Travel is back and better than ever. However, due to the huge hike in numbers of people flying combined with a massive employment shortage in the aviation industry we have started to see lots of delayed flights, cancellations, and unfortunately a large amount of bags going missing.
Australian airline giant Qantas and their budget carrier Jetstar have admittedly reported that due to suffering from extremely low employment rates one in ten bags is not making it to Sydney’s domestic airport. Yikes.
Don’t let that unlucky traveller be you with our top luggage travel tips for avoiding lost luggage.
1. Only take carry on
The easiest and most self-explanatory way to not lose your luggage? Just don’t check any in.
We suggest if you’re only going somewhere for a few days to simply just bring carry-on luggage and avoid the uncertainty of not getting your bags on the other side. It also means you can get out of the airport a lot faster not having to cue up at the baggage claim terminal.
2. Make your bag stand out
A super easy way to keep track of your luggage is to make your bag stand out as much as possible.
Having a colourful bag means it not only stands out when trying to collect it at the baggage terminal but also is easily describable to airport staff if it does go missing. However, we understand that luggage can be expensive, so a great alternative to make sure your bag still stands out from the crowd is to add a bright luggage strap. They’re super cute and inexpensive so it’s a win-win.
3. Apple Air Tags
Apple Air Tags could be the answer to all of our luggage problems and is a must on our list of luggage travel tips.
If you’re flying internationally with multiple layovers we could not recommend these trusty guys more. At just $45, Air Tags ensure that you will be able to track the whereabouts of your luggage from anywhere in the world. They use Bluetooth technology to emit a signal that is picked up by nearby users and then transfers in a message to your phone. If you’re planning a big trip in the near future, investing in one of these 20c-sized, customisable miracles would definitely be worth it.
4. Choose your airline carefully
Seems like a no-brainer, but that little bit of extra effort to research the airline you’re flying with could make all the difference.
Making sure that they are a reputable company with decent policies in place for lost luggage is a must. An easy way to navigate which airlines are best to fly with at the moment is to do some research and find out which companies have the highest rates of lost luggage, or asking around to friends and family for their experience on flights.
Stray away from budget airlines like Jetstar, TigerAir, RyanAir, Vueling Airlines, EasyJet, JetBlue, or Spirit Airlines. These airlines, whilst super cheap, tend to have higher rates of lost luggage. Googling luggage limits is also important as British airways have a massive carry-on limit of 23kg whilst airlines like American and Delta have 0.
5. Never leave old travel stickers on your luggage
We know the aesthetic of having your suitcase covered in stickers from the different places you’ve been might look cool and hold plenty of memories, but it tends to be very confusing for baggage handlers when loading and scanning luggage onto planes.
It can also cause a lot of problems if you have a connecting flight as there isn’t much time to get your bag out and onto your new flight, so the less time it takes to find where your piece of luggage is going the better! To put it simply – make sure your bag is neat and tidy with your current travel sticker completely visible.
6. Label your bag
This one is self-explanatory, but make sure you have all items that you’re checking in and boarding label tagged.
Your name, number, and address can go a long way when it comes to identifying lost luggage and also allowing airport staff to contact you when sorting through the lost luggage areas. You can find super cute labels for less than $5 almost anywhere.
7. Consider adding in a stopover
Travelling internationally soon? Have one or multiple connections? Why not do a stop-over instead.
An example of this would be adding a stop over for a night or two in Dubai on the way to London instead of having a 3-hour layover. It’s a great way to explore new cities and also make sure your luggage comes off the plane with you.
Alternatively, if you’re not up for staying the night, choosing a flight with a slightly longer layover ensures that you and your luggage make it onto the next flight. Shorter connecting flight times put pressure on baggage handlers trying to empty and stock new planes on time.
8. Travel direct or add a longer layover
Similar to our tip above, travelling with a longer layover allows airport staff the most time to secure your bags and load them onto the correct flight.
Layovers are also a great way to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat and explore cool airports like Singapore’s beautiful Changi airport. However if possible, the safest and most secure way to make sure your bags don’t go missing is to fly direct. Qantas has recently started flying direct to Rome from Australia and they already have direct routes to London, LA, Vancouver and Johannesburg.
9. Arrive early
In true airport Dad style, the more time you give yourself to check your bags the more chance they have of making it onto the plane.
Allowing airport staff a few hours to check your bags in, put them through all the necessary security checks and load them onto the plane ensures you a high chance of a smooth sailing baggage claim when you arrive on the other side.
10. Pack Neatly
It goes without saying when talking about luggage travel tips – packing neatly is a great way to avoid your luggage having to be opened and sorted through by security.
When your bag goes through security checks the easier everything is to identify the less chance your bag has of being picked up and taken out of the line. If you have wires and electronics that you know will be getting checked, be sure to put these together. The less time staff have to spend rummaging through your bags, the more time they have to put your bags safely onto the plane!
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