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How to Prevent Lost Luggage

Updated on September 12, 2014

Do You Feel Lucky?

When you fly, do you check in your bags? Watch out: Once that bag leaves your side, anything could happen to it. For every 1,000 bags, the typical airline mishandles 6.

Sure, the odds don't sound too bad. But what if the dice doesn't roll in your favor one day? What do you do if the airline loses or damages your bag? More importantly, how do you prevent your bag from becoming a statistic?

I Know What I'm Talking About...

I've Seen it Happen Over and Over Again

I used to work for an airline as a baggage agent, which meant I had to handle reports on mishandled luggage all the time. Most of the passengers I dealt with were understandably upset, but easy to soothe. Others were practically foaming at the mouth because they had packed a wedding dress, medication, or something else of great value in their missing bag.

I have witnessed bags getting caught in the luggage carousel. Once or twice, I had no choice but to whip out a pair of scissors and cut a duffel bag loose.

I have seen bags drenched from the rain. I have seen bags covered in shampoo. I have seen bags with mangled wheels and missing handles.

Considering all the things that can happen, I'm frankly amazed that most checked bags return to their owners unscathed!

How Do Bags Get Lost Or Left Behind?

The baggage handling system is a complicated beast. Anything can go wrong! However, here are some common reasons why bags get damaged or delayed:

  • Tight Connections - You should give yourself at least an hour for both you and your bag to reach a connecting flight. Even then, things happen.
  • Bag Jams - Sometimes a bag will get stuck somewhere on a conveyor belt, causing a blockage.
  • Bag Switches - Someone doesn't pay attention and runs off with your bag by mistake.
  • Late Check-Ins - Because the bag was checked in late, the airline didn't have time to get it to the airplane.
  • Full Flight - If a lot of people are flying and everyone checks in one or two big bags, there may not be room for all of them.
  • Weight and Balance Issues - This is a complicated yet very important issue that sometimes leads to bags being left off the plane. This comes up a lot with smaller planes. Too much weight could mean that the plane burns too much fuel or is unable to take off safely.
  • Missing Tags - Sometimes the bag tag gets torn off when it goes through the conveyor belt system. Without the tag, airline employees can't determine where your bag needs to go.
  • Misread Tags - Baggage handlers who are distracted or in a hurry sometimes just plain misread a tag and load a bag onto the wrong plane.

Best Way to Protect Your Bags: Don't Check Them

Always carry-on your luggage whenever possible. That's the only way to guarantee that the airline won't mishandle your bag.

Be aware of the airline's carry-on restrictions: Most airlines allow one carry-on bag plus one personal item.

In general, you're allowed a bag that measures no more than 45" linear inches. That should be the number you get after you add up the bag's width, length, and height. 22 x 14 x 9 is standard.

Weight restrictions vary wildly. Most domestic airlines are generous, often letting you carry as much as 40 pounds worth of stuff. International airlines, however, can be quite stingy: Some international airlines demand carry-on bags to be so light, you couldn't get away with packing a laptop! Make sure you know the airline's weight restrictions ahead of time.

Rising Cost of Checked Luggage

Checked Baggage Fees Going Up!

Airlines are hurting from the rising cost of fuel, and they're passing on those costs to us, the passengers. Not only are the prices of tickets going up, baggage fees are on the rise. Bags add extra weight to the plane, which means they have to burn more fuel, which means it's gonna cost you.

It used to be airlines would at least allow you to check one bag for free, but that luxury has become a thing of the past. You can expect to be charged a minimum of $15 to $20 to check in a bag. Heaven help you if your bag is overweight or oversized, because checking it in could add an extra hundred dollars (or more) to your fare.

And no, they probably won't reimburse you if they manage to lose or damage your bag. This is yet another reason to avoid checking in bags. Or a good reason to mail stuff to your destination in advance.

Supporting Links:

Forward Your Bag

If you can afford it, you could always use a luggage forwarding service to have your bag picked up and delivered to your destination. It will likely cost more than $100, but it could be worth it depending on your circumstances. It's worth looking into if you're traveling with a large musical instrument.

Do an online search for "luggage delivery," and you'll find companies that specialize in this.

But if You Must Check a Bag...

If you decide to check a bag, there are some things you can do to protect it.

First, always put your contact information in your bag. Print out a copy of your itinerary and lay it on top of your clothes. Have your phone number and address on both the inside and outside of your bag. Better yet, include information about where you'll be staying. That way if the bag is ever misplaced, the airline has an easier time reuniting you with it.

