It’s an ugly truth, but a lot of the bags coming down the conveyor at baggage claim may look just like yours. It’s quite easy to pick up someone else’s bag accidentally, and it happens often. That’s why most baggage claim areas have signs urging everyone to check the tag on their luggage before leaving the area.
Rule number one for avoiding lost luggage is to label your luggage properly and make it easy to identify:
- On the luggage tag, write your name, destination address, and, if possible, a phone number where you can be reached while traveling. Exclude your home address. Anyone seeing it will know it’s safe to break into your empty home while you’re away.
- Print the same information on paper and put it inside the suitcase on top of your belongings, where it will be visible as soon as someone opens the case.
- Personalize the outside of your luggage with distinguishing marks. A brightly-colored cloth tied to the handle is easy to spot. Day-Glo stickers or tape along the sides may be unsightly, but they will make your bag highly visible, even across the room.
- The only airline tag on your luggage should be the one from the flight you are on. Remove older tags before each flight, so as not to confuse baggage handlers.