Despite airlines today taking extra precautions and honing in on security, mix ups can still happen and luggage can get lost along the way. But never fear, we've picked up some top tips to help prevent lost luggage and what to do if this unfortunate event ever happens to you.
Colour is key
It is far too easy to mistake your black suitcase on the baggage carousel for yet another black suitcase. Avoid mistaken baggage identity by opting for a different coloured bag over the common black and navy luggage. The brighter the better.
If a hot pink suitcase doesn't suit your style, think about adding a distinct marking to your suitcase. Unfortunately the old 'blue ribbon around the handle' is no longer enough. Non-removable name and phone number tags on both the outside and inside of your bag will help baggage claim locate your bag if it ever does go missing, while a strip of brightly coloured tape on the handle will help you easily locate it on the baggage carousel. Most travel or bag stores also sell different coloured straps that you can wrap around your entire suitcase.
Rip off the old
Leaving travel tags from your last flight on your luggage not only looks bad but could also result in your suitcase making a second trip back to your last holiday destination. Be sure to rip them off before your next flight to save confusion. This will also help speed up the check-in process.
If you have to go through customs in between connecting flights, make sure you give yourself plenty of time for both yourself and your baggage to continue on. General recommendation from most airlines for connecting times is 90min for domestic flights and 2-3 hours for international where possible.
Report it immediately
If your luggage does get lost, notify the airline, tour operator or transport company right away and keep your bag receipt number handy (normally stuck to the back of your boarding pass or travel document) so staff can start tracing it as soon as possible. They will also ask for a description of your bag so if you can, take a digital photo of your luggage beforehand so they can easily identify it for you.
For more information on check-in and carry-on baggage, check out our airline guide.