Check in early for your flight. If you check in late, the airline may not be able to load the bag onto the plane in time.

Remove old airline tags. Otherwise your bag could get loaded on the wrong flight.

Give yourself at least an hour to reach connecting flights. Better yet, try to avoid connecting flights if possible. Connections create more opportunities for something to go wrong.

What Happens to Your Bag After You Check It?

Watch Toy Story 2 for an Educational Experience!

If you'd like to see what happens to checked bags, watch the airport scene in Toy Story 2. Not everything is accurate, but certain scenes ring true. You can tell that those guys at Pixar did their homework.

Watch when Buzz, Woody, and the gang suddenly enter a world full of conveyor belts. It's a highway system for bags! It's an amazing system that determines where each bag has to go, just by scanning the bar code on each bag tag. (The bag tags are missing in Toy Story 2.)

Once the bag reaches the end of its conveyor belt journey, it's loaded onto a cart with a bunch of other bags. Then the bags are taken to the airplane.

In the Toy Story movie, watch how the baggage handlers load the bags onto the plane. Or if you prefer, listen for the sound of breaking glass!

Now, the lickety-split departure of the plane... THAT would never happen in real life.

Why are Baggage Handlers so Rough on the Bags?

Some people are appalled by the sight of a baggage handler slamming bag after bag onto a conveyor belt. Abuse, abuse! How dare they!

The thing is, that's how they're supposed to handle the bags. Loading and unloading bags is something that must be done quickly. The baggage handlers might strike you as being rough on the bags, but they have to work fast and follow proper lifting techniques to protect their backs.

A lot of those bags are heavy, sometimes more than 50 lbs. If the baggage handlers were to gently lift each bag and carefully rest it on the conveyor belt, the plane would not be able to depart on schedule. They would also increase their risk of back injury.

Don't Pack Medication or Valuables in Your Checked Bag

Don't ever, ever, EVER pack medication in any bag you plan to check in!!!

This one still surprises me, and it always leaves me shaking my head. You are gambling with your life when you pack medication into your checked luggage. Anything could happen to that bag.

For that matter, don't pack any other valuables in your bag such as money, passports, important documents, jewelry, house keys, etc.

In other words, don't pack anything in your checked luggage that you can't afford to lose.

Pack Extra Clothes and Essentials in Your Carry-On Bag

If you'd rather avoid the possibility of having to wear the same pair of underwear for a few days, you'd be wise to pack extra clothes in your carry-on luggage. Just in case. Your carry-on luggage is also a good place for your toothbrush and other essentials.

This is especially important if you're traveling to a foreign country or going on a cruise ship, where you may not be able to purchase all the extras you need.

What About Toiletries?

Thanks to a lovely terrorist plot involving British sports drinks and explosive gels that was uncovered in August of 2006, the rest of us have to comply with strict carry-on rules when it comes to toiletries.

The infamous 3-1-1 rule: Each passenger is entitled to a clear 1-quart zip lock bag, which will contain 3 ounce bottles of liquids. That's all you can put in your carry-on bag.

But what if that isn't enough? You have a few options:

  • Buy your necessities once you reach your destination: Unfortunately a wasteful option, since you won't be able to take it back with you in your carry-on bag.
  • Stay in hotels that provide shampoo: Granted, hotels won't provide everything you need, but at least that can free up a little room in your zip lock bag for other stuff. I also like reusing the hotel bottles.
  • Buy non-liquid products: Indeed, some companies such as Lush are manufacturing toiletries in bar and powder form. That includes toothpaste and shampoo. There are even sunscreens and bug repellants in towelette form.

311 Travel Bag: An Alternative to the Zip Lock Bag

Many travelers hate using those flimsy little zip lock bags for their toiletries, and rightly so. You can't fit much in there and they pop open easily. That's why one woman came up with the 311 Travel Bag.

Apparently this clear plastic bag is TSA approved, so they shouldn't hassle you about it. (Key word is shouldn't; I wouldn't guarantee it, knowing how inconsistent TSA employees can be.) It looks better, holds more, and comes with refillable spill-proof pumps.

The 311 Travel Bag costs about $30. If you do a lot of traveling and the dinky little zip lock bags just aren't cutting it, this might be worth looking into.

