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Tips for Flying with Checked Luggage
On a trip to Europe, one of our checked bags didn’t arrive when we landed in Rome. The airline couldn’t locate the missing bag, so after a few days, we hired a ‘bag catcher’ to search for the missing suitcase at Rome’s FCO airport. Unfortunately, this search was unsuccessful. Thankfully, the airline eventually located the suitcase. It turns out that the bag tag and another ID tag had fallen off. Fortunately, my husband’s business card was in an external pocket, so airline staff could find us. After this stressful experience, I prefer to travel with only carry-on – here’s how I do it. But there are times when it’s impossible, e.g., when you fly with sports equipment. Here are some essential tips for keeping track of and locating your bag if you travel with checked luggage.
Take a Picture of Your Bags
Take a photo of your bag after you place it on the scale at the airport check-in counter. Now you can show the airline exactly what your bag looks like if it is mishandled. This essential tip for flying with checked luggage will save you time at the airline service counter and hopefully speed-up the retrieval of your lost luggage.
Record Your Checked Baggage Tag Information
While taking a photo of the checked bag, take a photo of the checked baggage tag receipt. Airlines often stick the checked bag tag receipt on the back of a boarding pass or on a separate receipt. It’s helpful to have a photo of this information.
Use a Tile Tracker to Help Locate Luggage
Purchase a Tile tracker and place it inside your checked item. A Tile is a small square Bluetooth tracker that connects with an app on your phone. This tiny device and the Tile community can help you track and locate your items. Here is a link to my Amazon storefront where you can find Tile trackers under Products We Use and Love.
Add Additional I.D. to Your Checked Luggage
Place a business card or piece of paper with your name and phone number in your checked bag’s external pocket. If the luggage and ID tags come off your bag, the airline will be able to contact you.
Register Your Luggage with Tumi
If you travel with Tumi luggage, register your bags with the Tumi Tracer Program – each bag has a unique ID number that can be used to reunite travellers with their lost luggage.
Add a Colourful Luggage Strap to Your Checked Bag
Use a luggage strap or other unique identifier on your suitcase. This will help prevent another passenger from mistakenly taking your suitcase when the luggage is dispensed on the baggage claim carousel.
Good to Know – Essential Tips for Flying With Checked Luggage
- If you are travelling with children, you might appreciate these tips for flying with kids.
- Here is Skyscanner’s latest list of carry-on and checked bag size requirements by airline. The weights, measurements, and fees are subject to change, so be sure to check your airline requirements before you fly.
Do you travel with carry-on or regularly check luggage when you fly? If you travel with checked luggage, has a bag been lost or delayed?
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