quite a few savvy tips which can help the odds that your bag never gets lost or delayed, and a few things you can do even if it does…

Print Your Itinerary, Put It In Bag…

They may say their dog ate it, but sometimes tags don’t get put on properly, they get wet or they become illegible. When that happens, an investigation into where the hell the bag is supposed to go begins. If you leave a printed copy of your itinerary on top of your packing, in plain site if someone opens the bag, they’ll be able to pull up your confirmation number, as well as see what flight your bag should(ve) been on…

Put A Definitive Tag On, Take A Picture

Everyone wants to stand out. With luggage, I’d actually encourage it. Short of turning your luggage into a bold advertisement, putting a definitive tag on, uniquely identifying your bag is a great step in not only finding your bag, but retrieving it if it’s lost. Once your tag is in place, take a picture of your bag with your phone. In the event that it’s lost, you’ll be able to not just describe “medium, blue, some wear and tear”. You’ll show an exact make, your definitive tag that they should look for and documentation of the bag condition before it took a world tour.

Check In Early + Avoid Impossible Connections

Certain airline itineraries make absolutely no sense, where your connection takes off virtually the minute you land. If you have to rush to the gate, what do you think the chances that someone gets your bag out of a pile, onto a truck, onto another truck and onto your next flight? Yeah. Time is money, and no one wants to wait in an airport forever, but even if you don’t have a connection, checking in at a reasonable time, allowing the airline to get your bag on the plane, is essential. If you show up right at the cut off window, don’t be all that surprised if your bag doesn’t make it. 

GPS, Know Where Your Bag Is, Even If Airline Doesn’t!

If you’re a real pro or frequent traveler, you might want to invest in a GPS tracker, which can be placed in your bag. LugLoc for example, will provide you with an up to date GPS location of your bag. Even if the airline doesn’t seem to know where your bag is, you will. LugLoc runs $69.99, and compared to an entire wardrobe or a few extra days on vacation without luggage, it’s hard to argue with…

Remove All Those Tags. They’re not Concert Tickets… 

I know, I know, you’ve been to lots of cool places and you wear your old bag tags and elite status tags like badges of honor. I applaud you for traveling, but luggage handlers may shake their head when they don’t know which airline or flight your bag is actually destined for. Be sure to remove any excess tags or identifiers from previous flights, they’ll only complicate your precious luggage arriving with you. 

So What Do I Do If My Bag Still Gets Lost?

Time is the most valuable thing in pursuit of a lost bag. The minute it doesn’t show up, get into that airline office, even though you’d rather not, show them a picture of your bag, and get a written report. Sometimes the bag might be about to board the wrong flight to Kabul. If you get there in time, they may be able to pull it, and get it back on course, back to you in hours. Assuming your bag is not turning up in a timely fashion, make sure to see what the best the airline, or your credit card company whom you booked the tickets with can offer.  Many credit cards give you up to $500 per day in reasonable expenses, and airlines usually offer to help with reasonable needs, clothing, etc. Of course if you have one of these bags, you’ll know exactly where it is at all times and all of this is less of an issue…