Skyway Luggage

As far as luggage brands go, Skyway has a good reputation. A Skyway bag may not be the most fashionable thing on the block, but it will be durable, functional, and often lightweight. They also conform to most airlines' baggage size restrictions. Those are the qualities you want most in a travel bag.

Don't Pack Fragile Items in Checked Luggage

Pack all your fragile items in your carry-on bag. This is the safest place for them.

Because of all the things that checked baggage can go through, airlines won't take responsibility for anything that happens to fragile items. If you check in something that's fragile, most airlines will make you sign a form that limits their liability.

If you're traveling with a large musical instrument, you can do what some musicians do when they fly: Buy an extra seat for it.

Travel with a Unique Bag

Bag switches are more common than you might think. In my experience, bags are rarely stolen; most people just get mixed up and grab a bag that looks like theirs.

That's not surprising. Most travelers are in a hurry, and most bags look the same. Black, black, black!

To prevent this from happening, travel with an unusual bag. Not too many people are going to be carrying around a mustard-yellow suitcase.

If you already have a generic black bag, dress it up with something unique. Tie some ribbons around the handle, or attach a colorful pompom.

Bonus: If the airline misplaces the bag, they will have an easy time finding and identifying it!

Don't Travel with Expensive Designer Bags

There are two reasons why you shouldn't check in a Gucci or Louis Vuitton bag: 1) It could get damaged; 2) It's an invitation for thieves.

Checked bags get a lot of abuse. Remember the commercial of a gorilla tearing up some bags? That's not too far from reality. Bags are tossed onto conveyor belts, left out in the rain, and buried underneath other bags. That's the way it goes. Unfortunately, no airline employee has the time to baby anyone's bag.

If the bag gets a little scuffed up, the airline is not going to do anything about it. As far as the airline is concerned, the bag serves but one purpose: To protect the stuff inside. That the bag got a little scratched proves that it did its job well!

The only way you can hope that the airline will repair/replace your bag is if it is crushed, mangled, or otherwise rendered useless as a bag.

By the way, most airlines don't cover wheel damage.

Don't Overpack Your Bag

A heavy bag that's bulging at the seams is more likely to get damaged. Overstuffed bags put more stress on the seams, zippers, and handles. A super heavy bag is asking for a broken handle, a rip, or a popped seam.

Something else to remember: If the airline determines that your bag was damaged due to overpacking, they definitely won't replace it or pay for any repairs.

Don't Lock Your Checked Bag

Or Only Use TSA Approved Locks

TSA does not want anyone locking their bags. They want to be able to search your bag easily.

In fact, if TSA even sees a lock, they might cut it off EVEN IF YOUR BAG ISN'T ACTUALLY LOCKED. I once had a lock attached to my bag, but the bag was not actually locked, and TSA destroyed the lock anyway.

If you want to lock your bag, you can buy a TSA lock instead. This is a lock that TSA will be able to unlock themselves if they feel the need to search your bag. However, this is no guarantee that TSA won't make a mistake and cut the lock anyway. Yes, I'm afraid this has actually happened.

Lens of the Day!

This lens received the honor of being Lens of the Day on December 20, 2007. It was a great day. Special thanks to everyone who rated this lens and left great comments!

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    • profile image

      JakeAnderson 5 years ago

      Very helpful lens!

    • profile image

      BrightDaysAhead 5 years ago

      This is a wealth of great information. Thank you!

    • Jillynn profile image

      Jillynn 5 years ago

      Very nice and informative lens. Thanks!

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 5 years ago

      Great advice. My favorite suitcase is olive green and very ugly. No one would take it by accident (or on purpose, probably).

    • profile image

      Didge 5 years ago

      I seriously loved this particular lens. Also, brilliantly presented Victoria_Neely.

    • tcorbs profile image

      tcorbs 5 years ago

      I think a good plan when you travel your best bet! That goes for luggage as well as as planning ahead for the trip. See travel tips for Australia vacations.

    • profile image

      TravelingRae 6 years ago

      Having a different-coloured set of luggage is one of the most helpful tips. Ever since I bought my plum-coloured set, I have never had a hard time spotting my luggage on the belt the odd time I check it.

    • profile image

      irenemot 6 years ago

      Great lens! We will promote this lens shortly on our website [url=http://www.goedkopevliegtuigtickets.be]Goedkope Vluchten[/url] . We have a lot of travellers losing their luggage so this will certainly be helpful

      Thx!

    • profile image

      rentngo 6 years ago

      useful lens :) thank you!

