Blue Planet Security Corporation
Travel Tips 02 - Lost Luggage Solutions and Tips

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01/18/2015 Article by Dan F. Schramm

If you are like most people, you won't give much thought to luggage tags before your trip and will scribble your name and address on the paper tags the airlines provide at the checkin counter.

Big mistake. These cheap paper tags easily get damaged, destroyed and ripped off your luggage. That cheap paper tag can easily ruin your trip.

The number one way to keep your luggage from being lost is a good luggage tag on each piece of checked AND carry-on luggage, plus tags inside your bags should the outside one get removed in some manner.

However, if you didn't do that, or if your best efforts were defeated, here are some tips on getting your lost luggage back. Most lost luggage is found by the airline and returned to the customer, sooner or later. If you get it back in time at your destination to use on your trip is another matter.

Even though airlines return much of the lost luggage, thousands of bags are never reunited with their owners and end up in auctions at airports and are also sold directly to businesses that do nothing but buy and sell lost luggage.

There are the standard recommendations. Pack only what you really need to keep down the number of checked bags. Pack as much as possible into carry-ons, without going over the weight limit. Make sure your carry-on will fit in the test box that is at the ramp before you get there. When you purchase a carry-on, look at the labeling/instructions carefully to make certain it is certified to qualify as a carry-on bag.

My personal approach is also to wear a fanny pack, and I attach additional pockets/bags to it, such as for a small digital camera, music player, etc. I carry my camcorder case, which is small with a strap over my shoulder and the bag under my arm. Never had a problem, with one exception. In Miami (2004) after returning from Instanbul, as I sent all my stuff through the x-ray machine in customs, the camera was delayed in the x-ray tunnel and I didn't pick it up. I also had a good cd-player attached to the bag and all my video tapes were in the camera case. That brings me to another suggestion, which is, if you have multiple pieces of video or camera media after a trip, split it up and put it into different bags. I left the customs area and then realized my big mistake. Trying to get back into customs these days might get you arrested, or something. It was a big problem, and by the time I got escorted back in, my camera/cd cases were gone.

I had an early version of the Secure Bag-Tag sold by BluePlanetSecurity.com. It did not have the RFID or the metal grommet. It was secured with a cable tie rather than a stainless steel cable. It was a good thing I did. A week later, airport security called me and said they had my camera and CD player. They also told me that if I did not have that tag attached, I would never have gotten my stuff back. The next day I took Greyhound from Key West to the Miami airport, got my stuff and took the next bus back. For the price, it was better than driving through the Florida Keys. I really wish we still had Flagler's train, but a hurriance destroyed that long ago.

Most luggage is black and pieces can be easily confused. Some people put colorful tags on their bags or stickers. That makes your bags easily to spot, but does nothing for security purposes. If you are buying new luggage, experts recommend purchasing luggage in bright colors. Besides you spotting your bags easier, it will also help to prevent others from picking up your bags by mistake.

Women lost her luggage Some suggestions are simple common sense. Get to the airport and check your baggage in plenty of time. Give the airline enough time to get your bags on the plane. If you get there late, your bags might not make it. I have seen this happen many times. They are put on the next flight to the destination, which might be a few hours or even the next day. I have been on any number of flights that were only a few times a week, so you'd be waiting a couple of days.

Secondly, along the same line, if you have to change flights, your luggage also has to change flights. It is best, though you don't have much control over it, if you have a reasonable amount of time between flights so both you and your luggage can get to the connecting flight. On the other hand, you probably don't want really long delays. I had a 17 hour layover in Istanbul and my boss wanted me to just wait in the terminal. Yea right. I reserved the nearest hotel (SAS) and hired a guide in advance, so put those hours to good use.

When you check your bags, take a moment and make sure your tags are on the bags. Then check the tags placed on your bags by the airline at checkin to make certain they have your correct destination on them. Lock your luggage. Be certain to use a TSA approved lock. If the TSA can't open your lock, they will cut it off. You can be sure that they will then search your bag. Chances are your bag is not going to make your fight, especially if you check-in at the last minute. The TSA likes to open bags checked at the last minute because they think you might be trying to get over on them and they pay special attention to those bags. You can be sure, it will not make your flight. And then it is probably not going to make it to any of your connections either.

One other suggestion, though not about baggage. If you have a multi-leg international trip, you should make sure each way is all on one contract. The travel agent I used did the international part and the domestic part of the trip as separate contracts. When my Turkish Air flight from Istanbul was 2.5 hours late getting into JFK, Turkish Air didn't have to do anything for me. Just about everyone else on the flight was bused to a hotel, got free meals, got a free future flight, and other perks. Me, I was on my own. If you buy online or with a travel agent, keep this in mind for your international trips.

The single most important thing to stop lost luggage and to get lost luggage back promptly is to have a good luggage tag and also to have an inside tag with contact information.

The one luggage tag system you can purchase that solves all of these problems is available at www.securebag-tag.com. Secure Bag-Tags are the most secure luggage tags there are, in either the retail version or our custom version manufactured just for you.

More Travel Tips

What NOT to put on your luggage.


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