How not to lose your luggage at the Airport

By Doug Williams
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One of the many things that can befall you while you are heading for the holiday of your lifetime, or even a good old family gathering back home, is losing the knowledge as to the whereabouts of your luggage. What is the big deal about the luggage?

For a large majority of us, especially when we are traveling to places with an intention to stay over a month or so, we carry the best of our ‘things’ in our cases under the guise that ‘we only carry what we need’.

Suitcase – you aren’t going to miss this one

Finding out that our luggage has been lost in the black hole of the conveyor belt at the airport, is nothing short of a stab to the heart. Dramatics aside, it is nevertheless quite an unsettling feeling to lose your luggage after arriving at your destination.

Airport suitcase sorting

However, if you stay mindful of certain basic tips that carry monumental implications, you can always be sure that anything can happen during your travel, except you ending up without your luggage.

Carry on Wayward Bags

Small backpack can be really useful

The simplest of all methods to avoid luggage lost is to make sure you carry your most important bits with you to your seat. However, this comes with a number of limitations; one is entirely out of your hands and is to do with the airline regulations as to how much you can safely carry to the plane. Another limitation is down to the individual, and depending upon nature of your travel, it is not really recommended to carry more than you can actually handle onto the plane. Especially if you are going to make connections over the course of your journey, a large carry-bag can cause more trouble than good.

Mark your Baggage

Vintage suitcase

While packing your bags, the thought of losing your bag will surely cross your mind, and your brain will deploy a good-old method to counter the fear by suggesting the unique color and shape of your bag, such that you will definitely be able to find this highly individual piece of luggage at the airport.

Waiting at the airport

However, once you arrive at the airport, there will be bewilderment mixed with a feeling of shock and terror, when you witness line after line of similar and identical bags appearing one after another on the conveyor belt. That’s the situation you definitely want to avoid. So do whatever is in your capacity to mark and label your bags. Invent a language, draw a figure with a tape, or whatever you deem appropriate, but rest assured, if you do so, you won’t lose your luggage ever again.

Label your bag inside

Packed suitcase

Now that you know how to label your bag from outside, which clearly shows your ingenuity and intellect, step it up a notch. It can be safely said that there will be some not very clever folks out there traveling alongside you who could take your luggage regardless of your unique mark on it. To avoid such an incident, you must also label your bag inside so that if, in all the excitement, someone takes your luggage they can read your details on the inside of the luggage after the excitement has fizzled out, and your luggage could be returned to you safely.

If your brain doesn’t help, there’s always a smartphone

Smartphone – a must have now

If you are facing writer’s block while trying to label your bag, there is an easy way out of this situation. Take your phone out and take as many pictures of your luggage as possible, making sure you do so after you have packed your luggage and it’s all ready to go. Now carry these pictures, or a picture, in your wallet or passport holder.

In case you lose your luggage you will be able to save yourself a lot of time trying to describe your luggage by instead simply showing the picture or giving a copy to the authorities so they can find it later. Even if, God forbid, you never find your luggage you will at least have a ‘parting picture’ of your stuff that you can keep in your wallet, forever!

Make your luggage less vulnerable

Luggage that all looks in order

Always use TSA approved locks – and it’s better if you have more than one – to make sure your luggage is safely locked up. This way you will surely decrease the chances of your luggage being stolen by making things harder for thieves, who will definitely move to some other less secured and easier target.

Faster and less Furious

Airport transit – it can be fun or stressful

Getting out of the plane early is not in your hands as every airline has its own method of releasing the passengers. However, do whatever is in your capacity to get to the unloading area of the airport as early and as fast as possible. If you get there too early, there is a chance you can see the ground staff unloading luggage from the plane and onto the tarmac.

Airport escalator

These guys can be heartless at times, so be prepared for a shock – you may witness some graphic scenes of staff throwing the luggage off the plane mercilessly. Anyway, you can be sure that by getting at the carousel early, there are fewer chances that you will lose your luggage in the black hole.

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