    • edgesavvycoaching profile image

      edgesavvycoaching 6 years ago

      great lens, nice job! see more tips on www.squidoo.com/airtravelguide

    • MaxwellScott LM profile image

      MaxwellScott LM 6 years ago

      Really good lens advising people on how to avoid losing luggage. Great job!

    • cloudiosify profile image

      cloudiosify 6 years ago

      Nice tips. I am interested with using a unique bag. got to find one these days

    • profile image

      jjcashnametags 6 years ago

      Wow this is a great list, I wrote an article about how important it is to protect your luggage when you go abroad and how you can do this with Luggage Straps

    • rt8ca profile image

      rt8ca 6 years ago

      Great lens!

      Will definitely use your lens as a link when writing similar articles on my travel website.

      Please have a look at my website when you get a chance.

      The 'lost luggage' video was great!

      Thanks again!

      holidaysforfamily

    • Nightowl John profile image

      Nightowl John 6 years ago

      I've come back to bring Squid Angel blessings.

    • Nightowl John profile image

      Nightowl John 6 years ago

      Great and helpful lens. I'm lensrolling it to my Unique Luggage lens.

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      Great article. Lots of information and tips.

    • profile image

      CharlesT 7 years ago

      Really useful post - I lost my Lightweight Luggageand this provided me with some great tips.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Awesome Lens!! This is an Extremely Useful Squidoo Lens, this is Lens that I have to bookmark!

      Thanks for sharing!

    • ArdenBaird LM profile image

      ArdenBaird LM 7 years ago

      Great lens. I don't fly all that often and I've never checked a bag. I guess I've heard too many horror stories andI like knowing where my stuff is at all times. ;P The thought of someone going through my stuff when I'm not there freaks me out. Having my bag search when I'm am there isn't fun either. I had my bag checked on my way home from a Star Trek Convention in Vegas but that's another story...

    • profile image

      seegreen 7 years ago

      My husband had someone take his bag by mistake. Then, when the guy found out he had the wrong bag he wouldn't bring it to us or even meet us halfway. He said it was too far and so we had to come and get it. It was a two hour drive away and we weren't impressed. Great lens, blessed by an Angel.

    • unstucktheory profile image

      unstucktheory 7 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for all the tips. I've heard before that taking a carry-on only simplifies things. I guess it's a good way to force yourself to pack light too :)

    • profile image

      mef1881 7 years ago

      great lens - top info. I have a travel lens as well get cheap travel prices

    • profile image

      souvenircollector 8 years ago

      After reading your lens I was inspired to find some high quality luggage tags on the internet. I just got some excellent ones that say "My Bag" from a nice website called souvenirandgiftshop.com. Really stylish and heavy duty. Here is the link: http://shop.1asecure.com/index.cfm?DeptNo=5&am...

    • NAIZA LM profile image

      NAIZA LM 8 years ago

      Terrific lens and tips in traveling. I enjoyed reading it. Congratulations on your purple star as well. Very well deserve.

    • profile image

      Nluggage 8 years ago

      excellent lens with very useful tips and really good 5 stars

    • profile image

      amandaryan 8 years ago

      Travel light and always bring an additional bagpack--that's my policy. This is a great lens with very practical information. Bravo!

      I have my own tips on how to fly coach in comfort at http://www.squidoo.com/fly-coach-in-comfort

      God knows with today's economy most of can can't afford business class...or lost luggages.

    • VictoriaNeely1 profile image
      Author

      VictoriaNeely1 8 years ago

      [in reply to utsire] I suggest this from the point of view of a former airline employee who had to deal with anonymous bags that had their tags ripped off by machinery. Having no identification at all made it hard if not impossible to reunite anonymous bags with their owners.

    • profile image

      utsire 8 years ago

      "Print out a copy of your itinerary and lay it on top of your clothes." - That made me laugh. I thought it was just me that was so obsessive!

      Excellent lens. Clearly well-researched and thoughtfully laid-out.

    • profile image

      thewishpearl 8 years ago

      As a current airline employee, reading this lens brought a smile to my face. I totally agree with the advice of not checking in any bags and have trained my family accordingly.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      as a budding lensmaster, this lens has sown me what a great lens should be like.

      Awesome :)

    • profile image

      bluezamboo 9 years ago

      Some very valuable tips and information. Thanks for sharing with it the traveling community.

