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Don’t lose your luggage

Baggage Claim SignAirlines have come a long way in assuring luggage gets where it’s supposed to, when it’s supposed to. But, it’s important to remember there’s always the possibility of losing your bags.

Printed flight tags make it a cinch for carriers to keep track of belongings, so even when your luggage appears lost, chances are it’s just stuck somewhere it’s not supposed to be. While inconvenient, it’s not worth a panic attack.

Believe it or not, however, experience has showed us several good ways to avoid losing your luggage.

If you’re just going to Las Vegas for the weekend, for example, pack light. We’ve found that the best way to avoid losing your luggage is not to bring any at all.

Nowadays, most airlines charge to check a bag but allow you to stow a carryon the size of a small suitcase above your seat.

Staying for longer than the weekend might require bigger luggage. If that’s the case, plan ahead and avoid black, dark green, brown, or other popular luggage colors. To really stand out, buy luggage in bright colors or patterns, that way it’s easy to spot on the baggage claim belt.


Always keep identifications secured to your bags with updated information including a phone number, e-mail and mailing addresses. And it’s not a bad idea to tip the airport bellhops for transporting you’re party’s luggage. It’s not uncommon to hear well-off travelers suggest bellhops “make sure it gets on,” and tip them handsomely in compensation.

When you’re checking baggage, watch the clerk print your luggage ticket and double check that the arrival information in correct. It’s not impossible to lose your luggage when it’s in carryon form, either. When you’re waiting to board — whether sitting at your gate or at a bar nearby — don’t ever lose sight of your bag. If it’s at your feet, stick your foot through the handle. If the chair’s empty next to you, place your bag there. And if you need to go to the bathroom, take your bag with you. Never leave any luggage unattended, and report stolen or missing bags immediately.

If you’re really paranoid, or have simply had too many lost luggage experiences, you can always ship your bags ahead of time. We found Fed Ex to be reliable and inexpensive, and you can print your own shipping label at home. Most airlines will charge you for checking a bag anyway, so if it brings peace of mind, shipping ahead could be worth the few extra bucks.

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