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The How-To Lounge: Preventing Lost Luggage

Summer time is the busiest travel time of the year, which means more headaches for everyone. Having to deal with flight delays, over crowded airports and screaming children is bad enough as it is, but add lost luggage to the mix and your trip could turn out to be a total disaster. Here are some helpful tips to help prevent losing your checked luggage.

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  • If you can, pack lightly so you can carry your luggage on board with you
  • If you have to check your bags, being late is a major reason why your luggage may not make it to your final destination. Give yourself ample time before your flight takes off -- try to arrive at the airport at least an hour and a half before your flight
  • Be sure to have identity tags safely secured on the outside of your luggage, multiples won't hurt
  • Put a copy of your travel itinerary in your luggage just in case it is found and your tags fall off
  • Make sure to remove any old flight tags before arriving at the airport to avoid any confusion
  • Before you watch your bags disappear on the conveyor belt, make sure the tags have the right final destination
  • Be sure not to misplace your checked luggage receipts. If your bags do get misplaced, they are your only proof of ownership
  • If your bags ultimately don't make the flight, find a baggage agent asap and report your bags missing. Check and see if they came on an earlier flight or if they are scheduled to come on the next arriving flight from your origin. Make sure to talk to someone face to face, not over the phone
  • Leave your cell phone number or the name and contact information of your hotel with the airport luggage customer service agent so they can immediately contact you if your luggage is found
  • As a safety precaution, always pack a change of clothes, all your prescription medication, your toiletries and an extra copy of your itinerary in your carry on. Never pack money, other airlines tickets, or keys in your checked luggage

It is very easy to panic when you don't see your bags on the carousel, but don't get too excited as it sometimes takes a while for your bags to come out, especially if you were one of the first to check your luggage. A smart tip I learned was to tie a bright colored ribbon or shoelace to your suitcase so it is easily recognizable. Good luck and safe travels!


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