    • TopStyleTravel profile image

      TopStyleTravel 9 years ago

      This is a very informative lens for anyone comtemplating travel. Congrats on the top 100! See my lens on paid travel.

    • PleasantValley LM profile image

      PleasantValley LM 9 years ago

      Nice work! Can you create a lens on how to pack efficiently for vacations?

    • estherjane13 lm profile image

      estherjane13 lm 9 years ago

      Fantastic lense - I just wish I'd read it before my surfboard got lost on the way to New Zealand!!

    • profile image

      crosland 9 years ago

      Travelling can be a stressful experience at the best of times. It doesn't matter if you're flying to Barbados, you still have to get through security, put your toiletries into irritating 100ml

      plastic bags and sit for ages in the departure lounge as your flight gets delayed again and again. You think it's over at the other side? Maybe for some, but not if you're one of the 42 MILLION people who have their luggage lost ever year (helllooo Terminal 5).

      All the baggage handlers have to identify your bag is that silly little sticker they put on it, which can easily fall off/tear/disintegrate. And whilst your stuff is really valuable to you, who else would cherish those comfy but cracked heels in size 7? The Trace Me luggage tag is a durable plastic card with a serial number printed on it. There is a bar code which links to your personal details on a secure website, so you don't need to compromise your security by writing your name on your bags.

      £12.50 from

      Trace Me Luggage Tracker

    • TopStyleTravel profile image

      TopStyleTravel 9 years ago

      Very well done lens with useful info for travelers. Congrats on the Top 100!

    • Curious100 LM profile image

      Curious100 LM 9 years ago

      Right on the money! I lost my bags on a trip to Australia, and as a result bought an entire new travel wardrobe (ugh, not the plan). This lens summarizes everything I've come to know and more, when it comes to not losing luggage. As a former frequent traveler, I'm most impressed! Great, great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Wow. After reading this I'll have to quit traveling. ;-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Excellent info ! Thanks a lot ! The info you shared with us will really help me soon when i leave the country .

      Thanks,

      Iulian

      Watch Lost Online

    • profile image

      DazzlingDesigns 9 years ago

      Really great tips, especially the Forward Your Bag tip. I never knew that. I travel to and from several shows a year and you have definitely given me real good info. Please feel free to stop by my Handmade Beaded Jewelry Lens.

      Thanks,

      Donia

      Handmade Beaded Jewelry Gallery

    • profile image

      billyannecrews 9 years ago

      I love your site! I just wanted to add...the way I avoid lost luggage is....I only carry a carry on. If what pack can't fit in a small compact suitcase then I don't need it. Also, I travel with a guitar a lot and many airlines will not count it as a carry on. There are sometime when it doesn't fit in the compartment above, so I have to check it! So far so good!

      Billy Anne Crews

      www.traverusrocks.com

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 9 years ago from USA

      Wonderful information here. I'll be stopping back to re-read before I get on an airplane again!

    • profile image

      thomasz 9 years ago

      Wow really great lens. Come visit my lenses.

    • profile image

      AEAdviser 9 years ago

      Victoria, nice lens, 5*'s. If everyone who travels would use your tips, things would go much better. Drop by Party Time!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      excellent and practical luggage tips! for more travel ideas, tips, and firsthand info-.. wait.. check out my lens for more info on catchquest.com - our new travel blog travel planning service website, coming online on march 1!! (i just started on squidoo yesterday and im here to get awareness and word out about the wonders of travelling to the Philippines)

      hope to see you there! Mabuhay! :)

    • NorDac LM profile image

      NorDac LM 9 years ago

      Great lens, I plan on saving this to reread before the next trip I take.

    • Retired-Cop profile image

      Retired-Cop 9 years ago

      There is a lot of Good Information here. I usually check my bags and I have only had one occasion that I had to wait 30 minutes on a bag. The Airlines gave me a discount on my next flight. Having contact information inside your bag is great advice.

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 9 years ago

      I am just about to pack for a trip and this lens was an excellent resource. Thank you for all your work!

    • profile image

      Petee 9 years ago

      Great lens. Anyone who has done any amount of air travel has probably had to deal with the frustration of lost luggage and it is not fun.

      Airline Tickets - How To Book Cheap Airline Tickets

    • profile image

      JP_Diablogue 9 years ago

      My husband's luggage was recently lost on a business trip. He was told again and again-throughout the night-that the bags would be delivered to his hotel. It didn't happen. Your outstanding lens, combined with his unfortunate experience, has forever changed the way we travel and pack! :) *****

    • profile image

      MuddyLaBoue 9 years ago

      This is a really great lens. I've just added a link to it on my travel lens, Travel Tips: Focus on France.

