I recently read a recent article about someone finding their packed luggage filled with Christmas gifts, stolen, and replaced with trash and dog food. I don’t know the facts of the situation, but the story made the news. I have heard of items missing from luggage and even had my misplaced baggage issues. Here are a few tips to help you with lost luggage or missing items from your checked baggage.
Lock your luggage.
From the time you hand your luggage off when checking in for your flight, it goes through many different hands. The reality is that not all those hands are honest. Travelers should think about what items they place in their luggage and if they are willing to face the reality of not all their packed luggage being returned to them.
Use a TSA lock.
Baggage goes through a lot of screening behind the scenes. Travelers should always use a TSA-compatible lock. If your luggage is selected for screening, TSA agents will be able to open your baggage without breaking the lock. It is within their rights for TSA agents to break nonTSA compatible locks, even locks built into the luggage if chosen for extra screening.
Have your luggage stand out.
Yes, many bags look alike, and bags are often mistaken by an honest mistake. The chances of someone walking off with a brightly colored bag or a bag with clearly distinguishable stickers is much lower than a standard piece of black luggage. It’s best to have a unique way to recognize your luggage instantly. Try to find a quirky bag tag or brightly colored ribbon to attach to your luggage and make it easily identifiable.
Leave valuables at home.
Within the fine prints of the airline ticket is the fact that, in many cases, the airline is not liable to replace all the items that may have gone missing from your luggage. Many US airlines only provide an average of $3,000. for lost, damaged, or delayed baggage. In some cases, the limits can be as low as $1,500. per checked bag. Additionally, electronics, cameras, jewelry, and computers, are not covered by most airlines.
Many travelers’ insurance or even homeowners’ insurance can cover lost or damaged luggage. In addition, certain credit cards will provide limited coverage for lost or damaged items if used when purchasing from the airline. Some airlines will sell excess valuation coverage that may increase the compensation they will provide. It’s best to have travel insurance and ensure it covers loss or missing luggage.
There’s not much that travelers can do once their luggage is lost or misplaced. Taking photographs of your items beforehand might help when filing a claim, but few people do so. Even fewer people keep a record of the things they pack. Have you ever had items from your luggage lost or missing? I’d like to know. Comment below.
This was an excellent article! I would have never thought to use a TSA compatible lock.
Yes, and as well-traveled as I am. I will now keep a key with me at all times. It was hard to find one here in Thailand but thankful for the Rimowa store nearby.