As you embark on your next trip, the last thing you want to think about is your bag not making it to the same destination as you. Although airlines are getting much better at keeping baggage en route with the traveller, an unfortunate fact is that hundreds, if not thousands, of bags are delayed or lost every single day.
But don’t let that stop you from getting out and seeing the world; there are many steps you can take to help minimize the risk of losing your bag, or ease the pain when it happens to you. Here's a few things we recommend:
Plan, Pack, then Carry On!
Keeping your bag with you during your travels reduces the possibility that it's going to go off venturing on its own. Make sure to keep in the know on current carry on baggage rules and restrictions with your airline, and don’t forget all liquids need to be less than 100ml and fit within a single clear ziplock style bag.
Have to check? Plan ahead
After a long journey, the first thing most will want to do is freshen up and have a wardrobe change. Always take a small bag with you on the plane which has your toiletries and a change of clothes appropriate for the destination. If your bag is delayed or goes missing, you’ll be thankful you did this.
Stand out from the crowd
If you have ever waited around a luggage carousel, you’ll notice one thing – almost every bag is black. Avoid following the flock, and invest in a bag that is a bright colour or patterns that is easily identifiable. Don’t want to buy a new bag? A bright luggage strap is a cheaper option that not only makes your bag more visible, but also helps prevent your bag from opening up in transit. Avoid tying string or ribbon to your bag as this could come off or get caught in the luggage carousel mechanism.
Check in on time
No one likes waiting around at an airport, but always give yourself extra time when you are there. From check-in, your bag needs to go through a bit of a process to get to the plane so if you’re delayed, your bag may not make it to the plane, even if you did.
Take a picture of your bag
When your bag is lost or delayed, you’ll need to fill out a claim with the airline. They’ll ask you about your bag, brand, features, etc that can help them identify it as well as the contents inside of it. The more detail you have, the easier time they’ll have and better chance of finding it.
When possible, go direct
When the option is available, try to take a direct flight. While the cost may be lower for an indirect flight, they can take more time, be less convenient and increase the risk of your bag not making it (due to increased handling).
Always pack travel insurance
Don’t let a lost or delayed bag ruin your vacation. While airlines do have policies to assist when they lose your bag, this can take some time to recover. An insurance policy which includes baggage loss, damage or delay coverage can help reduce the stress (and help ensure you’re not wearing gift shop clothes for your entire trip). As well, baggage coverage may include more than just your flight, so if something happens to your bag during your trip, you’re not left unprotected.
Want to know more about travel insurance with baggage coverage? Talk to a Flight Centre travel agent online or visit a Flight Centre store near you.