    • profile image

      bengylsen 9 years ago

      Hi victoria_neely.Thank you for a great lens!Really informative. I’ve just finished my Colon Cleanselens.Be great if you’d stop by to give it a rating. Appreciate it. Where “Colon Cleanse” interchange with “Detox” and “Constipation”

    • profile image

      bengylsen 9 years ago

      Hi victoria_neely .Thank you for a great lens!Really informative. I’ve just finished my Colon Cleanselens.Be great if you’d stop by to give it a rating. Appreciate it. Where “Colon Cleanse” interchange with “Detox” and “Constipation”

    • profile image

      desertpinnacle 9 years ago

      Thanks for the tips. I'm adding your lens to my favorites before vacation time.

    • VictoriaNeely1 profile image
      Author

      VictoriaNeely1 9 years ago

      Yeah, and the liquids absolutely have to be in a 1-quart zip lock bag. I've heard at least one account where a TSA agent got huffy because someone had a clear plastic bag that was SMALLER than the usual 1-quart bags. "1 quart bags only!" Sigh.

    • AMK LM profile image

      AMK LM 9 years ago

      For what its worth: If it goes on as hand luggage make sure things are in clear bags especially liquids. I made that mistake on the way out. I put everything in checkin luggage and avoided that problem totally. I also put fluorescent stickers on for easy identification

    • VictoriaNeely1 profile image
      Author

      VictoriaNeely1 9 years ago

      Hi emlegaspi-- TSA stands for Transportation Security Administration. They herd you through scanners and make sure you're not hiding bombs in your pockets.

      I'm flattered that you'd want to reprint the article. If you do copy any portion of this article, please include a link back to the original. :)

    • profile image

      emlegaspi 9 years ago

      That was as absolute treat! Thanks for sharing your expertise with us, Victoria.

      One stupid question from me though: what does TSA mean?

      Thanks again for that very infromative article.

      p.s. Can I reprint your article in our blog?

    • VictoriaNeely1 profile image
      Author

      VictoriaNeely1 9 years ago

      The new carry-on restrictions are a major inconvenience, I agree, plus overkill in my opinion. Fortunately I'm able to fit all my toiletries into a 1 quart bag by reusing little shampoo bottles from hotels, but I understand it's not feasible for everyone.

    • profile image

      babettewood 9 years ago

      Once I packed my camera in my checked bag, and it was stolen while in transit to Brazil. Because it was an international flight, the airline covered the cost. My husband checked a small bag once, and it arrived smelling of urine. They let him take another bag from unclaimed ones in the back room.

    • daoine lm profile image

      daoine lm 9 years ago

      Unfortunately, with the new travel restrictions that allow only a tiny zip-bag of 100ml liquids in your carry-on luggage, it is now impossible legally to take all your luggage as carry-on (unless you buy all your toiletries at your destination). Medication requires doctor's certificate, too.

    • profile image

      DarleneTooley 9 years ago

      Great work wonderful information

      Thank You

      http://hotshorturl.com/mn87

    • profile image

      REDorsey 9 years ago

      We deliver lost luggage when the airlines finally receive it, AFTER you have filed your claim check. PLEASE PLEASE put all of your phone numbers (cell, etc) on your tag and maybe even the # at your destination. You would be amazed at how once we have the bag, it is still hard to deliver it!

    • profile image

      GrunbergHaus 9 years ago

      I thought this was so good, I wrote about it today in my Vermont Travel Notes blog (www.grunberghaus.com/blog). Thanks very much for taking the time to publish something so helpful. Anyone who travels by air needs to see this article.

    • profile image

      freeoutdoors 9 years ago

      Earlier this year and airline lost one of 2 bags during a connection at JFK, but found it a month later in Barbados. While sending it back to me, a genius handler in Paris thought that the file number CBTAB55682 was the routing code and sent it to CBT, a military air force base in Angola.

    • RealMom LM profile image

      RealMom LM 9 years ago

      Our luggage was lost in Hawaii and we had to go to a Luau in turtlenecks!

    • profile image

      MrLewisSmile LM 9 years ago

      I got the email from Squidoo about this Lens of the Day on my BlackBerry on the way to the airport! Agh! No time to read the lens! I'm home safely now though, with my bag in one piece :)

    • TomKane1 profile image

      TomKane1 9 years ago

      Great Lens! Great Job!

