If you are taking a volunteer vacation, a family trip to Disneyland or a Mediterranean cruise, few things put a damper on events like lost luggage. Lost clothes, toiletries, medications and electronics can drastically impact plans and enjoyment. Aimee Robinson, writing for Express Newspapers shares some tips that will help your bags arrive at your destination at the same time you do.
Luggage: One simple passenger mistake makes lost luggage more likely - do you do this?
LUGGAGE going missing is a traveller’s worst nightmare, however, it seems there are some passenger mistakes that make this unfortunate scenario more likely. Are you guilty of doing this on your travels?
By AIMEE ROBINSON
Lost luggage is a nightmare for many travellers. While often this means passengers are left without their baggage for days at a time, causing chaos for holiday plans, a worst-case scenario can see their bags lost forever. It turns out that while airport and airline staff are sometimes at fault for this, there is also a chance that one simple mistake by passengers can be the reason their luggage goes missing.
The problem can arise long before passengers even get to the airport.
One travel expert revealed the small oversight, which they said is often why bags don’t make it onto the right aircraft.
On a post in Reddit, the expert explained: “Not a secret, just common sense; the reason some bags miss their flight or get misrouted is because passengers don't remove old tags.
“It confuses handlers as well as the conveyor belt scanners. I see it happen all the time.”
Bag tags are used by airline carriers to route luggage to its final destination.
A small tag is usually attached to the tag with a barcode and number, meanwhile, the passenger is given a stub with a matching barcode.
It is vital passenger’s keep this tag safe, it will come in extremely useful should the bag go missing.
Additionally, some airports still require the passenger to maintain their baggage tag stub as proof before being reunited with their luggage.
However, once a journey is completed it is advised customers strip their luggage of their used tag so as not to confuse future flights and risk losing their luggage for good.
While baggage handers are frequently told to double-check the dates on luggage tags, the fast-paced nature of the job means sometimes mistakes can be made.
In fact, the latest baggage report from SITA revealed that 22.7 million bags were lost or temporarily mislaid globally.
According to SITA, there are several common reasons why luggage goes missing such as ticketing errors, bag switches, airport or customs restrictions, failure to load the bag or security issues.
Luckily, a baggage handler also shared his top tips on how passengers can keep their luggage safe,
He said these tips are simply “common sense”.
In order to ensure your bags stay together, even if they aren’t with you, the airport worker suggests making sure all of your bags are the same.
He says: “Get the same bag, same colour same everything.
“If you're lucky they will stay together and come off the truck together, not only because the handlers will place them together because they look the same, but they stack better when they are the same size.”
The baggage handlers also went on to offer a word of warning when it comes to packing.
“If your bag is over 55lbs, it's gonna have a bad time.
“How annoyed do you get lifting your own bag into the back of the car, imagine having to do that 200 times, it gets frustrating and tiresome, and sometimes we just throw with very little care because they are too heavy to do carefully.”
Other handy hacks include ensuring you have a sturdy bag-complete with a re-enforced handle and strong exterior, and filling out the attached name card that comes with many suitcases.
Of course, there are some situations when lost luggage simply can’t be helped.
An expert from Staysure, a travel insurance provider, spoke to Express.co.uk to offer advice on what to do if passengers find themselves in this situation.
Julian Kearney, CEO of Staysure, says the best thing to do is “keep hold of any airline or any other ticket that confirms your travel arrangements”.
He added: “In most instances, luggage is reported missing whilst under the supervision of airlines and there is nothing that travellers can do to prevent their luggage going missing whilst in their care.
“In the unfortunate event of this happening, Staysure customers are advised to notify their airline straight away and register the loss by completing any necessary paperwork.
“This will be required in support of any claim made under their Staysure Travel Insurance Policy.”