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 9 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Congrats on LOTD. I prefer hard suitcases. I shop for old pieces at thrift stores. I just got a lovely light blue piece of Samsonite! You can certainly spot it coming off the belt! And no one else would dare to take it; it's too ugly! :-)

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 9 years ago from Arkansas USA

      We've had luggage lost, but never permanently, and certainly we try to follow your great advice. God bless the luggage handlers - not an easy job, I'm sure. Excellent lens!

    • VictoriaNeely1 profile image
      Author

      VictoriaNeely1 9 years ago

      Wow, thanks for all the comments everyone! :)

      Chrisshouse: Yup, I remember the forwarding messages. Air Canada wasn't consistent about sending them, unfortunately, and I left in mid-2006. Maybe Continental has more ducks in a row when it comes to baggage.

    • profile image

      Recoup 9 years ago

      Great lens very informative. Unfortunately I had to learn my lesson the hard way I forgot and packed my meds in my checked luggage.I finally received my luggage three days later. I'll never do that again.

    • profile image

      chrisshouse 9 years ago

      I work as a baggage service agent right now in Las.Things are getting better and we know before if the bag is not going to make it,we get a forward message and what flight it is scanned on.Something else we have had a lot of theft in Las Continental is quick to get the bags up Get your bag

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 9 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Great lens! I've traveled throughout the U.S. and Asia (even worked for an airline for a while!)--this lens is spot on! Check out my lenses on Guam, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Montana...and, of course, my critter pages! (no crocodile luggage, though!) {^_^)

    • AnitaHampl LM profile image

      AnitaHampl LM 9 years ago

      Thanks for this timely info, Victoria! What a hard pill to swallow: "the bag serves but one purpose: To protect the stuff inside...". Having had bent and chipped corners on many a pretty (and pretty expensive) bag over the years, hearing you say that makes it a little easier to accept.

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      Dennis Hester The-Product-Hunter 9 years ago

      Excellent job. Creative and well designed lens with great information that can help even the seasoned traveler.

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      debsgreatfinds 9 years ago

      Great lens and this tip I did not think about thanks (always put your contact information in your bag).

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      AquaNovaDesigns 9 years ago

      This is a great lens! I'm going to forward it to my travel agent to share with her clients. Nice job!

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      AudioMan 9 years ago

      Very good info! I hope the airline companies put an link to your lens...

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      RAHarnisch 9 years ago

      Before you check that bag, whip out your cellphone or camera and snap a few pictures of it. Get the brand name. Close-up on the tag. Get a shot of the front and back. If, despite following all the great tips on this lens, your bag is lost, you'll have a GREAT description for the baggage agent!

    • Wayne Long profile image

      Wayne Long 9 years ago

      Timely Squid! Great job here.

    • thesuccess2 profile image

      thesuccess2 9 years ago

      There is something desperately lonely about that luggage from previous planes which keeps going round and round the carousel!

    • Retro Loco profile image

      Vicki 9 years ago from USA

      Great information! I learned a lot here! I am a horrible packer & traveler, so this lens is going to be a big help...thanks! Congrats on LOTD!! Hope you'll take a peek at Retro Christmas.

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      danial_ieman 9 years ago

      Your lens will be much appreciated by airline travellers.Great resources!Sure to use your guide on my next airline trip!

      Danial

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      chloecavanaugh 9 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD!!!!

      *****

      Chloe

    • Christene-S profile image

      Christene-S 9 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel

    • ChristopherScot1 profile image

      ChristopherScot1 9 years ago

      Great lens on a much needed subject!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      I've been lucky so far, even when I got married in Italy and had to check my wedding dress. Great lens with practical info!

    • Janet2221 profile image

      Janet2221 9 years ago

      This is such a terrific resource. Well done! :)

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      ShortSaleRealtor 9 years ago

      good job, I have not had this happen yet, knock on wood.

    • teamlane profile image

      teamlane 9 years ago

      Nicely done and very informative! Keep up the good work! :o)

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      thepictureworks 9 years ago

      Love the lens!

    • MeganCasey profile image

      MeganCasey 9 years ago

      WHAT a lens. Useful, helpful, focused and well written. Thanks so much for sharing your expertise.

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      Great job on your Lens and thank you for joining Travelmania my group. I have lens rolled you to my lens.